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Dalits, Globalization and Economism, Dhananjay Rai, Think India Quarterly,

Dalits, Globalization and Economism, Dhananjay Rai, Think India Quarterly,

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Published by Dhananjay Rai
Dhananjay Rai
Dalits, Globalization and Economism
Introduction
Relationship of dalits and globalization has been construed in manyways. This paper proposes that interpretations centring on mereeconomism have profoundly eclipsed various facets of this relationship.'Economic' construal entails that not only defenders of globalizationhave found its sui generis aspect only in economic-interlinking of nationstates and societies but also oppositional forces have zeroed onperforating sovereign economic structure of the nation state due toglobalization. In the case of defenders, this is a matter of selective choicewhereby they can push forward their subtle but not so subtle agenda.Nevertheless, for the oppositional and alternative forces, this is nothingbut solecism. This invites explication. Opposing globalization(especially in the context of deprived sections) through merely economicargument per se has been meted out by defenders through 'prosperitysyndrome' i.e., exhibition of quadrupling GDP, growth rate, emergenceof exclusive artefacts like malls and multiplexes. Prosperity syndromedeliberately creates a few elites across the sections to celebrate'economism.' In this context, for oppositional and alternative forces, itbecomes difficult to reveal the real effect of globalization on dalits.Therefore, there is a need to look beyond this unilinear interpretation. Inthe context of globalization where prosperity syndrome occupies thedebate, this paper endeavours to discuss democratic right for dalits.
Dhananjay Rai
Dalits, Globalization and Economism
Introduction
Relationship of dalits and globalization has been construed in manyways. This paper proposes that interpretations centring on mereeconomism have profoundly eclipsed various facets of this relationship.'Economic' construal entails that not only defenders of globalizationhave found its sui generis aspect only in economic-interlinking of nationstates and societies but also oppositional forces have zeroed onperforating sovereign economic structure of the nation state due toglobalization. In the case of defenders, this is a matter of selective choicewhereby they can push forward their subtle but not so subtle agenda.Nevertheless, for the oppositional and alternative forces, this is nothingbut solecism. This invites explication. Opposing globalization(especially in the context of deprived sections) through merely economicargument per se has been meted out by defenders through 'prosperitysyndrome' i.e., exhibition of quadrupling GDP, growth rate, emergenceof exclusive artefacts like malls and multiplexes. Prosperity syndromedeliberately creates a few elites across the sections to celebrate'economism.' In this context, for oppositional and alternative forces, itbecomes difficult to reveal the real effect of globalization on dalits.Therefore, there is a need to look beyond this unilinear interpretation. Inthe context of globalization where prosperity syndrome occupies thedebate, this paper endeavours to discuss democratic right for dalits.

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Published by: Dhananjay Rai on Nov 22, 2010
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10/06/2014

 
Dhananjay Rai
Dalits, Globalization and Economism
Introduction
Relationship of dalits and globalization has been construed in manyways. This paper proposes that interpretations centring on mereeconomism have profoundly eclipsed various facets of this relationship.'Economic' construal entails that not only defenders of globalizationhave found its sui generis aspect only in economic-interlinking of nationstates and societies but also oppositional forces have zeroed onperforating sovereign economic structure of the nation state due toglobalization. In the case of defenders, this is a matter of selective choicewhereby they can push forward their subtle but not so subtle agenda.Nevertheless, for the oppositional and alternative forces, this is nothingbut solecism. This invites explication. Opposing globalization(especially in the context of deprived sections) through merely economicargument per se has been meted out by defenders through 'prosperitysyndrome' i.e., exhibition of quadrupling GDP, growth rate, emergenceof exclusive artefacts like malls and multiplexes. Prosperity syndromedeliberately creates a few elites across the sections to celebrate'economism.' In this context, for oppositional and alternative forces, itbecomes difficult to reveal the real effect of globalization on dalits.Therefore, there is a need to look beyond this unilinear interpretation. Inthe context of globalization where prosperity syndrome occupies thedebate, this paper endeavours to discuss democratic right for dalits. 
VOLUME 13 NUMBER 3
 
