AFTER AYODHYA: POLITICS, RELIGION AND THE E M E R G I N G CULTURE OF ACADEMIC ANTI-SECULARISM IN INDIA

Zaheer Baber
Zaheer Baber is Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore.

(If) we are to develop the study of Indian society and culture within the framework of comparative sociology, we must put back the Indological approach where it properly b e l o n g s . . , a sociology of India that has its orientation to the past and disregards or devalues the present is bound to be unfruitful and in the end self-defeating.l Andr6 Beteille In a society increasingly irrational and barbaric, to regard the attack on reason and objectivity as the basis of radicalism is to perpetuate the nightmare we want to escape. 2 Gerald Graft

In recent years, the erstwhile consensus on the concept and policy of secularism in a multi-religious arid multi-ethnic society like India has been called into question by a number of political parties and organizations like the BJP. VHP, RSS and the Shiv Sena. While some of these political parties and organizations have never made a secret of their goal of establishing a Hindu theocratic state in India, the spectre of anti-secularism gripping some prominent Indian and American intellectuals represents a disturbing trend. Although it is true that the intellectuals now competing with each other to establish their antisecularist credentials and the right wing political parties are marching to the tunes of quite different drummers, this essay seeks to establish that the views of the former provide unintended support for the aims and objectives of the latter. The main argument of this essay is that at the present social and political juncture when the very concept of a
Dialectical Anthropology 21: 317-343, 1996. 9 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

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secular India is under siege by a motley coalition of extreme right wing, religious and chauvinist political parties, the emerging culture of anti-secularism amongst a dominant group of Indian intellectuals is naive, misguided and dangerous. It fails to contribute to any realistic appraisal of the gravity of the crisis confronting Indian society and reinforces the wave of anti-secular views and practices being propagated by the BJP and its allies9 Written in the context of the destruction of the sixteenth century mosque in Ayodhya and the bloodletting and soul-searching that followed, this essay seeks to critically examine the views of some intellectuals who have identified the concept and practice of secularism as the driving force behind the recurring communal conflicts in contemporary India. Spearheading the emerging culture of academic and anti-secularism in India is Ashis Nandy, who has been quite prolific in issuing "antisecularist manifestos" laced generously with vitriolic invectives for all those simple-minded enough to have any faith in the virtues of the policy of secularism in India. Nandy's recent interest in debunking the concept of secularism, in as insulting and abusive a language as possible, represents a variation on his repetitive theme of pointing to the ubiquitous hand of colonialism as the main, if not the only, source of the problems confronting contemporary India. In a recent issue of Seminar,3 a number of intellectuals were invited to contribute to a "dialogue" on the current state of communal politics and society in India. Ashis Nandy, however, was not prepared to engage in any dialogue or conversation as the term is conventionally understood. Instead, he used the occasion to launch a predictable polemic against secularists of all stripes. Dismissing supporters of secularism as "intellectually crippled and morally flawed," "senile radicals," who are "seduced and brainwashed," Nandy's rather bizarre attempt to engage in a "dialogue:" foreclosed the possibility of any meaningful conversation. In his contribution to the "dialogue" in Seminar, Nandy once again invoked his "blame it on the British" formula to characterize the policy of secularism as a "Western colonial concept introduced into Indian public l i f e . . , to subvert and discredit" Indian society. Perhaps, locked obsessively as he is into rigid dichotomies like East/West, Orient/Occident, tradition/modernity, sacred/secular, "White Man/WOG" (his terms), Nandy presumably
9 . .

we have Nandy (together with co-author Raymond Lee Owens) arguing that "to the extent that the economic opportunity presented by the Howrah engineering industry continues to grow and expand." "rationality. ." who pretend that "they are the ones who have freed themselves from traditional prejudices" and who." "objectivity. having "taken over the white man's burden in this part of the w o r l d ." In his latest summary dismissal of secularism. Nandy has not named any specific theories or theorists. "4 In marked ." "Western science." "rationality. . Since one would be hard pressed to find any academics who would explicitly defend "modernization theory. he seems to have been actively engaged in discharging his "bounden duty to educate and modernize the citizens" of India. Could it be that his recent writings signify that Nandy is at war with his former self?. In a study of entrepreneurs in Howrah in the early seventies." etc. see it is their bounden duty to educate and modernize the citizens in this part of the world . Apparently." "secular world-view. Despite his relatively recent embrace of what can only be called "Occidentalism." and because Nandy does not offer any names. . it might help to make sense of his compulsive and uncompromising animus against unidimensional abstractions like "modernity.319 believes that engagement in a dialogue also represents an insidious Western and colonial implant designed to discredit Indian society and culture." Ashis Nandy's writings in the seventies read very much like an attempt to accomplish exactly what he now revels in reviling. He has not attempted to disguise his contempt for "modern Indians" and "secularists. what he seems to be criticizing is "modernization" or "convergency theory." etc. I have often wondered at the possible sources of Nandy's unrelenting animus against conceptual abstractions like "modernity. the groups which have taken advantage of that opportunity will become increasingly like each other." a critique that is neither new nor particularly newsworthy. . As someone who readily admits to being "intellectually crippled and morally flawed" enough to perceive some virtues in strengthening the policy and practice of secularism in India. twenty years ago. To borrow his words. Although this is just conjecture. it may just be possible that his present-day views represent a desperate attempt to rid himself of his complicity with similar theories in the past.

the switch from total scientism and positivism in the seventies to the call for the creation of "mythographies" is quite astounding." all these accurate measures enabled Nandy to argue that "though the intercaste difference in the correlation between entrepreneurship and n Achievement is not significant. it adds on two percent of variance explained. In his earlier work. Nandy was not only measuring "modernity" on the "OM and RM scale.7 And in order to ensure that the measurements were indeed accurate and contributed to "hard" data." and has even called for the replacement of "objective" historiography by "mythography." "objectivity. "6 his earlier work comes as a surprise. attitudinal data. the near-zero beta weight of n Achievement among the Mahisyas suggests that in their less modem but more entrepreneurial subculture. ." and assigning "beta weights" to each measures of "N-Achievement" in order to ascertain the "correlates and predictors of entrepreneurial competence.9 While cautioning that "without a nonrecursive path analysis one cannot speak the language of causal modeling in this instance. and so on." but he was also striving hard to ensure that the measures of "indicators were based on hard performance data. Nandy was assuring us that the "entrepreneur's innovativeness [was] measured by averaging the ratings for the two independent observers on a two-point scale." he continued.28--the highest among all the variables in the equation for the upper castes. the need does not directly contribute to entrepreneurship."5 Given the fact that Nandy has of late concentrated most of his energies on dismissing "modem science. and assessments.320 contrast to his relatively recent discovery of idealized and largely imagined constructs like "traditional values. "when n Achievement is entered into the regression equation for the Mahisyas. the beta weight for n Achievement remains a redoubtable . "8 After being subjected to "regression analysis. India is moving towards a "mass culture" in which the distinctiveness of caste groups is breaking down. education." Nandy then prophesied that "with Independence. Given the intemperate language now being employed by him to discuss any manifestation or supporter of modernity."1~ And after drawing . ." he nevertheless succeeded in establishing that "even when the effects of all other variable are removed. "After all.

