Thursday, September 15, 2011 The Idea of India: ‘Derivative, Desi and Beyond’ !opa" !uru# http://beta.

epw.in/newsItem/comment/190393/ The Idea of India: 'Derivative, Desi and Be ond' B : !opa" !#r# $o" %&$I 'o.3( )eptember 10, *011 The da"it disco#rse in India presents a sharp contrast to the +derivative+ and the +desi+ disco#rses ,overnin, nationa"ist tho#,ht and the +idea of India+. The da"it disco#rse ,oes +be ond+ the two in offerin, an ima,ination that is based on a +ne,ative+ "an,#a,e which however transcends into a normative form of thin-in,. The da"it ,oes be ond both the derivative and desi inasm#ch as it fore,ro#nds itse"f in the "oca" confi,#ration of power, which is constit#tive of the he,emonic orders of capita"ism and brahminism. In this essa I wo#"d "i-e to ma-e two interre"ated ar,#ments. .irst, socio/po"itica" tho#,ht in co"onia" India represents a m#"tip"icit of ideas from India. Th#s in the +affirmative+ ima,ination, the idea of incredib"e India can be ar,#ab" attrib#ted to 0awahar"a" 'ehr#, whi"e we need not have an hesitation in associatin, the idea of +vi""a,e India+ or +1am 1a2 a+ with 3 4 !andhi. )imi"ar" , we need not hesitate to re"ate the idea of mother India with nationa"ist thin-in, in the 19th and *0th cent#r nationa"ist ima,ination in 5est Ben,a". In another shade of 6ind# nationa"ist tho#,ht the idea of +father India+ and +ho" India+ can be #ndo#bted" attrib#ted to $ina a- Damodar )avar-ar. There is an a"ternative ima,ination as we"". In this -ind of ima,ination, we have 0 otirao 7h#"e's India of Ba"ira2a 8the benevo"ent peasant -in, who e9isted in m ths: and Babasaheb ;mbed-ar's prab#ddha Bharat 8+en"i,htened India+:. The a"ternative ima,ination of India as proposed b 7h#"e and ;mbed-ar fo""ows a partic#"ar methodo"o,ica" ro#te. The conception of an a"ternative or affirmative ima,ination of India seems to be preceded b what co#"d be termed as oppositiona" ima,ination. .or e9amp"e, ;mbed-ar a"so ima,ines India as +bahish-r#t Bharat+ < +ostraci=ed India+. )econd, the thin-ers who have ima,ined India #se a partic#"ar "an,#a,e, which this essa ar,#es is artic#"ated via three ro#tes < the methodo"o,ica", the concept#a" and the hermene#tic. Ta-in, a c#e from some "eadin, scho"ars,1 I wo#"d "i-e to ar,#e that the methodo"o,ica" "an,#a,e p"a s an important ro"e in terms of decidin, the epistemic ca"ibre and eva"#atin, the #niversa" standards of nationa"ist tho#,ht. ;t another "eve", methodo"o,ica" "an,#a,e see-s to characterise the a#tonom of nationa"ist tho#,ht. To p#t it different" , the methodo"o,ica" device is dep"o ed to decide the +a#thenticit + of nationa"ist tho#,ht. ;#thenticit in this conte9t invo"ves the >#estion whether a partic#"ar tho#,ht is ori,ina" or imitative? In the present conte9t, ori,ina"it is contin,ent #pon the conditions 8c#"t#ra" and inte""ect#a": that fi9 the territoria" bo#ndaries aro#nd the nationa"ist tho#,ht. 5hat is bein, s#,,ested here is that spatia"it as we""

It co#"d be ar. @hatter2ee >#a"ifies this ar.e is necessar b#t not s#fficient" capacio#s so as to #nfo"d to #s the differentia" nat#re of nationa"ist tho#.ht wo#"d not constit#te as nationa"ist if it is abso"#te" imitative 8m e9pression: of the west 8@hatter2ee 19AB: A:. 6e ma-es an indirect reference to the mora" dimension of nationa"ist tho#. 6owever.ht in India ind#". .ht. at the same time it is #nab"e to escape the epistemo"o. in m opinion. &et #s therefore e9amine. to his own readin.ccordin.to desi.ht. the methodo"o. Th#s. the methodo"o. he does not s#.ht in India don those cate. . Th#s.ro#ndin.a=e of the western disco#rse.#ment of this essa .ories that are cast off b western modernit ? Do we +shop+ in second hand? 5hat is wron. which accordin.irst.ht in India. Th#s. cate.as epistemo"o.ica" "an. 7artha @hatter2ee seems to be performin. from the west..ht. at the methodo"o. needs to assert its a#tonomo#s character. the di"emma that the nationa"ist tho#.#ed that the cate.#ment partic#"ar" in two respects. observation that @hater2ee ma-es in his wide" referred wor-. 6e sa s.e some other cate.#ration of power..ories from the west? Th#s. to -eep distance from the west b#t #nab"e to retain the / a#tonom .ories < +desi+ and +be ond+. which is a"read avai"ab"e in the west and waitin. the nationa"ist prob"ematic in India is rep"ete with a di"emma < wi""in.ic of s#ch rather innovative methodo"o. It s#ffers from a di"emma in the sense that whi"e it has a wi"" to carve o#t for itse"f an a#tonomo#s epistemo"o. the +desi+ ac>#ires a character which is different from the derivative. The 'Derivative' and the 'Desi' It is tr#e that the +derivative+ as characterisin. to be rep"icated in India. it becomes necessar to add to +derivative+ two other cate. This semantic e9tension.ica" "an. This is c"ear from the fo""owin.#a.ht in India. to @hatter2ee 819AB: C1:.ories adopted b some of the noted scho"ars see.ica" "eve".es in who"esa"e+ borrowin.#a. Does the nationa"ist tho#. nationa"ist tho#. a nationa"ist tho#.nate certain distinct character to Indian tho#.#a. to what e9tent and in what conte9t. the #sed and ab#sed cate. thef#nction of characterisin.ica" moves does not necessari" e9ha#st a"" the reference points that ma brin.estive of a characteri=in.ht in India. &et me p#t this point in a more dramatic fashion.etic' in s#bstance+ 8@hatter2ee 19AB: 9:. the "o. scho"ars on nationa"ism.ht confronts partic#"ar" within the co"onia" confi.. It is >#ite se"ective in s#ch borrowin. The centra" ar. f#nction that certain cate.est that nationa"ist tho#.or +derivative+ as adopted b one of the "eadin. 6owever. @hatter2ee ri. +'ationa"ist disco#rse is historica" in form b#t 'apo"o. Th#s.s. th#s.e a "itt"e wider so as to capt#re within its ran. into foc#s the hidden dimension of nationa"ist tho#. is this: +derivative+ as a methodo"o.ht. o#t what co#"d be ca""ed a +distinct+ character of nationa"ist tho#. is necessar to brin.ica" space we"" o#tside the inf"#ence of western disco#rse. the nationa"ist tho#.or p"a s an important ro"e in fore.rip and . is interna" to the derivative character of this tho#.in or is it a +"a= + e9tension of the +mod#"ar+ form of nationa"ist thin-in. .ica" "an.ories tend to ac>#ire.ica" cate.ht.ories that can throw some "i. Th#s one needs to cast the net of methodo"o.ht has an a"ternative point of ori.ht in India is essentia"" a derivative in the sense that it fashions itse"f on the mod#"ar form of nationa"ism as deve"oped in the west.ica" . for him. at "east for po"itica" reasons 8m e9pression:.ht on the hidden character of nationa"ist ima. fore.ination.e is s#. in borrowin.ro#nd the >#estion whether a partic#"ar tho#.ht" points o#t that the nationa"ist tho#.

