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

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Bulldozing the Idea of Democracy

The state apparatus’ inaction in dealing with communal violence will have dire consequences.

Language, Purity, and the Logic of Democracy

It is argued here that the 1648 “Peace of Westphalia,” inaugurating the “secular state,” substituted language for religion as the basis for the state’s project of affectively unifying the nation. Working to build a truly neutral state, equally available to all its citizens, involves ensuring the freedom of critical discourse to question the proto-hegemonic narrative associated with every primordial (religious or linguistic) affi liation. The Westphalian-style sanctifi cation of these affi liations becomes pathological in a society that worships purity and hierarchy. Peggy Mohan, it is argued, provides a cogent characterisation of language on the basis of which one can overcome such pathologies and work towards a chauvinism-free model of democracy.

Underscoring the Perils of Majoritarianism

Our Hindu Rashtra: What It Is. How We Got Here by Aakar Patel, Westland Books, 2020; pp 368, ₹ 799.

Analysing Socio-economic Backwardness among Muslims

Backward and Dalit Muslims: Education, Employment and Poverty by Surinder Kumar, Fahimuddin, Prashant K Trivedi and Srinivas Goli, Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2020; pp 220, ₹995.

Secular, Secularism and Non-translations

This paper traces the conceptual-linguistic journey of the term “secular” in India and shows how its entry into any discussion was accompanied by questions of ambivalence about equivalence. An anxiety around its foreignness; or its inefficacy by being both excessive and inadequate as a word can be traced through multiple sites. It proliferates, meaning many things and nothing at all. What makes it so unsettled, so polyphonic, and therefore ready to be seized? Does that have to do with being neither fully embraced nor ignored, on the threshold of language, as it were?

Muslim League in Kerala

The political trajectory of the Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala displays a unique engagement of religion-based political mobilisation of Muslims withsecular–dem ocratic politics in India. In the contemporary context of aggressive Hindutva politics, the Muslim League is faced with the dual challenge of resisting majoritarian communalism while simultaneously countering new mobilisations from within the community that are based on a radical Islamic identity, but deploy explicitly secular discourses. A critical appraisal of this situation requires moving beyond the pre-occupation with the formal aspects of secularisation and instead arrive at more substantive conceptions of “being secular” that embrace deeper commitments to secularism, such as plurality and toleration .

A Feminist Way of Life

Trupti Shah, feminist and environmentalist, lived her life to the fullest embodying her belief that the feminist perspective is not an ideology but a way of life.
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