H However. his book received a rave review in the pages of that bastion of "modernization theory" Economic Development and Cultural Change." although "optimism and n Affiliation bear apparently no relationship with entrepreneurship. 15In fact." the Marxists. Tyranny and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness." from a number of American institutions. "secularists. And despite having authored a book with the title Traditions. Nandy could be less intemperate in ridiculing others for being seduced by such "alien" ideologies like secularism. data analysis and preparation of materials for publication. followed by n Power and sense of efficacy. perhaps just a glimpse of the techniques to be perfected later for insulting. Perhaps this expression of humility was merely an ingenious." "modernized. the scientistic jargon is abandoned and we are told that "when formerly low-placed groups become involved in secondary industrialization the result is a wide transformation of the society in accordance with more egalitarian values. the scientific measurement of motives was not redundant."~2 In the final chapter. the indicators of modernity are far more powerful predictors of competence than are the motives. Ronald Inden for . usually unnamed. he and his coauthor acknowledged that they were "humbled by the readiness with which we have found funds to carry out the research. ~4Nandy then seemed to exhibit little awareness of the politics of the "area study programs" in the United States during the time when he was conducting his research.321 attention to the "negative beta of overall modernity in the upper caste entrepreneurs." "decultured." "rootless. Nobody expects him to follow the route of those peddlers of "alien cosmologies. Nor can we expect him to follow a path that is becoming increasingly fashionable. 16 While it is true that intellectuals change their perceptions and ideas over time."~3 Not surprisingly. homespun strategy of resistance expressed in code. some of whom were so often off the mark in their predictions that they developed a whole genre of "autocritique" to ponder their mistakes." Nandy contended that "while the motives explain more of the variance in entry into entrepreneurship than do indicators of modernity. because "among the motives n Achievement turns out to be the best predictor of entrepreneurship." "urbanized" Indians en route to exorcizing the "intimate enemy" from colonized minds.

the handy explanatory device of colonial rule was mobilized by Nandy to explain both the occurrence of sati and the public response to it. has now discovered the linkages between "knowledge" and "power" and has almost reverted to Occidentalism. has enabled Nandy to come up with some quite amazing pronouncements. attaching "Western" modes of "knowing. As Aijaz Ahmad has aptly put it in a different context. 17 after years of interpreting Indian society through predominantly Indological and Orientalist prisms. Nandy's "intervention" (to deploy a currently fashionable term) in the debate was positively bizarre but not unexpected for anyone who has followed his line of argument for the past few years." and urbanized individuals whose minds had been "colonized. respect for selfsacrifice in a culture in which increasingly there is no scope or legitimacy for self-sacrifice. Such an inversion of views. labeled them as "modernized. combined with his readiness to invoke the ubiquitous "pathology of colonialism" to explain all aspects of Indian society and politics has led him to argue that the much publicized case of Roop Kanwar in 1987 was nothing less than a "desperate attempt to retain through sati something of the religious world view in an increasingly desacralized." "secularized. Nandy will have none of this." "decultured" individuals. even if in a bizarre. In fact. This dramatic inversion of views. in any form or degree. Inden at least engages in an auto-critique.322 example." "modernity. he went on to rebuke those women and men who demonstrated against that particular incident." etc." This time."2~ Why exactly a woman was chosen for this particular mode of reaffirmation of the legitimacy of self-sacrifice is not an issue for him. "colonialism is now held responsible not only for its own cruelties but. Nandy was wrong in ."21 Under normal circumstances. from the simplistic discourse of "modernization. but in explaining the tragic case of Roop Kanwar." to the newly acquired and equally simplistic and naive contempt for "rationality. as Nandy goes on to argue. In my admittedly "intellectually crippled" view. under pressure from a social sphere controlled by "colonized. secular world." "secularism. the practice of sati. or widow immolation. and predictably. violent and perverted fashion. conveniently enough."18 But in the course of accomplishing his objectives. for ours too."19 After all. one expects intellectuals to clarify admittedly complex events. "reaffirms.

"secularism and statism in India have gone hand in hand. Nandy conjures up the fable of a tranquil pre-colonial existence that was shattered when the concept of secularism "was introduced in a big way in the early decades of the c e n t u r y . .'25 For Nandy. to subvert and discredit the traditional concepts of interreligious tolerance that had allowed the thousands of communities living in the subcontinent to co-survive in neighborliness. . to retain "something of the religious world view in an increasingly desacralized w o r l d . "all of us need to rethink the intrinsic merit and efficacy of decultured. ."23 In addition to the standard practice of invoking the hidden hand of "colonial rule" which seems to direct most of the problems in contemporary India. the issue of whether such explanations are "true" or borne by "evidence" must be raised. historian Harsh Sethi and the anthropologist T. . has in fact succeeded in destroying "religion as lived faith. whether he indirectly justifies sati or issues "anti-secularist manifesto(es). . secular values." Under such conditions. associated with the same institution as Nandy. "27 While granting that "often there were violent clashes among the communities. one wonders what to make of Nandy's belief and claim that his writings "give voice to [the] . . ." "modern. apparently controlled by "decultured. the resurgence of violence over religious issues somehow represents a "desperate attempt. " At the risk of eliciting "incredulity" from the extreme postmodernists. of marginalized Indians. statist." It seems that the concept of secularism in itself led to ." a remark that is in no way intended as a compliment to the Indian state."26 Continuing Nandy's project. Madan seem convinced that an all powerful and omnipotent state." "urban" individuals." just as he is wrong once again." because "efforts at delegitimizing lived faith invariably breed not just reaction."22 Given his views on the Roop Kanwar issue." to borrow Nandy's words. According to Harsh Sethi.323 his earlier belief that different groups in India would "become increasingly like each other. N." he argues that the key difference was that "such violence never involved large aggregates such as the Hindus or the Muslims." but tend to displace "religion as faith" by "religion as ideology. ." "brainwashed. semi-articulate p r o t e s t s . intellectuals caught up in the rush to put "secularism in its place "24 rely on another rather vacuous concept-"statism.

