Chapter

Secularism

A. Raghuramaraju

in Modernity in Indian Social Theory

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780198070122
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080014 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198070122.003.0002
Secularism

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This chapter discusses how Javeed Alam fails to account for the non-individualist social spheres that exist in India. Alam's ‘Indispensability of Secularism’ is interesting because it uses individuation, one of the important aspects of modernity, as a social process to argue for the indispensability of secularism. In releasing secularism from foundationalism, Alam offers arguments that are temporal in nature. In a plural society, there is an institutional mechanism to shift from the feeling of majority to the feeling of minority. This pervasive feeling of minority is threatened by those attempts at homogenizing the plural. The feeling of minority through this experience can make one see others who have the sense of minority. In this manner, we can make positive use of pluralism with a view to combating the Hindu right that threatens pluralism.

Keywords: India; secularism; Javeed Alam; individuation; modernity; foundationalism; majority; minority; pluralism

Chapter.  9153 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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