ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Structures of Power in Indian Society: A Response

Class cannot be the exclusive axis in understanding power in Indian society. A caste-ridden rural society with an adivasi fringe needs better characterisation than that offered by Partha Chatterjee in "Democracy and Economic Transformation in India" (19 April 2008). The 1990s certainly mark a break in Indian economic history but perhaps in a direction opposite to the one Chatterjee suggests. Over-deterministic attribution of hegemonic powers to corporate capital takes away from the centrality of struggle and the contingent unpredictability of historical processes. We need to practise the "subversive" history advocated by D D Kosambi, which refuses to fit snugly into prefabricated schema of the kind imposed by Chatterjee. (Three comments on the essay are followed by a response from Partha Chatterjee.)

 

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