However.29 This is truly having the roti and eating it too: has the Indian state succeeded in destroying "religion as faith" or are the various expressions of religiosity. as "no one produced an iota of convincing empirical evidence to show that such conflicts existed on a large scale and involved religious communities as they are presently d e f i n e d . " The fact that religious communities "as they are presently defined. objective history.." did the Indian state ever intend to. . ." It also enables him to clinch the argument against the secularists of "the intellectually crippled and morally flawed" by arguing that they can barely conceal their "glee [over the fact] that the incorrigible Hindoos and Moslems are still fighting like cats and dogs [as this enables them] to justify their privileged access to state power . (emphasis added). or is it even capable of. the anthropologist T. To exhort others to provide evidence that there were indeed conflicts in pre-colonial times between "religious communities as they are presently defined. 2s In fact. Nandy engages in a subtle play on words. the vibrancy of "lived faith" in all its forms is very much in evidence. were not so defined in the past. . destroying peoples' "lived faith"? Anywhere in India that one cares to look and by all contemporary accounts." What about the oft-repeated anti-secularist claim that "statism" has destroyed or delegitimized "religion as faith"? Leaving aside the questionable distinction between religion as "faith" and "ideology." employs this very evidence to argue that "the feeble character of the Indian policy of state secularism is exposed9. to construct his "mythography" of pre-colonial harmony. . he will not allow such considerations to disturb his project of producing "mythographies" to replace his most reviled abstraction. while putting "secularism in its place. simply ingenious strategies by Indians to resist the "onslaught 9 . . . must have occurred to Nandy. N." is obviously to send them on a fool's errand9 Such an assertion enables him to admit of communal conflicts in pre-colonial India while placing the onus of communal violence on the "concept of secularism [that has] hegemonized the entire domain of religious amity. "scientific." and are increasingly sought to be defined. as Nandy would no doubt argue. Madan." Now." It would seem that there remains no middle ground between objective history cast in stone and subjectivist "mythographies.324 widespread communal conflict. .

Harsh Sethi.33 And. articles." As Sethi tells us. really that powerful? Has the Indian Constitution really destroyed people's "religion as faith" and replaced it with "religion as ideology"? Nandy. it is only the historian Neeladri Bhattacharya who "comes somewhat close to understanding" the complexities of Ayodhya." He uses the review of the book as the occasion for dismissing a "veritable avalanche of books. 34 Continuing the anti-secularist project. . . .36 One presumes he is referring to the documentary on Ayodhya. autonomy and survival" by "decultured. Whatever the merits of Indology. 3s makes it clear that he is not terribly impressed by the contributions. In the Name of God by Anand Patwardhan. Empirical evidence would of course mean capitulating to such outmoded pre-postmodernist notions and concepts as "objectivity" and "evidence. or anywhere for that matter. even films on this question . Romila Thapar's essay merits an honorable mention. 32 This argument might have appeared plausible had the policy of secularism in India implied hostility to religion. Thapar and all the other contributors to the volume "understand little about the shaping of the public mind. Peter van der Veer's recent study has amply demonstrated the limitations of the work of those scholars who simply fetishize the pleasures of Indological texts. while reviewing S. Madan and Sethi seem to offer little empirical evidence for their assertions. even Indological expertise can at times generate valuable insights into the roots of the contemporary crises. or even if "secularism" and "religion" were antithetical concepts. both historians "miss the mark. . and in fact never intended to do so. secular values"? 3~ Is the state in India. . as a recent paper by Sheldon Pollock has demonstrated. Bhattacharya. Gopal's recent Anatomy of a Confrontation. pamphlets.325 on their dignity." If the state has not really succeeded in its conspiracy against religion as faith. For Sethi. only those who believe that the analysis of Indological texts provides the key to real India would fail to notice that any religious activity is inextricably intertwined with eminently secular factors and vice versa. but ultimately. Surely. 31 then the argument that the "concept of secularism" or "statist secularism" is somehow responsible for the rise of religious fundamentalism and the precipitation of communal conflicts is surely unfounded. statist.

" And in any case. except invoke the "secular and rationalist counter arguments" that he dismisses so contemptuously? Even if one admits that simply "invoking secular and rational counter arguments" may not work. In this arena." a la Hayden White? The political naivet6 and honest intentions of Ashis Nandy notwithstanding. . To come back to Harsh Sethi's castigation of S. "rarely have issues of faith and belief been effectively countered by recourse to history.326 Perhaps." Sethi is uncomfortable with the film. such proposals place intellectuals on extremely dangerous ground. But then." But what then is the recourse for historians or other intellectuals as intellectuals? Abdicate all commitment to any semblance of "objectivity. what else can intellectuals as intellectuals do. VHP. and as the contributors to the volume Anatomy of a Confrontation themselves acknowledge. Gopal's volume on the Ayodhya issue. modernized Indians and "Western" scholars he rails against. it is unlikely that Nandy's impeccable English prose is accessible to anyone except a very tiny fraction of the same urbanized." decry it as a pre-postmodernist ruse. while such organizations and political parties reach millions." Nandy. somebody could always come up with the platitude that even Patwardhan's documentary reflects and represents a particular perspective. the "real Indian people" he and others take it upon themselves to represent. in particular. most antisecularists like Nandy and Madan never seem to tire of invoking Gandhi's remark that "those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means. having claimed a direct link to the "shaping of the public mind. and begin producing "mythographies" a la Nandy or "metahistory. as Sethi points out. Horror of horrors. how will the mantra of anti-secularism and irrationalism help? Do these arguments not concede the terms of debate to parties and organizations like the BJP. Perhaps to believe otherwise would be little than a naive foundationalist fantasy! It is true. all the Nandys and Sethis put together can never hope to compete with the communalist ideologues who are immensely more successful and resourceful in brewing a more potent mix of mega "mythographies. refuse to follow the script! The voices of people emerge unaffected by conceptual and Indological abstractions. Shiv Sena and RSS? In this context.

and every viewpoint has to be judged in the context of such mutually exclusive communal categories. albeit vacuous. It is hardly surprising then that the BJP ideologues have once again adopted specific versions of Gandhi's ideas to pontificate on the relationship between politics and religion. At times. to throw up "saner voices. N. Madan's words. however. under present political conditions." might be a stimulating. it can be. nothing short of "moral arrogance and political folly.." is to be "simplistic" or betray a lack of "understand[ing]. Gopal volume are described by Sethi as criticizing the "promandir position" and adopting a "partisan" view.. as if there is only a "Hindu" or "Muslim" alternative. independent critical intellectuals are essentially powerless. The hubris of Nandy notwithstanding. The onus then. Or as if any proposal for the maintenance of . the social and political context of contemporary India is not quite the same as it was in Gandhi's time. but simultaneously redefines the Ayodhya issue exclusively in terms of unbridgeable and homogenous "Hindu" vs. Gandhi's remark about the relation between religion and politics would constitute a perfect slogan for Hindu or Muslim fundamentalists.327 revels in dwelling on Gandhi's ingenuity and political acumen in interpreting "secular" events in religious idioms to communicate his ideas to the people." During the course of his critique and dismissal of the historians and social scientists who do not follow the anti-secularist line. It is true that the analysis of exactly why rational and secular arguments do not cut ice with some people is extremely significant. In fact." without which "it will be difficult to counter the Hindu nationalist shift." while an attempt to view the Hindutva movement as "fundamentalist" or "expressive of Hindu communalism. but under present conditions. "Muslim" interests. that he hardly has the legitimacy of Gandhi. Harsh Sethi goes on to raise the demand for "saner Muslim voices. is on an imagined "Muslim community. more importantly." apparently yet again gripped by collective insanity. intellectual pastime. and. to borrow T. The surrender of rational debate in favor of the creation of "mythographies" or "metahistory."38 All of the contributors to the S. he even resorts to the use of similar devices. about the shaping of the public mind. his audience is much more limited. "37 Such a demand not only reinforces the "mad Mullah" stereotype. He forgets.

