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

Articles By Vidhu Verma

Conceptualising Social Exclusion: New Rhetoric or Transformative Politics?

The debate on equality and non-discrimination is certainly not a new one, but the way it is incorporated in that on social exclusion leads to several shifts within the discourse on social justice. The term social exclusion is multidimensional although its western use in a selective way about markets promoting equality separates it from the Indian emphasis on social justice as linked to ending discrimination of dalit groups. The concept of social exclusion is inherently problematic as it faces three major challenges in India: the first relates to the historical discrimination of certain groups and their exclusion; the second is about the political economy of the excluded; and the third questions the way in which equality responses are restricted within the framework of social exclusion.

Reinterpreting Buddhism: Ambedkar on the Politics of Social Action

B R Ambedkar's reinterpretation of Buddhism gives us an account of action that is based on democratic politics of contest and resistance. It relies on a reading of the self as a multiple creature that exceeds the constructions of liberal autonomy. Insofar as Buddhist groups do not jeopardise or restrict their members' capacities and opportunities to make any decision about their own lives, they do not risk violating democratic principles. But to remain socially relevant they must continue to contribute to a practical impact on the social world which is so neatly intertwined with the political in present-day India.

The State, Democracy and Global Justice

One of the striking features of classical political philosophy until recently was that it assumed that principles of rights, sovereignty and distributive justice should operate at the state level. Global changes have not only questioned this dichotomy between domestic and international affairs but also raised concerns about the moral basis of politics at the international level. This paper argues that much of the confusion surrounding the analysis and justification of the need for global justice arises from the disparity between the wide usages of the term justice as it occurs in ordinary discourse related to humanitarianism and the way it has to do with the basis for making distribution of goods among citizens. It broadly proposes the need for reassessing concepts like state, democracy and sovereignty; to question membership-based sovereignty as the decisive determinant of democratic participation while working towards devolving decision-making to regional and local levels.