Keywords for Modern India

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But the entries are broadly speaking judicious, insightful, and incisive. The volume is in this regard a useful resource for new entrants into contemporary and modern Indian studies across the non-historical social sciences as well as for commentators and journalists outside the academy.

Keywords for India: Empire

But fundamental methodological and conceptual ambiguities remain. For Williams, in contrast, the differential meanings assigned to general terms telescoped the cleft between bourgeois and popular orders, the socially rooted divide between ordinary usage and elite deployments. The culmination of several decades of research, it integrated political, analytical, and aesthetic commitments towards a revitalized historical materialism.

It appeared in a moment before Thatcherism held sway, when Marxist and left-historical debates flourished in the British academy and when a radical left ranged across local councils, trade unions, and within the Labour Party.

Keywords for Modern India - AbeBooks - Craig Jeffrey:

The commitment to historical reflexivity was evinced most overtly in its explicit mapping of the dynamic, variegated, and often contradictory meanings of such keywords as class the longest entry , masses, equality, private, and welfare, among others. Jeffrey and Harriss provide a useful glossary to assorted terms in contemporary Indian studies, but its methodological and conceptual flaws are too apparent and numerous to assuage those with a critical historical orientation.

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Build up its economic strength through protection of infant industries through tariffs Friedrich List. The need for 'national' industries and 'national' education had begun to be institutionalised by the turn of the century, and found a focal point in the campaign against the Partition of Bengal from Widely referred to as Swadeshi, which translates as 'of our own country', this is the closest word in Indian languages that came to connote the 'national', though the desh in question which could mean village, place of birth, or locality was not clearly defined.

Professor Craig Jeffrey

Swaraj, self-rule or independence, avoided the question of the collective self that was to be the nation. The divergence between the principle and the practice remained stark. The formula of 'trusteeship' that the League of Nations and the United Nations thereafter adopted to deal with not-yet- nations was a reminder that the criteria of nationhood were in the custody of outsiders with a coercive power that relied on more than concepts.

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The question of who belonged and who did not to an entity called 'India' became urgent in connection with British claims that divergent and antagonistic 'communities' could not be considered a 'nation' and against the backdrop of 'communal' tensions between Hindus and Muslims in particular. It also mobilised European debates on Aryanism and eugenics in search of the healthy national body.

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International discourse on what a nation is and should be — the standard of legitimation for the staking of claims to territorial sovereignty — conspired with the idea of the one nation-one state model that was promoted. Definitions came with contestations, and varieties of 'Indian nation' had various ethnic and religions inflections.

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The normative importance of the national notwithstanding, it was descriptively vague. The national unit being sought was in turn Bengali Hindu, upper caste and male , Marathi, etc, with sectional or regional ideas of the 'nation' simply projected onto the rest of India.

The search for the 'essence of the nation' and its 'national genius' lent itself easily to organicist ideas of the ancient-and-modern nation that must be purged of its 'impurities' to realise itself once again. In such arguments, the 'Hindu' past was to be the 'Hindu' future, and since Muslims in particular and other 'minorities in general had their loyalties and sacred imagination tied to other places, only 'Hindus' could be true nationals. A struggle by outcastes excluded from Hindu normative hierarchies and by Muslims not to be included in such definitions of national belonging led logically enough to counter-claims to different nationalisms.

By the s the theory of the 'Aryan invasion' of India was used to argue that Hindu upper castes were foreigners to the nation, viii and by the s Muslim leaders sought to organise around the idea that South Asian Muslims were not a 'minority' but a separate and distinct 'nation'. Such a 'nationalism' was so inclusive as to be unusable to distinguish citizens of India from citizens of other countries — which is precisely what made it so attractive in a state with so diverse a population, in which any discussion on national belonging would lead to making explicit the actual or potential exclusions that any nationalism must have.

Forms of exclusion were now more implicit than explicit, with nonetheless serious practical implications. Indeed, forcible inclusion, as in the case of parts of the north-east of India, xii or Kashmir from the s, was often more of a contentious issue. Post-independence India has tended to frame its arguments about national belonging more around 'secularism' and 'communalism' or 'separatism' than the term 'nationalism', at least until the s, when the overthrow of the obligatorily 'secular' understanding of nationalism in India and the rise of Hindutva definitions of national belonging forced a more nuanced understanding of nationalism into being, as potentiallyxiii or inherently xiv exclusionary, and the terms 'religious nationalism' xv or 'Hindu nationalism' xvi were coined to engage with the new phenomenon.

The retrospective teleology of the nation-state that is so much a part of historiographical tradition has led to the keyword 'nationalism' being inadequately questioned in the Indian context, with historians from very early on as partisans for a national ideology. Partially critical voices have never abandoned the urge to advocate versions of nationalism that they are willing to support, and to describe other versions as exclusionary, sectarian or 'communal'.

Keywords for Modern India

A more nuanced view might have seen 'communalism' as a 'nationalism' with the wrong unit of loyalty from the perspective of the Indian state, or the Indian state-to-be. Related Papers. By Benjamin Zachariah. By Sutapa Dutta. Categories In colonial india - Adminstrative creation. By abhinav Anshu.


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