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

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Understanding the Emerging Civil Society

In “Aesthetics of Civil Society” (EPW, 19 May 2012) Yoko Taguchi offers her commentary based on the “Fight the Filth” campaign in Mumbai. But the instances observed do not seem to be in line with the manifestations of civil society in India. There are many forms or patterns of expressions of civil society in present-day India that defy ideological packaging or historical consistency.

A situation would express only one or two dimensions of the problem in a democratic polity. Often, the focus of ­civil society activists would be limited to specifics such as building blocks. ­Others take care of other aspects. Diversity, contradictions, and variations are precisely the elements that necessitate dialogue and forging of a consensus. This process is universal. This is pos­sible in India because there is no bulldozing by any prevalent political or ­social ideology.

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