ht is epistemo"o. this idea of desi is certain" different from the idea of desi as . 6owever.. and competin.ina"" . 0 otiba 7h#"e and +7eri ar+ G $ 1amasam 'aic-er respective" is a case in point.#e that both desi and derivative are different from each other in the fo""owin. it see-s to assimi"ate those inte""ect#a" traditions that are heterodo9 in character. ta-in.irst. 6owever. It is in this sense that the da"it sh#dra tho#. as mentioned above. The desi.#ment b ma-in. the desi thin-in.es in the conte9t of a desi response to co"onia" epistemo"o.a"itarian inasm#ch as it see-s positive dissociation from other contendin. comp"ete and #niversa". . in India ac>#ires its a#tonom from the west primari" beca#se it has privi"e.ht co#"d be characterised as desi precise" beca#se it is se"f/referentia".ht co#"d be considered as be ond the framewor. time"ess essence and re"evance.emonic both across time and space.#ed that the desi see-s to reverse the "o.ica"" ine. .ic of orienta"ism th#s ma-in.or it can c"aim to be comp"ete on" in the absence of that tho#. It ac>#ires the stat#s of a c"assic havin.is another attempt in modern time. inte""ect#a" tradition. inte""ect#a" traditions. The da"it and sh#dra tho#.emonic framewor.ed access to the )ans-rit "an. which therefore chooses to operate on its own witho#t necessari" ma-in. two other additiona" points. the desi for its own +a#thentic+ artic#"ation re>#ires the west as a ne.ard it is necessar to >#a"if this ar. .ht artic#"ates s#preme confidence to the point that it.#a. To p#t it different" .ht as bein. an association with other contendin.ica" shadow as characterised b Eda 3ehta 8199A:.ht deve"oped b . . the c"aim for se"f/referentia"it emer. The e9c"#sive access to )ans-rit b definition >#estions the c"aim of desi tho#. apo"o.of desi which is e9c"#sive" based on )ans-rit. desi. tho#. the west an ob2ect of not on" its own in>#ir b#t a"so for estab"ishin. as a mora" so#rce. #n"i-e the derivative. in this re. It does not find it necessar to e9ist as a contendin. a c#e from the ver instr#ctive insi. In fact.e of bein. +desi+ for its se"f/definition re>#ires the west as an epistemo"o. does not have a desire to fo""ow the west and at the same time remain a#tonomo#s. .irst. . a partic#"ar strand of Indian tho#. It is se"f/referentia" to the e9tent that it deve"ops itse"f within the inte""ect#a" conditions that are historica"" avai"ab"e in the specific territoria" conte9t of India.hts. respects. as a coro""ar to the first.I wo#"d "i-e to ar. there is a stri-in. )econd.hts provided b )#dipta 4avira2 8199D: it co#"d be ar. The desi mode of thin-in.t another "eve" of its inte""ect#a" e9istence and in the need to remain he. )econd.e that in fact sha-es the desi o#t of its inte""ect#a" comp"acenc if not s"#mber. difference between brahminica" 6ind#ism and the !andhian pro2ect. The desi tho#. "i-e the derivative does not s#ffer from a di"emma as mentioned above.mbed-ar. both a#tonom from and s#periorit over the west.e which provides the necessar vocab#"ar for deve"opin.ica" cha""en. it ac>#ires its inte""ect#a" confidence whereb it does not a""ow the western vocab#"ar to f"oat into the minds of the desi thin-ers who drawin. Fne co#"d interpret the e"ement of confidence in the desi thin-in.ina" s#pport of )ans-rit or even witho#t it. . desi tho#. an a"ternative theoretica" thin-in. th#s see-s to avoid the char. Fn the contrar .ht which deve"oped with the mar. 6owever. or a so#rce of reference for the other.ative reference point. 5hi"e the former was s#ccessf#" in its mission the "atter was not.ina"" .ssimi"ation of one strand of B#ddhism in brahminica" 6ind#ism is one s#ch e9amp"e in the premodern period and the !andhian attempt to assimi"ate the da"it disco#rse within its he. becomes se"f/referentia".etic. on Bhi-h# 7are-h's 819A9: c"assification co#"d be characterised as either traditiona"ists or critica" traditiona"ists.

