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Sriniketan Encounters Ambedkar

Whither the Political?

Anup Dhar (anup@aud.ac.in) teaches at the School of Human Studies,
Ambedkar University Delhi. Anjan Chakrabarti (chakanjana@yahoo.co.in)
teaches at the Department of Economics, University of Calcutta, Kolkata.

Building on Tagore’s critique of “politics,” an English term Tagore does not translate into rajneeti (thus retaining its foreignness), the paper moves to Tagore’s turning away from nationalism as largely an “abstract being” or a symbolic form, and his turning, instead, to the question of dharma (as the dialectic between askesis, a la Foucault, and phronesis, a la Heidegger). Dharma as the this-worldly art-praxis of attending to what the abstract being or the symbolic form forecloses. For Tagore, Sriniketan is the context for such an art-praxis. For the authors, Ambedkar is the imaginary interlocutor of Tagore’s redrawing of the extant practice of the political.

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