" or how the dichotomy of the "sacred" and the "profane" was mediated by the violent mobs. One could conceptualize the destruction of the mosque as a process of "deconstruction. But then. if indeed a new structure or structures come up at the site. even while attempting to cobble up a "pastiche" of real Indian traditions from various . deconstruction. who claims privileged insight into the "Shaping of the public mind." given the fact that a make-shift temple has already been constructed. After all. the B. The question of whether the mosque in Ayodhya should be demolished is now purely academic.P. Sethi. Interestingly enough. a "Muslim" point of view..J.'39 Of course. one could extend Jean Baudrillard's analysis of the Gulf war "that never happened" to the events at Ayodhya and then other parts of India. One could even reject such dichotomies in favor of mapping out the entire "ensemble of relations" to trace their influence on the "poetics of violence" and how such violence restructured the "cosmologies" of the participants engaged either in destruction. government has been trapped by its created Frankenstein and conflicts have broken out between the different constituents of the pro-mandir coalition." does not tell us where exactly he stands on the Ayodhya issue. Alternatively. by definition. Perhaps one could even analyze the "semiotics of mob violence. One could even abandon all analyses and simply display incredulity towards the totalizing meta-narrative of the communalists. by arguing that "indeed it is fortunate for all of us (?) that having come into power in U. some enterprising academic could always analyze the whole episode from a deconstructionist perspective.328 status quo regarding the Ayodhya mosque is. isn't deconstruction not to be equated with destruction but to be conceived as a process of reconstruction? Other academics could always explore the relevance of the difference between Derrida's concept of diff~rance and Lyotard's diff~rend for their analyses of the difference between a temple and a mosque. Sethi had written these lines before the destruction of the mosque and the predictable bloodbath. He does so only implicitly. one could dismiss all talk of any structure in Ayodhya as nothing more than an illusion inspired by a "logocentric metaphysics of presence.P. or reconstruction." Perhaps.

concludes that he really has no "conclusions to offer. it "worked." Sidestepping the question of whether "the demands made by such movements are in themselves good or bad. in its essence. perhaps a federal BJP government. the RSS and the Shiv Sena might help? After all." but his remarks beg the question whether he would be in favor of a theocratic state if.329 Indological texts." which is "hardly likely to satisfy those for whom religious belief is not simply a matter of aesthetics. could be adapted for the future. no solutions to suggest. the eminent sociologist Veena Das. in her contribution to the discussion on the resurgence of religious fundamentalism in India." why not go the whole hog? Would that take care of what is termed as "the Muslim question"? And while putting "secularism in its place.'43 In so . 4~ Since Harsh Sethi believes that there is "no running away from the necessity of frontally tackling what is termed the 'Muslim question' in the country. given the cultural geography of India. if a BJP government in UP was "fortunate for all of us." she prefers to emphasize that "the only answer modernists can offer to them is to substitute national. Madan claims that secularism will not work in India as it is an "alien cultural ideology. he does hasten to add that he is "not advocating the establishment of a Hindu state in India. Madan and Sethi. she prefers to allude to "Hindus organizing into militant communities for the 'release' of various sacred places that." and. Thus. The possibilities for the accumulation of "career capital" are endless. we have paid scant attention to the manner in which our past. secular symbols for secular ones--and this is no answer at all. supported by such "cultural organizations as the VHP." "a gift of Christianity. criticizes the "conception of a neutral. not surprisingly. secular state" that "relies heavily upon the common sense of Western social sciences. N." T."41 However. in fact." because "it simply will not work." she sarcastically dismisses some proposals for the conversion of the Ayodhya mosque into a national monument as "a museumlike approach to religion. are also sacred to the Muslims." While lamenting the fact that "in the whole nationalist endeavor to transform Indian society." Refusing to name Ayodhya.'42 It is not clear what exactly he means by "work." The blanket identification of concepts as categorically "Western" or "alien" is not limited to Nandy.

or "social engineering" that Nandy now despises." Apart from being skeptical of her faith in the pliability of social institutions. kama. her arguments lend indirect and unintended support to the BJP/VHP view that "secular" institutions like the Supreme Court of India cannot adjudicate on matters pertaining to religious belief and Hindu sentiments. ."45 What follows is the charting out of "another notion of morality." based upon her "reflections on the theory ofpurusartha" or "four ends of life that a person might p u r s u e ." "polytheism. But while the BHP/VHP discourse refers to "Hindu sentiments.330 doing. ''47 do Hindu texts really encompass--to use Louis Dumont's term--and exhaust "our heritage" and "our historical experience"? She discusses "other" religions to pose the question: "rather than asking how Christianity or Islam may help us to discover monotheistic trends within Hinduism.'46 While this is not the occasion for evaluating the feasibility of her alternative "designs for the future. artha. despite her repeated references to the multiplicity of religious traditions. one might legitimately ask what exactly constitutes the essence of "our heritage"? It turns out that all the raw material for such courageous "experiments with our heritage" derives from "the principles of varnadharma and purusartha." "Hindu symbols. dharma." Das strikes an appropriate multi-religious and multicultural balance by invoking the "sentiments of both Hindus and Muslims about the sacred nature of these sites." she urges us to "create forms of nationhood and states more responsive to our own historical experience." Do the concepts of varnadharma and purusartha really encompass the diverse heterogenous traditions of India or even of Hinduism? . However. we may ask whether humankind has lost anything in its march towards monotheism. the ultimate reference point of "our heritage" remain "Hinduism."44 What then is Das' solution to the problem of coming up with an appropriate "design for life"? Even while cautioning that "it is not frozen metaphors that we seek from our past. and moksa. . nor exotic myths and rituals that bear no relation to life whatsoever" and that "no one can wish away the existence of markets or of modern nation-states."48 She goes on to explore the possibilities of recovering "polytheistic tendencies" in Christianity." and to inculcate "the courage to experiment with our heritage.