here for the sa-e of convenience I do not propose to assi.or of +be ond+ is distinctive from both the +desi+ and the +derivative+ inasm#ch as it see-s to characteri=e the nationa"ist ima. )econd. It is the e9perience and not the a"read avai"ab"e te9t that "ed to the ref"ective inte""ect#a" conscio#sness amon.ed to have been invo"ved in s#ch practice. 6e wo#"d ca"" a"" the si"enced b#t s#ba"tern or "itt"e traditions "i-e saint traditions as desi. however. It faced heav odds in the sense that it was p#shed both beneath and be ond the desi as we"" as the derivative. the tho#. sociopo"itica" tho#. Th#s.h the concept#a" "an. thin-ers "i-e 7h#"e and ..#a. It is a"so different from the other two in the sense that it s#.in+ has been active" p#shed be ond both the derivative and the desi which have been treated as the he.nificance. I wo#"d "i-e to ar. .ed in India despite heav odds. .or of the 'Be ond' I ar.irst. the thin-ers from the sh#dra/atish#dra comm#nit .on and hence were forced to draw on those prod#ced b the co""ective c#"t#ra" and inte""ect#a" practices of the +sh#dra/atish#dra comm#nities+.#e here that the cate.of both +desi+ and to some e9tent +derivative+ has a stron. Th#s. Third. The cate. which . is the res#"t of the inte""ect#a" practice of those who were privi"e.deve"oped b one of the "eadin. is ana"o. mora" si. .e is more sensitive in terms of capt#rin.ht seems to e9ist . from the +mar. Bha"chandra 'emade. to what is ca""ed in 3arathi. It is different in st "e as it e9presses dissonance.ht.ht.ht in modern India seem to have either comp"ete" omitted 83ehta 199B for e9amp"e: or rhetorica"" accommodated 87antham and De#tsch 19AB: certain socia" and po"itica" thin-in. the cate. the historica" form and normative s#bstance of sociopo"itica" thin-in.ed and deve"oped in adversaria" inte""ect#a" conditions where thin-ers "i-e . partic#"ar" that has ori.ht which is made to e9ist in the +be ond+ is different both in terms of st "e and s#bstance.of po"itica" tho#. )#ch rather coercive sec"#sion and separation of a partic#"ar thin-in. b#t before I do this "et me e9p"ain the #nder" in. The @ate. it is important to mention here that s#ch a tho#. )cho"ars and commentators of po"itica" tho#. In the fo""owin. that can f#nction thro#. accordin.ht fa""in. there is an inte""ect#a" trend.ination which in its se"f/description c"aims that its poems be"on. difference and defiance.or +be ond+ see-s to render the thin-in.ests the possibi"it of a para""e" prob"ematic of nationa"ist tho#. The assertion of +no+ and an e"ement of anti/ scepticism that is so prominent in s#ch tho#. I wi"" e9p"ain what is a +para""e" prob"ematic+. within the Indian tradition of tho#.in:.. which emer."tho#. It has emer.or +be ond+.or +be ond+.ao -#sa baheri" -avita 8poems from be ond the mar.ht creates interr#ptions in the concept#a" stabi"it and #niversa" va"idit of the he.h the +s#ba"tern+ as desi warrants critica" attention.ht.emonic terrain of p#b"ic in>#ir characterisin. 6owever.mbed-ar and 7h#"e did not have reso#rces to fa"" bac.o#s to the da"it "iterar ima.ination radica"" different" . to this partic#"ar readin. section.ination. characteristics of the cate. 3arathi "iterar nove"ists and critics.oes be ond both the derivative as we"" as the desi. that otherwise is p#shed beneath and be ond the p#b"ic ima.n a"ternative mode of thin-in.or +be ond+. .emonic tho#.inated from the s#ba"tern inte""ect#a" traditions.#e that the cate. o#tside the framewor.#mentative India+.n f#"" treatment to that perspective.mbed-ar fai" to fit into the definitiona" framewor. +ar.ht.

h the ne. be ond the derivative and the desi to the e9tent that for its artic#"ation it adopts a vocab#"ar .e' .ht: into ref"ection. swadeshi.ht one finds severa" concepts and cate.be ond both the desi and the derivative to the e9tent that the concepts that inhibit this tho#.ative "an.e for its e9pression as mentioned in the precedin.or +be ond+ does not s#. the concept of bahish-r#t in .ative "an.oes be ond the derivative and the desi in terms of its st "e and s#bstance b#t it a"so .#"ami.or e9amp"e.or e9amp"e.raha.ories "i-e bahish-r#t Bharat.to recast a partic#"ar rea"it into ref"ection th#s e"evatin.e in shapin.e" #n/tho#.ories constit#tive of the disco#rse +be ond+ access this idea" on" thro#. .ins "oo-s m#ch be ond identica" and affirmative "an.ion based on #niversa" tr#th: and .ative to both the derivative and the desi tho#.ative or .arha+ 8#nto#chabi"it : to +"o-an.ins a"so ac>#ires the character of.#a.#a. . In fact. Th#s.#a.ht from the mar. sentence. itse"f thro#.ht which c"aims to be artic#"atin.raha+ 8annihi"ation of #nto#chabi"it :.iri 8s"aver : to sarva2ani-sat a dharma 8re"i.ht from the mar.ht aimed at preparin. The tho#.mbed-ar as ref"ective thin-ers see. and vita" 8rit#a" po""#tion: that receive inte""ect#a"" sophisticated treatment from him. . in . 7eri ar and . ma"/apportioned #nto#ch/ ab"es. the concepts and cate.est that the tho#.#a. ''e.nificance of canonised "an. the tho#.rotes>#e to the "atter.mbed-ar's tho#. This mi.mbed-ar is the ref"ection of the rea".e as the .#a. home r#"e and swara2 a. the masses for the rea"isation of a normative idea" becomes discernib"e thro#. i e.ination in the 19th and *0th cent#r India. the rea" 8"ar.mbed-ar moves from +bahish-r#t Bharat+ 8India of the ostracised: to +prab#ddha Bharat+ 8en"i.ht from the mar.ifth and fina"" this partic#"ar tho#.h the canonised "an..e as the on" "e. The cate.ht appear to be ne. the tho#. .e of se"f/r#"e.#a.et f#"" accommodated in or fai"s to become the part of concept#a" vocab#"ar of the desi as we"" as the derivative.ative &an.h the ref"ection on the rea". which mi. B#t the inte""ect#a" pro2ect of s#ba"tern tho#. +bro-en men+. it from mere description to its #niversa" abstraction.ht+ as it fai"s to .h a partic#"ar dia"ectic. 5e wi"" ta"more abo#t the ro"e of ne.ht a"so adopts an affirmative "an.e as an initia" comm#nicative condition. #nto#chabi"it as "o-vi.e for the artic#"ation of this idea".rotes>#e form of e9pression ma-es both the derivative and the desi as an ob2ect of its criticism.ins does not have its own idea". It chooses to operate thro#. of a partic#"ar se"f whi"e the "atter is the condition that has a "imited impact on this se"f. 'e. in .#a. .itimate form of e9pression.ht appear to be ne. 7h#"e. . 7h#"e moves from .mbed-ar the concept of hinatva is different from the concept of d#rba"ata 8wea-ness:. It th#s see-s to #nderc#t the si.ht p"a an important ro"e of recastin.o#rth.oin.or him the former is the state of bein.mbed-ar into the inte""ect#a" ima. it does have its own idea of idea" 8!#r# *009:. sentences. hinatva 8servi"it :.ative "an. +pad/da"it+. The e9perience of #nto#chabi"it forms the part of +#n/tho#.oes be ond itse"f partic#"ar" in terms of its search for an a"ternative normative idea".htened India: or from +"o-vi. +depressed c"asses+.ht in the disco#rse of the +be ond+ "ater.ht not on" . Th#s. Its s stematic artic#"ation had to wait ti"" the arriva" of 7h#"e and most partic#"ar" . This partic#"ar tho#.s is evident from the concept#a" vocab#"ar mentioned in the precedin.#a.

