Taking a Step Back: Revisiting Studies of Indian Politics

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    Abstract

    Meera Ashar focuses on the relationship between the terms of political theorization and the concepts that they might embody. Contemporary Indian political language is understood alternately as an indigenous discourse rendered in another language, as a literal translation or direct implantation of the Western political discourse, or as a derivative discourse. The Indian nation-state, democracy and citizenry, which the nationalists recognized as merely formally-installed entities became, for later political theorists, the 'facts' of Indian politics. The nationalist movement attempted to transform the existing 'peasant consciousness' into 'rationalist forms of an 'enlightened' nationalist politics. The Indian nation-state, democracy and citizenry, which the nationalists recognized as merely formally-installed entities became, for later political theorists, the 'facts' of Indian politics. One reason for the failure of democratic politics in India is that decades after a democratic nation-state was formally constituted, the hopes of the nation-builders have not been fulfilled.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)533-552
    JournalSouth Asia-Journal of South Asia Studies
    Volume32
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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