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

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Silence of Subalterns in Himachal?

In “Himachal Pradesh as Dev Bhumi: Sociological Paradoxes” (EPW, 18 January 2014), Arvind Sehgal has provided a brief and informative narrative on the linkages between caste and religious-political institutions and has given a description of how traditional hierarchies are incorporated in modern governance. In fact, does he not agree that the history of the modern state has never shown any hesitation to collaborate with religious institutions without feeling very disturbed? He probably does not, otherwise he would not have found this a “social paradox”.

To me it seems a perfect fit where contradictions between hierarchies are resolved by the politico-religious sphere which has been successfully holding onto both class and caste rule without blinking an eyelid. In other words, this modern mode of governance has never come into contradiction with religious forces which are predominantly Hindu and largely represented by the upper classes and castes.

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