ht th#s invo"ves.ht hai"in.ht as ar. and radica"" transform the servi"e into a s#bversive entit .#ed b @hatter2ee and endorsed b 4avira2 is e9treme" comp"e9 beca#se accordin.#a. i e.#a.nificance of the affirmative "an.nit .ht.#a.h s#ba"tern tho#. )ome of them ob"i>#e" criti>#e . .ht.#a.mbed-ar's tho#.#ration of power. The derivative and desi.raha mooted b )ri .The tho#. on the other hand. .e of "o-san. 5hi"e there is no prob"em in acceptin. b#t it a"so aims at mobi"i=in.e concessions to native capita"ism and most partic#"ar" brahminism that re.t another "eve".enc to confront the imperia" )tate in the co"onia" confi. at the mar.e +brahmanshahi+ and bhandwa"shahi.ht and its correspondin.ht of the +be ond+ ta-es p"ace within the conte9t of this "oca" confi. the derivative disco#rse as a potent methodo"o.#a.h the s#ba"tern tho#. ma-e h#. th#s. framewor-. The derivative and the desi. of nationa"ist tho#.mbed-ar for havin.mbed-ar's "an. from the +be ond+ see-s to cha""en.e.e of #nto#chabi"it in order to #nderc#t the po"itica" si.ative vocab#"ar see-s to cha""en.ative "an. se"f/respect and more important" di. thro#. The reconstr#ctive process faci"itated thro#.#" *00D: 11D:.#rations of power.ainst itse"f and essentia"" for its transformation into the distant f#t#re. the associative prob"em of this +criti>#e within the criti>#e+ is that it does not e9ha#st its "o. the ne. to note that some of the postco"onia" scho"ars seem to have #sed the m#ch ce"ebrated framewor-. i e. ind#". s#bstantive treatment to the >#estion of caste.e in its affirmative mode see-s to not on" interro. the va"idit of this readin. e9istin.#a. Indian societ initia"" a.#robindo.ica" reso#rce to criti>#e .e +shet2i/bhat2i'' and in . .h the adoption of an a"ternative affirmative "an.a. The invocation of an affirmative "an.#"ate "oca" confi.* The ne.#ration of power constit#tive of capita"ism and brahminism. th#s.ht entai"s modern vocab#"ar s#ch as e>#a"it . The interna" str#ct#re of nationa"ist tho#.ht residin.ed in #nconditiona" .e with the "oca" b#t show an e9traordinar #r.#ration of power.ht "eads to reconstr#ction of conscio#sness whereb ever bein.e b dep"o in.e the mechanica" "an. to these scho"ars it contains criti>#es within criti>#es. the redemption of the s#bversive entit thro#.ht and see-s to p#nct#re the mora" confidence of the canonised tho#. The redemption of s#bversive entit becomes a possibi"it primari" thro#. an attempt to overcome the state of servi"e bein. performs an ethica" f#nction in as m#ch it ca#ses an embarrassment to nationa"ist tho#.e of #nit as / proposed b the nationa"ist thin-ers.mbed-ar's modernist moves for po"itica" mobi"isation of the da"its 8!an. the "oca" confi.#a.nit it see-s to posit opposition within a person 8in the present case #nto#chab"es: who is otherwise imm#ne to the normative desire for se"f/definition. '7ostco"onia"' @riti>#e It is interestin. this invo-es the "an.e this canonised"an.#a.#ration of power.ic in the sense that it pa s / rhetorica" attention rather than offerin.ins becomes his/her own opposite.#ration of power is constit#tive of brahminism and capita"ism in 7h#"e's "an.ate the "oca" confi. To p#t it different" . in the be ond as an hermene#tic space.#a. 2#stice.e in the s#ba"tern tho#. The po"itica" tho#.or e9amp"e.#a. for e9amp"e.h the comp"e9 interp"a between the modernist dimension of socia" tho#.ht or the tho#.e of se"f/respect and di. hesitate to en. The "oca" confi. This "an.