Das' facile dismissal of the "overarching conception of a neutral. in its essence. multireligious traditions? And even if one were to decide that the Hindu chauvinists are distorting the "essence" of Hinduism and agree with Das that "we must look again at structures of significance in relation to the sacred. . Das' arguments follow a pattern established by . when "power" and "knowledge" are supposedly inextricably intertwined.331 But even if all Indians could decide on a perfect conceptual and textual model. secular state. the Shiv Sena." how exactly might one begin to "adapt the conceptual models in such a way that they do not become instruments for inferiorizing certain traditions and those who live by them"? 5~ How shall we override "decultured statism. will the reconstitution of all the various symbols and ideas by itself restructure Indian society? How does she square her concern for those for whom "religious belief is not simply a matter of aesthetics" with her proposal for a "critique of the dominant monotheistic traditions of Islam and Christianity? How will the recovery of monotheism." from all the various local. " ? At least for the time being. they seem to be on the road to acquiring more power to conduct their own "experiment with out heritage. regional and. pantheism or atheism by itself lead to the "means to live together in diversity and make India the spiritual home of all those ideas that are under attack from fundamentalists and purists"? 49 Her views and proposals reflect a valorization of Indological textual constructs at the expense of institutions. In dismissing the concept of a neutral." the "modernized" and "secular" Indians to restore the alleged communal harmony of precolonial times? Is she not ignoring the larger institutional and structural context that is simultaneously constituting and is constituted by a different set of conceptual model and "reading" of history by the BJP. one must add. . Her explicit critique of fundamentalists of all stripes notwithstanding. polytheism. are the BJP/VHP not in the process of creating "forms of nationhood and state more responsive to our own historical e x p e r i e n c e . secular sate" is intriguing." In such allegedly postmodern times. who is to decide that they've got it all wrong? How do we capture "our past. social structures and the activities of real human beings. the RSS and their ilk? In the context of a multi-cultural and multi-religious society like India.

surely the state plays both enabling as well as repressive roles. In comparative terms. multiethnic. even economic factors that have contributed to some of the problems at hand. however broadly defined. multi-religious society? Das invokes disembodied "primordial loyalties" to "one's religion. But is it not analytically more useful to be historically specific and identify particular systems of governance. cultural." religious. is taken a step further by the Chicago anthropologist McKim Marriott's attempt to construct an "Indian ethnosociology. N." "our past. regionally diverse. ''51 But her examples do not really demonstrate that such "primordial loyalties" have suddenly emerged in a social vacuum as salient factors in the social life of Indians. yes. caste and region" and refers to the Shah Bano case. which was the worst affected area just a few years ago? What other alternatives to a "neutral.332 Ashis Nandy and T. 53 Das' conflation of "our heritage." and his surprising assertion that "class" and "status" may be "helpful concepts in the West. secular state" can one suggest in a multi-cultural. secular and. but cannot separately or together define the transactional ways in which Hindu . secular state"? In increasingly complex societies. Madan. or state policies rather than to criticize an abstraction like a "neutral. in its essence. Quite apart from yet again reifying social constructs like the "East" and the "West. does the West Bengal state not have a remarkably better record in handling such conflicts? Was it not because of the prompt actions of the state that a bloodbath was avoided in the province of Bihar. and one must not forget. It is not even clear whether the concept of "primordial loyalties" has much analytical value: 2 Surely Das is ignoring the work of a number of scholars who have carefully examined the particular conjuncture of political. the conflict in Punjab and Ayodhya to argue that such considerations have "gained in importance in the country's political life. "54 He seeks nothing less than to provide alternatives to concepts that "have developed from thought about Western rather than Indian cultural realities" and aims to exorcize "an alien ontology and an alien epistemology" from the discourse of social science in India. "primordial." with the Hindu heritage. My intention here is not to defend the actions of the Indian state which is surely as responsible as any other agency for stoking the present and earlier rounds of sectarian violence over the mosque at Ayodhya.

Madam contributes a preface to the volume. rather." obtained. Nor am I suggesting the uncritical and indiscriminate use of rigid concepts. Muslim. edited by h i m ." What about the specific "others" within an imagined Hindu community? And the many non-Hindu Indians? I should not be misunderstood as promoting the construction of specific Santhal." how exactly will it enable us to better understand Indian society? How will it allow us to break out of what A. N. to preserve multiple traditions and identities. K. to be sensitive to the process of the creation of the "other. Christian. N. While ostensibly attempting to construct an "Indian ethnosociology. as he tells us. T. the first step of his project of constructing an Indian Ethnosociology seems to have been completed with the publication of India Through Hindu Categories." to recover heterogeneity. in response to such critiques. Marriott's conceptual schemes and "constituent cubes" have already been criticized on a number of grounds. Whitehead called "misplaced concreteness"? . the late A." Marriott does refer to something about the "windless Greco-Muslim humoral scheme reflected in the notions of Muslim farmers of Panjab and Sindh.'55 However. In a minuscule sub-section titled "Other possible Indian social sciences. Sikh. 58 But even if. Marriott readjusted his "Hindu constituent cubes. his colleague. Homogenous Hindu categories for the diverse strands of Hindu and other religious traditions of India? Although not all the contributors to the volume necessarily agree with Marriott's endeavors (for example. 56 Not surprisingly. is to draw attention to the dangers of the "violence of abstraction''57 which invariably accompany endeavors to construct tidy conceptual schemes that are completely divorced from the lived reality of human beings. Ramanujan). Parsee or Jewish cultural concepts to strike an appropriate balance or for the restoration of a spurious "pluralist" sociology/anthropology of India.333 institutions order castes or persons. what is one to make of the title of the volume? A sign of the times? And all this despite the bluster about the need to "deconstruct essentialism. The term "infinite regress" haunts any such project." without any warning or explanation Marriott effortlessly switches from "Indian" to "Hindu" categories. through "mathematical modeling." his endeavor resonates well with the prevalent BJP/VHP/RSS discourse on India. The point.

