Prathama Benerjee

in Politics of Time

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195681567
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081677 | DOI:

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This chapter tries to clarify the unfinished nature of both the work of colonial modernity and its critique. As the nation seeks to ‘liberalize’ its economy and mirror the trajectory of global capital, it claims the purity and righteousness of cultural conservatism. It is noted that by the 1930s, the colonized, by way of reclaiming ‘modern’ knowledge-disciplines from the colonizer, hinted at his/her own marginality and lateness in the present. The temporality of re-presentation neutralizes the temporality of encounter, and therefore the temporality of collective practice. Peoples like the Santals became ‘primitive’ in colonial modernity not only because of colonial strategies of other-ing but also because the colonized themselves tried to assume the representational location necessary for modern monetary and epistemological rationalities. Social practices need not necessarily generate others in any epistemological sense.

Keywords: colonial modernity; global capital; cultural conservatism; collective practice; Santals; primitive; social practices

Chapter.  4979 words. 

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