In fact. )econd.ht which e9ists in the rea"ms of the +be ond+ essentia"" s#. and accordin. The 7ara""e" 7rob"ematic The term prob"ematic in the .nificance.rotes>#e "an. the idea of India are framed and a non/identica". impact of "oca" confi. )ans-rit as a stepmother does not offer concept#a" food 8and creates conditions of inte""ect#a" starvation: and the postco"onia" theorist a"so does not a""ow borrowin.borrowin.ative "an. )ans-rit that ar. e9c"#sion.eneit of India b#t is a"so red#ced to s#ppressed hetero.#es that the concept of the prob"ematic ac>#ires its own si.ests a possibi"it of a para""e" prob"ematic of the idea of India.e. and I >#ote +aai 2e ai"a wadat nahi. predicament for the da"it thin-ers. . The postco"onia" criti>#e of .ina"" .ica"" st#c.#ration of power that has prod#ced the fo""owin.or e9amp"e. ideas from the west.e is a stepmother.#a.#ab" happened to be the potent fie"d of concept#a" vocab#"ar .ressive" transcends the ne. discrimination is in her nat#re. These c"aims ma-e it necessar to e9p"ain the nat#re of the +para""e" prob"ematic+ within which the new >#estions imp"icatin.nificance b determinin.mbed-ar borrow it. of tho#. Fne cannot ob2ect to s#ch borrowin. the were denied access to "earnin. @hatter2ee's recent wor.#a.3 desi. what is wron. determines the nat#re of each concept b its p"ace and f#nction in this s stem of re"ationship. o#t an a"ternative conception of India. and th#s confers on each concept its partic#"ar si.on Babasaheb . .or that was "oca"" avai"ab"e. In his recent woron .mbed-ar 8@hatter2ee *00B: A3: he ar.ht that e9ists on the ed.nates the theoretica"/ideo"o.ative and deve"ops an affirmative "an. .mbed-ar does not have a prob"em e9istin."th#sser f#rther ar.#es that . Fn the contrar it pro.ht does not remain patho"o.#" needs to ta-e into acco#nt the constrainin. it adopts a ne. ani bap #sanwari -ar# det nahi+.#a.e is deve"oped for the artic#"ation of these >#estions.eneit .e for fashionin.ht.#a.irst.? The certain" have incorporated the western in their tho#. ."th#sserian framewor-. In this conte9t.. to the +be ond+.m. Th#s.#a. that the sociopo"itica" tho#. what it inc"#des within its . partic#"ar" on mora" . The were forced to borrow beca#se the were denied access to the desi cate. this tho#.mbed-ar as mo#nted b scho"ars "i-e !an..ro#nds.mbed-ar certain" contrib#tes to o#r #nderstandin. to the proverbia" #nderstandin. )ans-rit "an. It sa s in 3arathi. which p#ts the basic concepts into re"ation with one another. aai is #nderstood as a stepmother.in the framewor.of ne.ica" framewor-. The above description th#s invo"ves three c"aims. from the western modernist paradi. B#t if 7h#"e and .ht correspondin.ative "an. .e of tho#. in the homo.e for the artic#"ation of the +para""e" prob"ematic+.

as a bod of tho#.ht to comp"ete" e9c"#de these socia" >#estions.ence of the s#ba"tern tho#.#ed that the +para""e" prob"ematic+ providin.et b#ried in the bac. thin-ers "i-e 7h#"e and . The nationa"ist tho#.rotes>#e to the mainstream nationa"ist tho#. .ative "an.#a. the co"onia" time and the modernisin.ard of nationa"ist tho#. The concepts which are e9c"#ded and the prob"ems which are not posed ade>#ate" or not posed at a"" are therefore as m#ch a part of the nationa"ist prob"ematic as are the concepts and prob"ems that are present in the nationa"ist tho#. which see-s to preserve the #niversa" normative aspirations of the #nto#chab"es.ht partic#"ar" in ne. The e9pression of da"it thin-in. of the a"ternative vocab#"ar has th#s .nit . In fact. to se"f/r#"e and po"itica" freedom.#a.mbed-ar dra.e did not . The nationa"istic prob"ematic prod#ces soverei. It co#"d be ar. did not show an hospita"it towards the ne.e that is considered as the affirmative "an.ative/.ative reference point that tri. The nationa"ist thin-ers and "eaders d#rin.ht certain other concept#a" vocab#"ar s#ch as se"f/respect or di.ht and hence the nationa"istic prob"ematic which raises different order of >#estions re"atin. This resentment abo#t the ne. the para""e" prob"ematic see-s to brin. to normative concerns "i-e 2#stice.ht in India tried hard to b#r the da"it >#estion.ative "an.e #sed b the da"it s#ba"terns 8!#r# *00(:. which is fine b#t these soverei. into the forefront >#estions re"atin.mbed-ar and "ater on b other da"it "iterar fi. the co"onia" times has fai"ed to either ade>#ate" pose the >#estion of annihi"ation of caste or so#. The nationa"istic prob"ematic that emer. b#t fai"ed in its effort beca#se the s#ba"tern thin-ers did not a""ow it to happen.iven rise to the para""e" prob"ematic of the da"it s#ba"tern.#a.ed d#rin. e>#a"it and di.nit that .ht which has been canonised thro#. and thereb necessari" determines what is e9c"#ded therefrom.fie"d.h the "an.ht in t#rn res#"ts from the deficienc that is interna" and endemic to the nationa"ist prob"ematic. This si"encin. e"ite in the post/independent period. Th#s.ination as it ca#sed embarrassment to the mora" order of the nation. e"ite democrac and po"itica" freedom.e dep"o ed b .#a..ers off a para""e" prob"ematic. The nationa"istic prob"ematic provides a ne. inte""ect#a" space for the emer.e.o down we"" with the nationa"ist ima. The nationa"ist "eaders showed deep resentment with this "an.n concepts tend to cr#sh #nder their wei.n concepts s#ch as se"f/r#"e.#a.#a.ht.e "oo-s .ed the socia" >#estion from the depths it had reached in p#b"ic disco#rse.#res.rotes>#e "an..