one could talk about categories like "regional Hinduism.334 But I'm probably mistaken in assuming that the aim of ethnosociologists like Marriott or other anthropologically oriented Indologists has been to interpret and understand the workings of Indian "society.'6~ They emphasized that they were interested in a "sociology of values" which entailed that sociologists should "describe the common values and take care not to mix up facts of representation with the facts of behavior ." conceptualized as a homogenous community. they did not claim that they were promoting anything else than "one particular approach" through the then newly founded journal. even though why they used the term "sociology" to describe their endeavor is baffling. All-India Hinduism.63 Dumont and Pocock's perspective was immediately criticized by F... but only one in all its regional variety. ."62 Their original delineation of the field of sociology in India encompassed only "Hindu India. Thus. . Bailey.. while I did not find myself "encompassed" and know countless "others" who were excluded by Dumont and Pocock's plans for Indian sociology.61 To achieve their overriding goal of establishing a "holistic" sociology that would apply to the whole country. .." He argued that he was not "comfortable with the strait-jacket they have designed for 'Indian sociology'" and criticized them for coming "near to defining 'sociology' out of existence.. as defined by Louis Dumont and David Pocock. G." The Indological perspective. ''65 Now. Contributions in Indian Sociology. . who correctly argued that their conception of " I n d i a . does not mean the ideas and values (let alone the behavior) of everyone who lives within the Indian subcontinent. . . . they argued that one must "never forget that India is o n e . .64 Bailey brought the issue into focus by pointing out that Dumont and Pocock "equate 'Indian sociology' with an analysis of the values of Hinduism.'59 Dumont and Pocock had definite views regarding a sociology for India and their primary object of analysis was "a system of ideas. . and the existence of castes from one end of the country to the other. clearly argued that "the first condition for a sound development of a Sociology of India is found in the establishment of the proper relation between it and classical Indology.." "South Indian Hinduism. ." as long as such categories were not "taken to mean that there are really different kinds of Hinduism. . . and nowhere else should impose this idea.

that the "errors of judgment" the former editor. . acknowledges while announcing a reconstitution of the editorial committee of the journal. under the present social and political conjuncture in India. If the proverbial visitor from outer space glanced through the pages of the New Series of Contributions to Indian Sociology to get a sense of Indian society." etc. T. it has definitely received short shrift." and "the West. One presumes. titled The Word and the World. not very original attacks on reified conceptual abstractions like "rationality. at least in the past.335 The fact that this perspective continues to be dominant in one form or another constitutes a topic for further sociological analysis.. ... . in the Mahabharata.. . the recent uncritical. secularism. what would be the outcome? More likely than not. the visitor would go back well informed about "Male surrogacy. refer to the issues raised above." "Kama in the scheme ofpurusartha: the story of Ram.. they all derive from such unidimensional critiques and are potentially capable of leading to similar conclusions. Whether it is Michel Foucault's enthusiastic support of and characterization of the Iranian revolution as nothing short of a final break with the oppressive regime of "Western" rationality. Although the Indian "world" has not been absent from the journal. 66 To come back to the issue of secularism. or niyogya. The same visitor might expectantly open the pages of a special issue.. And that even intellectuals from totally opposed theoretical perspectives continue to debate within very similar parameters and assumptions about Indian society also remains an intriguing issue. seem to be leading a crusade to destroy all the bathtubs in sight. or Ashis Nandy's justification of sati. only to find that the "world" which does creep in is marginalized by words analyzing mythologies and religious texts. modernity." "Cosmos and paradise in the Hindu imagination. like Ashis Nandy. or hopes." "The Sami tree and the sacrificial buffalo. Such dangers can only be compounded when selfappointed carriers of the allegedly authentic Indian tradition. N Madan.. Order and event in puranic myth.." seem rather limited and even dangerously ambiguous.67 the dangers of throwing out the proverbial baby with the bath-water should not be underestimated." "statism.. While there is a lot to be critical about all of the above mentioned concepts and the uncritical adoption of Western concepts and theories.

take your choice) appears to have been "taken literally by large sections of the police and . the Hindu revivalist simply stretches this date back another two hundred years. Madan's telling phrase." "secularism. as a secularist. at least the cultured "cultural determinists" should know that to be human is to possess some form of culture. But then. in projecting my "personal troubles" and anxieties into the public sphere. as Gyanendra Pandey7~ has recently pointed out. Westernized and urbanized intellectuals" who fail to understand "Hindu sentiments. Surely. to worry about the unintended consequences of such arguments. ''69 perhaps. resonates rather comfortably with the "discourse" of the Hindu communalists." Incidentally. decultured people" who were "semiliterate migrants to the city." "modernized. or anyone else. ." and "urbanized" Indians. It is hardly surprising that a recent "white paper" by the BJP on the destruction of the mosque at Ayodhya comes down hard on "colonized. the term is simply used to describe any "culture" they despise or do not agree with. I am exhibiting "moral arrogance." to use T. the slogan "Babar ki santan--jao Pakistan ya kabristan" (descendants of Babar--Pakistan or the grave. give or take a few hundred years. While Ashis Nandy estimates that "alien" concepts and categories invaded and began violating or diluting the "purity" of "traditional" India some six hundred years ago. the identification of "alien concepts" and "alien ideologies" in India. the "semi-literate" folks have been added to the list. whether Indological or "ethnosociological. N. One waits patiently for Nandy's identification of the real carriers of pure and "real" Indian "culture.68 To factors like "statism." During the bloodbath that ensued after the destruction of the mosque. Presumably. the latest word from Nandy was that much of the violence could be attributed to "uprooted. it is hard to make sense of the meaningless term "decultured" that constitutes the standard repertoire of anti-secularists. One does not have to doubt the intentions of Nandy. Perhaps the fact of my name has suddenly brought into acute focus the connections between what C.336 Under present conditions. Or perhaps any culture which does not measure up to their idealized theoretical abstractions derived from religious texts." Or the group of cultured anti-secularists who will resolve the problems by invoking conceptual abstractions. Wright Mills called "personal troubles" and "public issues of social s t r u c t u r e .

Madan's concern over "genuine scholarly concerns."72 While I have no desire to conclude on a defensive note. T. N. even homespun abstractions." if the term implies "career considerations" or differences emanating from personal disputes. that only such a broad perspective will truly "encompass" all Indians. Thompson accurately described as "the destructive theoreticism of some intellectuals." but what they "do. As for T. . "represent" the "people" of India. such a perspective could also serve to keep a check on what E.337 the local Hindu population in Bhagalpur and some other places. the . my views do arise from an attempt not only to connect "personal troubles" to "public issues of social structure." In announcing a "change of guard" for Contributions to Indian Sociology."74 There remains a larger issue concerning the selective constructions of the past and the various uses of such meta-histories. However.. but these are my personal views. approach must take its orientation from the lived experience of the present rather than the presumed ideals of the past ''73 cannot but provide a framework fora genuinely Indian sociology. as opposed to the Indological." Regardless of his intentions." Andr6 Beteille's view that "the sociological." as well. P. the disagreements expressed above have not been driven by any "personal considerations. either directly or by innuendo." is not very different from the attempts of the British colonial administrators to invent Indian "tradition. I believe. In a number of ways. claimed that any of these intellectuals are in any way responsible for the social and political problems at hand. I have not. surely these issues cannot simply be my "personal troubles. to examine not only what people (and texts) "say. The confidence of Nandy and Harsh Sethi notwithstanding. N.71 While not claiming Babar as an ancestor. I have attempted to express the hope that some intellectuals will eventually step out of their conceptual abstractions. Besides." but also to express concern over the dominance of the "Indological" perspective in Indian sociology. intellectuals are not really that powerful. Nor can they. despite their claims and delusions. just as we have trusted that disagreements are borne of genuine scholarly concerns rather than personal considerations. Nandy's call for the construction of "mythographies. Madan has argued that the journal "has been guided by the belief that differences of approach must be respected.

