ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Gopal Guru

Freedom of Expression and the Life of the Dalit Mind

Under what conditions does freedom of expression enable the dalit to live a life of the mind? Does the foregrounding of the body and the elevation of bodily expression – whether it is in spectacular consumption or corruption – really help the dalit struggle for dignity and emancipation? This intervention into the debate which started after Ashis Nandy’s controversial comments regarding corruption and dalits made at the Jaipur Literature Festival seeks to critique the very epistemological and ontological foundations on which Nandy’s assertions were based and whose defence provided an opportunity for the elites to repeat the rituals of humiliation and subjugation of the dalits.

The Idea of India: 'Derivative, Desi and Beyond'

The dalit discourse in India presents a sharp contrast to the "derivative" and the "desi" discourses governing nationalist thought and the "idea of India". The dalit discourse goes "beyond" the two in offering an imagination that is based on a "negative" language which however transcends into a normative form of thinking. The dalit goes beyond both the derivative and desi inasmuch as it foregrounds itself in the local configuration of power, which is constitutive of the hegemonic orders of capitalism and brahminism.

Archaeology of Untouchability

Untouchability as a dynamic reality is bound to produce experience which is always in excess of its description. Hence, the available description is often inadequate to capture the totality of the meaning of the experience. To capture the full experience of untouchability, one requires to invoke other perspectives and methods. This paper argues that at the moment there could be two such frameworks - the philosophical and the archaeological - that could open to us much richer and nuanced meanings of the phenomenon of untouchability.