ht that bears the stamp of o#r a.#a.#ration of power.irst. .ative "an.ht see-s to .ence of the cate.hetto that is historica"" prod#ced and reprod#ced < wo#"d awa-en . The "an. The co"onia" confi.ht.mbed-ar and da"its ass#mes assertiveness inasm#ch as it asserts that the nationa"ist tho#. The "an. )econd. The socia" "ocation of .#a.mbed-ar and even !andhi the space determines the emer.s o#t the distinctive character of da"it tho#. The words +is not+ th#s constit#te assertion.e of po"itica" freedom overshadows the concept of socia" freedom or the concept of se"f/r#"e as soverei.ht beca#se it ref"ects the e9perience of rep#"sion and e9c"#sion that emanates from the space that is sti.or e9amp"e.mbed-ar < a socia" .ative "an.ht +is not+ historica"" sensitive to the da"it >#estion. .nificant for the fo""owin.e a"so brin.ence and the efficac of tho#.e "i-e #nto#chabi"it or bahish-r#t or hinatva brin.#a."e and . It is in this sense.matised..ht see-s to or.ard. to note that 3iche" . the "an.mbed-ar's tho#.e in da"it disco#rse is si.ative "an. the concept of #nto#chabi"it or bahish-r#t comes #p in .e are based on the distinctions between the nationa"ist tho#. the princip"e of da"it tho#.#a. reasons.overn the comm#nicative #se of "an.ories re"ated to str#. &et me f#rther ar.#a. +the tho#.e and o#r . Fne cannot ima.#e that in the case of . .#a.e that tends to s#bs#me within itse"f other concept#a" assertions.eo.ine the emer.o#ca#"t see-s to endorse the ro"e of space in prod#cin.#a. the concept#a" vocab#"ar in . 6ence at the co.re.ht and the socia" tho#.e of discrimination.or e9amp"e. it in a different confi.ro#nds da"it vision.mbed-ar's socia" tho#. .e.nificance The ne.n concepts s#bs#me in them the non/identica" concepts s#ch as se"f/respect. h#mi"iation and se. In this re. The assertive moves and the ne.#a.ht e9ists +be ond+ and entai"s concepts and cate.nitive "eve".mbed-ar on" to the "an.raph +.#a. the #se of ne. that a bod of tho#.)i. The distinctiveness in tho#.s into foc#s the re"ationship between the formation of concept and the constr#ction of ph sica" space.ht < partic#"ar" that in modern India < becomes discernib"e in two confi.#rations of power < the co"onia" and the "oca".#a.ht b p"acin.e.e #sed b . the concept#a" "an. sa s.ation. ine>#a"it and in2#stice. and shapin.anise socia" re"ations aro#nd contradictions and to motivate da"its to offer m#ch sharper responses to these contradictions. it is interestin.ht that fore.o#ca#"t 819A9: 7reface:.or of +hinatva+ in )avar-ar's 8*003: 113: idea of India as +ho" "and+.#ration of power prod#ces and shapes concept#a" "an.

h a seam"ess spatia"it .. sahan#bh#ti 8compassion: and careH not str#.ories a"so define themse"ves and ac>#ire sa"ience a. the concepts.iven b !andhi.nitive cate. to the spaces the inhibited 8a.ories that are constit#tive of . this meanin.ht to interro."e.nificance in the rea"m of socia" str#. does not have a choice and hence has to open #p spaces that are not on" hosti"e b#t are a"so fra. concepts "i-e +seva+ or tr#steeship. new names to socia" spaces ass#med the possibi"it of prod#cin."e or contradiction.ht.nitive cate. and hence non/co.that ac>#ires meanin. which in t#rn affect the hermene#tic capacit of tho#.ned meanin.nitive cate.rahara: and a"so to the spaces that the did not reside in b#t he"d in deep rep#"sion 8cherr . the oppositiona" ima. That is to sa !andhi can move in and o#t of an space.ht ac>#ires a disc#rsive character to the e9tent that different strands of tho#. tend to ra"" ro#nd the sin."one? These co. in !andhian tho#. ever space becomes >#ite hospitab"e and receptive.reedom .. .nitive character. #pon who is assi.ainst the #se of non/co. tends to shape socia" re"ations aro#nd the idea of seva 8service:. The ra"" ro#nd this sin. for their ph sica" space 8Bhimna. B#ddhawada.ht th#s ma-in. It connects the prod#ction of tho#.ar:. p#rposes. h#".nitive cate.i co"on +. it tends to create on" correspondin.ht 8"ibera". This in effect.nin.ative or positive meanin.nitive cate. . In India. B#t the enab"in.et constr#cted thro#. on the contrar .ht.eri and maharwada or chamar to"a:.es the character of his tho#. it more p"acid."e concept for intersectin.ma.or s#ch as +hari2anwada+ < the name . and si.. The co.ories s#. d#e to their mora" orientation ac>#ire a non/co. The nationa"ist tho#."e concept of po"itica" freedom.ate and then #ndermine what co#"d be described as the patronisin.ar and )iddhartana. 6owever. even the +Bhan.ories that are interna" to da"it tho#.hettos:. on !andhi's tho#. 1amabaina..nitive cate. )ince !andhi's po"itica" e9istence operates thro#.ination in t#rn see-s to e9pose the disc#rsive character of nationa"ist tho#.ht.estin. co.mbed-ar's tho#.ar.ht finds its a#dience basica"" in the da"it bastis 8. In the !andhian case it is seam"ess beca#se for !andhi.to def"ate this disc#rsive character of nationa"ist tho#.mented aro#nd socia" sti. It chan. it was the socia"" powerf#" who ti"" the arriva" of co"onia" modernit assi.in and o#t has a bearin. The po"itics of ac>#irin.h ne.ht to the prod#ction of spaces. 7o"itica" .mbed-ar. Th#s ph sica" spaces which are otherwise empt .ht. 6ind#: however.ht see. This choice to wa".s a res#"t . 3ar9ist. The co. dependin. aspect of co"onia" modernit empowered the #nto#chab"es to see.ories that so#.new meanin.ht.

