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 ).

Forking Paths

The attempt here is to think with, and systematically through, Gopal Guru and Sundar Sarukkai’s ambitious work, Experience, Caste, and the Everyday Social (2019). Addressing the two configurations of thought underlying the work—namely the focus on “sensing” as central to the conceptualisation of the social and the idea of “the everyday social”—the paper tries to capture the movement of the text and the conceptual manoeuvres underscoring it. The challenges for our attempt at theorising caste are highlighted, even as new pathways are forged for understanding the problem of caste in India.

Thinking Kashmir

Waiting is so much a part of everydayness, including waiting for peace, waiting for your loved ones to come home, waiting for curfew to end, waiting for the army to go home. Between silence and waiting one can create a narrative of the Kashmir conflict. Unlike the Holocaust or partition, which have the gigantism of epic memories, the sadness of Kashmir is forged, crafted out of thousands of little memories, unwritten diaries merging quietly together. It is this alchemy of memories that is struggling against government policy, which sanitises violence and erases memory to create this strange machine that moves from violence to violence in facile amnesia.
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