Chapter

Secularism, Modernity, Nation

Aditya Nigam

in The Insurrection of Little Selves

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195676068
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081752 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676068.003.0006
Secularism, Modernity, Nation

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This chapter discusses the Dalit critique of modernity and the theoretical implications of the questions raised by Dalit politics in India, with particular reference to secularism and the nation. What does the ‘Dalit Critique’ of modernity mean? Is there a body of writings by the Dalits that may be called ‘a critique of modernity’? The chapter uses the term ‘epistemology’ to suggest that what can be extricated as the Dalit critique represents a resistance to some of the key political and theoretical categories of modern political discourse. After discussing caste and secular-nationalism, the chapter considers the insurrection of little selves in Dalits and others, along with political society and the modern self. It offers a reading of some of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and E. V. Ramasamy’s writings as well as some contemporary Dalitbahujan writings.

Keywords: secularism; modernity; epistemology; Dalits; Dalit critique; politics; India; secular-nationalism; Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar; E. V. Ramasamy

Chapter.  15287 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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