Explaining Caveats
This paper claims at the outset that four caveats have to be underlined todiscern the relationship between dalits and globalization. First is toabandon the 'binaries.' For 'defenders' of globalization vis-a-vis dalits,the binary is present in following ways: the argument that so far the statehas not done anything for dalits versus globalization would do therequired; Caste Capitalism versus Casteless Capitalism; CasteBourgeoisie versus Dalit Bourgeoisie; Openness versus Closeness;American Companies versus Indian Companies; American Democracyversus Indian Democracy; Availability of Goods versus Scarcity of Goods; Restricted Consumptions versus Liberated Consumptions andso on. The severest deficit of the binary analysis is the negation of a slewof issues like exploitation and presence and role of structure in relationalmanner like inter linkages of various exploitative structures and theirworking in concert. At the best, it in turn becomes a reaction to theexisting theories. The issues picked up by them are important butsolutions end up as mere appendages in form of reaction to the existingtheories and practice. And this does not lead to transgression of 'othertheories/realities' and complete analysis. In a nutshell, the binary analysisbegins and ends with reaction in place of transcendence.The second caveat is rejection of 'referential' treatment of dalitdiscourse. Referential treatment entails that there has been an arrival of arguments in defence of globalization and it is referred as 'globalizationfor dalits' without exhibiting tenets of dalits discourse and evaluationfrom its perspective. Actually evaluation of globalization has been donethoroughly from neoliberal perspective under the influence of binaryanalysis and there is a complete absence of analysis from the perspectiveof dalit discourse. The defenders never take pain to arrive at theargument from within dalit discourse rather impose it from outside andterm it as great emancipator.The third caveat is rejection of 'preferential' treatment to'sovereignty' over democratic rights. It could be termed as 'internal'critique of Marxist writings and activism concerning globalization.
218 / Dhananjay Rai
THINK INDIA QUARTERLY
 
Concerning globalization, the issue of sovereignty occupies anindomitable aspect in Marxist terrain. The sovereignty of the nation stateis extremely vital and is needed due to various reasons: defending thenation state to impede the juggernaut of the globalization and alsoforming the coalition of equal nation states in concert against the biggerthreat along with the sustenance of decision making ability. The analysisfrom this vantage point is significant but not complete due to omissionof the issue of democratic rights and its linkages with globalization. Thesovereignty of the nation state and democratic rights though linked,occupies a different sphere altogether. As far as the 'external' aspect isconcerned, both 'sovereignty' aspect and democratic rights share thecommon podium because in the absence of sovereignty of the nationstates, democratic rights would not exist. And it is also possible that inthe 'presence' of sovereign nation state, democratic rights may not befunctional. Moreover, in the absence of sovereignty certain classes andcastes would benefit because globalization needs alliance of dominantsocial forces in each country. The sovereignty perspective whilehighlighting brilliantly sovereignty of the nation state, more or less hasbypassed the 'internal' factor that is the functioning of democratic rightsunder the influence of globalization. The analysis of globalization is vitaland becomes complete only when it takes both factors into cognisance:'sovereignty' to discern the nation state and 'democratic rights' toexplore the sovereignty of deprived sections in various aspects.The fourth and last is straight away rejection to coalescingmodernity with globalization. This is important due to eulogisation of globalization as the arrival of modernity in form of globalization.Coalescing modernity with globalization is evident in various works andespecially in Arjun Appadurai's work Modernity at Large: CulturalDimensions of Globalization (1996) wherein 'imagination' has beencelebrated as social force which is creating both identity and energies toreplace the nation state which is unlikely to exist anymore. Globalizationhas goaded this process through mass migration and electronicmediation (Appadurai, 1996).
Dalits, Globalization and Economism / 219
VOLUME 13 NUMBER 3

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