The current obsession with the colonial or pre-colonial past and proposals to rectify real or imagined grievances implicitly relies on the assumption that somehow colonial rule or "Muslim" rule were aberrations that disrupted an otherwise "normal" evolutionary process of Indian society. In yet another piece.338 BJP/VHP/RSS/Shiv Sena and other fundamentalist parties and organizations are in a much better position to engage in such games. it remains that they share certain core assumptions about Indian society. tacitly relies on a certain "law of evolution" that was presumably disrupted by "alien" influences. and a naive "voluntarism. While engagement in what E." Real structural. real historical events are conceptualized as somehow being outside history. which continue to have real tragic consequences. despite all their theoretical and political differences." it is not clear if such exercises contribute anything towards understanding the current political and social climate of India. This is not to suggest that British colonial rule in India represented the culmination of unavoidable structural transformations or the "laws of social evolutionism. or Mrs. institutional. If only such historical process had not come to pass. usually at a purely cultural level. the ordy hope for stalling the continuing tragedy lies in the honest implementation of this "comical" . Nandy has dismissed the "secularism of the JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) variety as "comical." In fact. and more effort is expended on attempting to understand "what might have been. Perhaps such a state of affairs represents a true postmodernist "blurring of genres" within academia. although the intellectuals whose ideas have been discussed represent diverse theoretical perspectives. suggests itself as the answer to contemporary problems. Carr called "parlour-games with mighthave-beens "75 can be an interesting "mental experiment. and historical transformations and contingencies are ignored. 76 Nandy's views notwithstanding. In the final analysis." in the sense of wishing history and institutions away. In such reconstructions." before moving on to discuss the relevance of the religious symbolism of wearing a "tie" in Western culture. the "normal" evolution of an Indologically defined Indian civilization would have been ensured. Thatcher's "breaking a champagne bottle. the constant harking back to a romanticized and idealized past." for understanding communal violence in India. H.

. Owens and Ashis Nandy. p. 160. and his gratuitous attempt to inject red blood cells into the veins of those whom he dismisses as "anaemic academic secularists. 1987). For recent studies of the politics of area studies research in the United States. p. Gerald Graff. Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking . . . Ibid. 169. vol. p.. Caste and Family. "The Myth of the PostmodemistBreakthrough. Andr6 Beteille." Triquarterly. . Ibid. 394. p. 1992. 17. 34-35. 8. 14." and his observation that it will prove to be a final victory for imperialism if. . Ibid. 176. after all the other humiliations it has visited. 16. pp." Contributions to Indian Sociology. Ashis Nandy. 1983). 4. 6. vol 26 (1973). "77 one can only hope that the project of a sociology of some Indian intellectuals who are truly colonized and have indeed succumbed to the "imperialism of categories" is already underway somewhere. Owens and Nandy. non-selfreferential concepts like "uprooted. unreactive agency impossible.. 10. p. 25. pp. Ibid. The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism (Delhi: Oxford University Press.. 9. In general. no. 383-417. pp. 196-197. The New Vaisyas (Bombay: Allied. Raymond L. see Arturo Escobar. 166. self-criticism and free. Ibid. 165. Notes . decultured people" to explain the communal violence. 160-161.. Ibid. pp. 1 (1991). The New Vaisyas. 11..339 variety of secularism. 152. Seminar. June. the philosopher Akeel Bilgrami's critique of some intellectuals' "neurotic obsession with the Western and colonial determination of their present condition. 15.. it lingers in our psyches and makes genuine self-understanding. 13. Ibid. presumably. 12. As for Nandy's use of. Tyranny and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness (Delhi: Oxford University Press. "The Reproduction of Inequality: Occupation. 7s seems to provide an apt starting point for making sense of the tendency amongst some intellectuals for substituting an all too easy anti-colonial rhetoric for more sustained and rigorous analysis. 1977). Traditions. pp. p. Ashis Nandy. no.

747-759. "Between Orientalism and Historicism: Anthropological Knowledge of India. Ashis Nandy. . 815-854. 50-51. Gods on Earth: The Management of Religious Experience and Identity in a North Indian Pilgrimage Centre (London: Athlone Press. 750. Contemporary Indian Tradition: Voices on Culture. see Aijaz Ahmad. no. October (1985). Madan. 26. Ashis Nandy. George Rosen. 4 (1992). 13. 5. Nandy. 30. 19. 31. Science. D. 24." Nandy. pp. "The Sociology of Sati. Peter van der Veer. Fundamental Development of the Social Sciences (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 13. Ashis Nandy. Sethi. In Theory: Classes." Modern Asian Studies.'" Seminar. IbM. 7." Seminar. 1988). Sheldon Pollock. Ashis Nandy. Western Economists and Eastern Societies: Agents of Change in South Asia. p. 101-116. and the Challenge of Change (Washington. Ronald Inden." Modern Asian Studies." p. 261-297. June (1992). "Review of S.C. Vincente L. T. "Secularism. Harsh Sethi. 23. 196-197. Rafael. pp. "An Anti-Secularist Manifesto." Journal of Asian Studies. Aijaz Abroad. pp. vol. 1994)." Seminar. 21. 27. "Secularism. 4 (1987). Veena Das." See Chris Fuller. Madan. 1 (1992). 33. "Difference and Division as Designs for Life. p. N. "Review of S. The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Imagining India (Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 0. 20. "Ramayana and Political Imagination in India. Gopal. pp. October (1987). no. "The Politics of Indian Secularism. 1992). "Secularism in its Place. 1992). 34." Indian Express. 46. 22. Gopal. IbM. 1992). Donald Fisher. For an incisive discussion of the politics of secularism in India." Studies in History. no.. see Prakash Chandra Upadhyaya." in Carla Borden ed. vol. 49.340 16. of the Third Worm (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Ibid. Nature." p. no. "Science. 29. 2 (1993). June (1992). Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity (Delhi: Oxford University Press. 1990). 91-112. 1988). 32. 1992). 26. vol. 28. 52. For a critique if Inden. Nations and Literatures (New York: Verso. pp. 30. N. 18. "Orientalist Constructions of India.: Smithsonian Institution Press. Ronald Inden. pp. T. "Anatomy of a Confrontation. "Secularism in its Place. pp. vol. no. 17." Social Text. vol. The Intimate Enemy. 1989). "The Cultures of Area Studies in the United States. vol. p. 1950-1970 (Delhi: Oxford University Press. 25. 3 (1986). 41 (1994). vol." Journal of Asian Studies. Nandy. Hegemony and Violence.

