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

Articles by Probal DasguptaSubscribe to Probal Dasgupta

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.

Language, Public Space and an Educated Imagination

When we try to associate linguistics with educational reform, we need some care about what reform means. Its default reference to the market is hard to unpack. Who should count as education's customer is crucially unclear. If education is an investment in human resources whose beneficiary is the public as a whole, the focus on individual self-interest perceptions becomes too narrow. The public's collective interest is at stake. The state or its advisory bodies cannot learn from linguistics or other rapidly developing fields. Such learning has to be done by active participants in the public debate process. The arena to be reshaped through this debate is the public space itself.

Sanskrit, English and Dalits

Sanskrit, English and Dalits PROBAL DASGUPTA The intervention by S Anand on
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