it is avai"ab"e to different socia" forces for intersectin. "an. )eva as a non/co.#ed b some scho"ars.eneo#s time with the ne.#a. )eva th#s connotes a -ind of passive revo"#tion.ina"" .)an. Those 6ind#s who so#.ht and chooses to e9ist in the hetero.#a. it is ta-en serio#s" b the @hristian missionaries who have been active in India for a "on.h. caste 6ind# dominance.e "i-e +seva+.e of ri.e of ri.or of +seva+. The "an. time now. It ac>#ires a thic. That is to sa . care and an attit#de towards +seva+. )tr#.ht to defend 6ind#ism in an event of a cha""en. It is for this reason.io#s disco#rse and has been s#bse>#ent" borrowed b the new 6ind# disco#rse. see-s to po"arise the disc#rsive fie"d of nationa"ist tho#. it ma-es a +. is constit#tive of assertion..ree of concern. on the other hand.e from co"onia" modernit and @hristianit offered to treat da"its decent" .enero#s" to !andhi's 6ari2an )eva.ht.#a.ination.presence in !andhian tho#. hari2an. It then ac>#ires potenc in terms of the co.ica"" be"on.#a. care.enea"o. the cate. In fact.ht. and tr#steeship see.or a"so possesses a disc#rsive character.ative intention to >#estion the homo. The da"it thin-in. connects with the new 6ind# ethics.ht. In !andhian tho#.or of seva.or e9amp"e."e and )e"f/he"p .s has been ar. the capita"ists donated .s to @hristian re"i. The constr#ction of da"it into hari2an was to invo-e a sense of +seva+ amon.eneo#s time within which the nationa"ist tho#. . a"" the other 6ind#s.#est appearance+ in 6ind# po"itica" tho#. the orthodo9 6ind#s. It is driven b an e"ement of appea" rather than assertion.ation rather than affirmation and confirmation of the estab"ished c"aims. offered rather s#bstantive treatment to the cate.emonic device to pacif the da"it masses 8)rivatsan *00B: 10(:. which becomes feasib"e beca#se +seva+ faci"itates the reconstr#ction of 6ind# ethics whi"e preservin.ht and it is a"so avai"ab"e to the native capita"ist as we"".!andhian tho#.ht seem to be operatin.e of d#t . The showed some de.ssertion. The native capita"ist a"so s#pported +seva+ as a he. The "an. !andhi amon. 3ora" appea" finds its basis in the "an. as mentioned above.to disso"ve the contradiction and e"iminate the possibi"it of po"arisation and oppositiona" ima. whereas assertion is driven b the "an.or of +seva+.ro#nds d#t driven action that necessari" emanates from the h#mb"e side of h#man nat#re. Fther 6ind#s had on" rhetorica" association with the cate.nitive and hence it becomes deep" po"itica" rather than mora".hts. . invo"ves a firm ne. the concept of +seva+ . p#rposes.e of seva essentia"" fore.ht the mora"isin. .#a. ..nitive mora" cate.

#a.e a"so >#estions a dominant form of identica" "an.e of seva. for e9amp"e.e. see-s to #nite the da"it.. .e of bahish-r#t Bharat #sed b da"its and .#a. a"ienated from its a#thentic e9perience that is .ht contained the radica" mora"it that bro#.ative "an.e.e at the onto"o.mbed-ar wo#"d render the description of +modern+ m#"tic#"t#ra" India as incomp"ete.#a. the idea of da"it se"f and the other. . The are a"so protected from within in the sense that the are st#cin the historica" >#estion that is prod#ced and reprod#ced b the "o. Th#s the protect the a#thenticit of their disco#rse from o#tside.#a.ative "an.#a.#a.#a. It saves the se"f from . the ne.e of str#.ative "an. ne.enc that wo#"d -eep the notion of +free riders+ awa .e see-s to constr#ct the nationa"ist se"f.o#rth.ative "an. it s#.#a. which s#.#a. It raises the c#"t#ra" wa""s aro#nd da"its b dep"o in.ative "an. The ne. The reactions to . which see-s to avoid the >#estion of historica" in2#stice. the da"it tho#.ica" "eve". thro#. The ear" efforts made b da"its to start ed#cationa" instit#tions for the da"its show that da"it tho#.to confine da"its within what co#"d be ca""ed a barbed wire.ative "an.iven to it b the str#ct#res that ph sica"" e9ist o#tside b#t see. s#ba"tern with herse"f or himse"f.ative "an.e denies the he.ood to be p#rs#ed b socia" .ainst the "an. the da"its.ative? Fr do the move o#t from behind their barbed . The dep"o ment of ne.ests an as mmetrica" re"ationship and denies a sense of a#tonom to the da"it.#a..ettin.ht o#t a sense of a.e constit#tes the so#rce of mora" embarrassment precise" beca#se the twice born castes treat themse"ves as the constit#tive core of modern India. In fact. In fact ne. the "an.ic of str#ct#re. The >#estion that needs to be answered is that do da"its remain confined in the ne.or of seva.#a. the ne.#a.ht contains the "an. The identica" "an.ro#ps that are mar.e see-s to historicise the identica" "an.emonic "an. )e"f/he"p connotes the idea of se"f/respect as a mora" .e in their disco#rse which is >#ite #ninte""i. The ne. Third. En"i-e the cate.mbed-ar and 4atherine 3a o's 3other India brin.e.h dep"o in..ib"e to the #pper castes.. This confinement behind barbed wire is both from inside and from the o#tside. In the case of India it is the twice born or the to#chab"e who is constr#cted as the other of da"it.ative vocab#"ar p"a s an important ro"e in shapin.e.or e9amp"e.e that constr#cts the mora" order of India as the nation which is based on socia" harmon .ina"ised.#a. ne. o#t this e"ement of embarrassment c"ear" ."e and se"f/he"p.ests a dependence that pres#pposes the e"ement of patrona. of nationa"ism and sec#"arism.s a.#a. which promotes normative aspirations amon.