"Why Theorize?. ix-xii. 56. For a discussion of the impact of changing structural and political context on the salience of ethnic identity. 47. Boundaries and Identities: Work and Status in Aligarh (New Delhi: Sage. "The varnasrama syndrome of Indian sociology.51 Ibid. pp. Ibid. Hindus and Others: The Question of Identity in India Today (New Delhi: Viking. 1992). 1992). "Difference and Division." pp. . 44. vol. 140-159. Ibid. 52. Peter van der Veer. Ibid. 11 (1991). pp. 183-202. 2 (1993). Discourses of Ethnicity: Culture and Protest in Jharkhand (New Delhi: Sage. no. 46. "Review of S. Gopal. "The Poverty of Primordialism: the Demystification of Ethnic Attachments. 26. "History and the Nationalization of Hinduism. no. India. Gods on Earth. pp. 758. 281-298. vol." Ibid. S. vol. Contested Histories." Modern Asian Studies.. "The Indispensable Centre: Ethnicity and Politics in the Nation State." p. 2 (1987). 38. "Difference and Division. 53. 1992). Ibid. 36.59." obviously inspired by Bourdieu's concept of "cultural capital. 46. p. Other prominent discussions on the topic include: Gyanendra Pandey. 1993). "Difference and Division. no." comes from Ben Agger. Gopal. vol. no. Ainslie T. pp. 52. 46. 3 (1994)." Dipankar Gupta. "Which of us are Hindus?" and Akeel Bilgrami.." The term "career capital. 4 (1990). For an empirically based critique of the idea of a homogenous Muslim community in India. Anatomy of a Confrontation: The Babri MasjidRamjanambhoomi Issue (Delhi: Penguin. 46. Das.. 59. "Review of S. 45. vol. Utopias in 39. 49. Mann. 283-303. 46. Das. pp. pp. 2 (1987). "Ayodhya and Somnath: Eternal Shrines.. Sethi. 1 (1992). Partha Chatterjee. 43. 48. 16. "Secularism in its Place. 21. pp. pp. no. see E." Social Research. 37. 385-418. pp. 49." Theory and Society.. 51. Coughlan. 17. 85-110. Embree. Sethi. 1 (1992). 52. 42." Journal of Contemporary Asia. "God Must be Liberated! A Hindu Liberation Movement in Ayodhya.. Arthur Helweg. "Colonialism and ethnogenesis: A study of Kerala. 23." Journal of Contemporary Asia." p. no. 521539. "What is a Muslim? Fundamental Commitment and Cultural Identity." Ethnic and Racial Studies. vol. 20. p. vol. Das.. Madan. vol. "India's Sikhs: Problems and Prospects." Current Perspectives in Social Theory. /bid. no. A. 41. vol. Susana Devalle. Jack David Eller and Reed M.. 40.341 35. pp." Contributions to Indian Sociology. pp. 2 (1992)." Social Research. 50. 111-150. no." both in Gyanendra Pandey ed. p. For a critique see Daya Krishna. 45-46. Gopal ed. p. see Prema Kurien.

"Gender and Communal Riots.. vol. T. B. 63. "Culture of Violence Source of Bloodletting. The Violence of Abstraction: The Analytic Foundations of Historical Materialism (Oxford: Basil Blackwell. N. pp. "For a Sociology of India?. The Sociological Imagination (Hamondsworth: Penguin. see Syed Farid Alatas. 1-40. "The Reproduction of Inequality. 65. vol. 29-51. 215-236. 7. Pandey. McKim Marriott ed. Bailey. "In Defense of the Fragment.. 1992.3 (1959). pp." p. 1-28. no. 23. Mehta and T. 1 (1989). and "A Khaldunian Perspective on the Dynamics of Asiatic Societies. "On the Indigenization of Academic Discourse. Conflict: Religion and Nationalism in Modern India (Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. Beteille. 55. "Deconstructing McKim MarrioR's Etlmosociology: an Outcaste's Critique. 0. pp. 59. W. 69. vol. Ibid. pp. India 1988-1993. India Through Hindu Categories (New Delhi: Sage. p. Gyanendra Pandey. 1. no. no." p. 14. 9. no. vol. "Western Sociology with Indian Icing. 1 (1990). "Editorial: Change of Guard." Contributions to Indian Sociology. 58. 1987). 2522-2524.1.342 54.. 18." Contributions to Indian Sociology. pp. vol." Contributions to Indian Sociology. p. quoted in Arthur Max. 1993).. McKim Marriott. 70. Ibid. vol." Feminist Review. G. no. Gyanendra Pandey ed. 27. Ibid. 71. pp. vol. December 8." Economic and Political Weekly. F. 1980). Ibid." Comparative Civilizations Review." p. pp. C. 40. 251-258." Contributions to Indian Sociology. 11. no. 29 (1993)." Alternatives. Madan." Contributions to Indian Sociology. 2 (1990). 1. 49 (1995).. Shah. 1 (1957). vol 24. Madan. Mills. "For a Sociology of India. "Constructing an Indian ethnosociology. Aparnu Basu. 91. p. pp." Contributions to Indian Sociology.. Louis Dumont and David Pocock. 66. 1990). 72. 7. 3 (1993). 26. For a sensitive discussion that does not lapse into nativism. Hindus and Others: The Question of Identity in India Today (Delhi: Viking. "In Defense of the Fragment: Writing about Hindu-Muslim Riots in India Today. 35-78. p. vol. 24. 57. 1990). N. vol. 47 (1992). 307-338. vol.. 44. 27-55." The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 62. p. pp. p. Michael Moffat. Sharma. "Women on the March: Right Wing Mobilization in Contemporary India. Derek Sayer. Ashis Nandy. 68. 37 (1992). Ibid." Representations vol." Theory and Society. . 32. 61. 56. 88. "Why Local Riots are not Simply Local: Collective Violence and the State of Bijnor. no. Sucheta Mazumdar. 91. Ibid. p. 24 (1995). 64. 25. p. 2 (1990). K. "Editorial.

June (1992). ." in Veena Das ed. E. 77. Bilgrami. May 15. Ashis Nandy. 1991). pp. p. 72. "Secularism. "The Politics of Secularism and the Recovery of Religious Tolerance. Nandy. P. p. E.343 73. 30. 1991. 3. 61-62. 69. quoted in Geoffrey Hawthorn. 1990). December 4. Ashis Nandy. "In the Gentleman's Cause: The Irish Layer in the Silences of Edmund Burke. "Cross-Fire: Discussion on Secularism. Riots and Survivors in South Asia (Delhi: Oxford University Press. 78. 76.. H." Seminar." The Times Literary Supplement. Plausible Worlds: Possibility and Understanding in History and the Social Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Thompson. "What is a Muslim?" 74." India Today. p. Mirrors of Violence: Communities. Cart. 1992. 75.

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