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

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Forking Paths

Sasheej Hegde is grateful to the authors Gopal Guru and Sundar Sarukkai for their lively participation in a symposium on the book organised by the Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad on 3 March 2020, which also oversaw a critical input from Aseem Prakash of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad and Parthasarathi Muthukaruppan of English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. The event was, fortunately, just before the COVID-19 disruption, although the latter explains largely the delay in our rendition. This paper also celebrates the over three decades of friendship between its two authors—and, even as it bears the brunt of a writing style intrinsic to one of them, the foray marks their shared interests and concerns, at once analytical, ethical and political (of the order of “maitri” as encapsulated in Experience, Caste, and the Everyday Social ).

Spoils of Brexit for India

Following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union as a result of the recent referendum, Indian big capital is dismayed in anticipation of the contraction of the monolithic EU market. However, the focus must veer from the losses for big business to the gains for the average Indian. The pound's depreciation in the aftermath of Brexit can be helpful in combating domestic inflation in India. To some extent, Brexit is likely to put a brake on capital exodus and on brain drain from India to the UK. It would also mean cheaper and unrestrained arms trade between India and the UK. It makes the EU less weighty as a cohesive politico-economic bloc, thereby reducing its pooled leverage against India.

A Critique of Eurocentric Social Science and the Question of Alternatives

Following a critical examination of existing theoretical framework within which social sciences are taught and researched in various universities of the non-western world, it is proposed that not just the content but even the assumptions and methodologies have been uncritically imported from the European academic tradition. Though the critique of Eurocentrism in the social sciences is well accepted, there is very little display of either courage or determination among academics in non-western universities in raising their own distinct set of assumptions that would enable them to work and conduct meaningful research outside the framework of western academic preoccupations and interests.
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