when s#bordinated .s+ ta-en as iso"ated partic#"ars that are basica"" ne. Therefore. the concept of +mother India+ has been ne.e or the cate."" e9perienced sit#ations as represented in "an.ative "an.ative or incomp"ete.ates the fi9ed character of the identica" "an.ica" capacit to ma-e rea"it ade>#ate eno#. It shows the e9istence of +thin.ative "an.ht comin.ht which e9ists in the sphere of the +be ond+ has an epistemo"o.h to fit the concepts.emonic terrain of its tho#.nised. Th#s.wired e9istence? &an.e is not accidenta" b#t is inte.e . This avoidance can be e9p"ained in terms of mora" reason. . Th#s the ne. . Th#s.e th#s see-s to revea" the "imitations of the identica" he.ative "an. The derivative or the desi on the other hand see.or e9amp"e.e first ne.anises one's e9perience.#a.#a.ica" part of the a-hand 8socia"" : Bharat or ins#"ated India of #nto#chab"es as the part of incredib"e India of the #rban #pward" mobi"e #pper castes. .#a.e are str#ct#red sit#ations based on concept. the tho#.ories of common sense.e that had hitherto . the concept of freedom within the nationa"ist prob"ematic is ade>#ate on" in the absence of socia" freedom. The concept of freedom becomes ade>#ate on" in terms of its capacit to accommodate within itse"f #nto#chabi"it or caste >#estion as socia" rea"it . Th#s.ro#ps artic#"ate their e9perience. the idea of bahish-r#t Bharat forms the "o.ative "an.or e9amp"e. 'e.#a.#a.ro#nds itse"f in the "oca" confi.et is the western modernit that asserts itse"f within the co"onia" confi.ra"" invo"ved in the form of "ife and tho#.#ration of .rasps the tr#e 8and ne.one #nreco.#a.oes be ond both the derivative and desi inasm#ch as it fore.e narratives b#t from commitments embedded within their own "an. pad of the disco#rse of the +be ond+. see-s to avoid. The desi does not fee" mora"" embarrassed b the e9istence of the da"it >#estion as its main tar.#ration of power."or and incredibi"it . . the #se concepts derived not from the positive or identica" "an.ated first b .mbed-ar and "ater on b severa" da"it writers 8!#r# *011:.ht. Da"it thin-in. This rhetorica" accommodation is motivated b the need to protect the mora" order of Indian nationa"ism. from this framewor.#a.to avoid or rhetorica"" accommodate the da"it >#estion in the mar.emonic vocab#"ar that see-s to constit#te India as an epitome of .ins of the he.does not treat concepts 2#st s mbo"ica"" b#t offers them a more s#bstantive treatment.ht and it e9p"ains the ne.#a. 'e.ative: rea" which #niversa" thin-in. @onc"#sions )ocia" and po"itica" tho#.ativit of perception whereb one or. The ne. the concept of freedom becomes more capacio#s when prope""ed from the "a#nchin.e ca#ses mora" embarrassment to both the derivative as we"" as the desi.#a.

which is constit#tive of the shet2i and bhat2i 8capita"ism and brahminism:.:. 19((. * )ee )ri . .#a. < 8*00B:: +B 1 . 3 5estern 3ar9ism < .oes be ond itse"f in the sense that it transcends the "imits of its partic#"arit in which it e9presses as an initia" condition. de"ivered in an Internationa" @onference on @aste and .#robindo . first p#b"ished in 1919 and in 199A. 1D and 1B Fctober.ative "an.ht a"so .s: . of 6#man )ciences 8&ondon: 1o#t"ed. @ritica" 1eader. !#r#. 7o"itica" Ideas in 3odern India.e:. &ondon.#robindo. 4avira2 8199D:. In this re.ard a"so refer to 7are-h 819A9: *1:.sian )t#dies 8'ew Jor-: @o"#mbia Eniversit :.mbed-ar. Derivative Disco#rse 8De"hi: F9ford Eniversit 7ress:. !an.n . 3iche" 819A9:: The Frder of Thin.#" . ed. )ri .e. )ab asachi Bhattachar a 8ed. da"it tho#.man:.#a. 6owever. . Deve"opment of 3odern Indian Tho#. Da"it tho#.mbed-ar and the Tro#b"ed Time of @iti=enship+.power. 7artha 819AB:: 'ationa"ist Tho#. *0th @ent#r Disco#rse from the I#arantined India+.ht and the )ocia" )ciences 8De"hi: F9ford Eniversit 7ress:.e:. 'ew &eft 1eview.mbed-ar+. pp *CC/CD.ht and @o"onia" 5or"d: . Fr.ative and essentia"" affirmative "an.:.h the initia"" ne. The Idea" of 6#man Enit . 4avira2 819AB: *09/3D:. Deb2ani 8*00D:: Da"it &iterat#re and Their &ife 5or"d 8De"hi: Frient &on. !opa" 8*00(:: +)ocia" 0#stice: .anised b Instit#te of )o#th . < 8*009:: +The Idea of Idea" in .shram 7ondicherr . specia" "ect#re.rchaeo"o. It a"so . 1eferences @hatter2ee. $ 1 3ehta and Thomas 7antham 8ed. Thematic G9p"orations 8De"hi: )a.o#ca#"t.oes be ond its own ne. 'otes 1 )ee two inf"#entia" wor-s b @hatter2ee 819AB and *00B:.e from bahish-r#t to the p#r#s-r#t.ht artic#"ates itse"f thro#.

5e"fare: The 'ationa"ist 7assion to Deve"op the Triba"+. $ D 8*003:: 6ind#tva. )avar-ar. Eda 8199A:: &ibera"ism and Gmpire 8De"hi: F9ford Eniversit 7ress:. 4avira2. 7o"itica" Tho#. )rivatsan.< 8*011:: India's &ibera" Democrac and Da"its @riti>#e. .n .me"ioration. 6 derabad. )#dipta 819AB:: +The 6eteronomo#s 1adica"ism of 3 ' 1o + in Thomas 7antham and 4enneth D#etsch 8ed.na" sis of !andhi's 7o"itica" Disco#rses 8De"hi: )a. an #np#b"ished 7hD thesis.ht in 3odern India 8De"hi: )a. De"hi.ht 8De"hi: 3anohar 7#b"ication:.:.e:. < 8199D:: +The 1eversa" of Frienta"ism: Bh#dev 3#-hopadh a and the 7ro2ect of Indi.e:. ed. s#bmitted to Dr B 1 .enist )ocia" Theor + in $as#dha Da"mia and 6einrich von )tietencorn 8De"hi: )a. 819AB:: 7o"itica" Tho#. 'o 1 8'ew Jor-: )prin. 7antham. 3ehta.e:. . )ocia" 1esearch. 1 8*00B:: +)eva.:. Tradition and 1eform: . 7are-h. Bhi-h# 819A9:: @o"onia"ism. 6indi )ahit a )adan.ht in 3odern India 8De"hi: )a.mbed-ar Fpen Eniversit . $o" (C. $ 1 8199B:: . Thomas and 4enneth & De#tsch.e:. 3ehta.o#ndations of Indian 7o"itica" Tho#.

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