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

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Force-fitting Ethnicity onto Caste

Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements by Amit Ahuja, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xxvi + 238, 550.

From Hierarchy to Ethnicity: The Politics of Caste in Twentieth-Century India by Alexander Lee, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020; pp xiv + 272, price not indicated.

It is no secret that transatlantic (that is, north-west European and north-east American) interests and categories dominate the curriculum of academia the world over, and nowhere more than India. All the central and state universities under the authority of the University Grants Commission perpetuate a transatlantic-centric syllabus that is ostensibly balanced by healthy doses of Indic thought (Rathore 2017: 9). But this so-called Indic thought is itself styled, organised, and taught in basically orientalist form.

Looking at it from the other side, if you examine the curriculum of transatlantic anglophone universities, what you find in the phraseology within the content and authorship of the course readings is that nearly all theory is authored by Anglo–Americans, and only specific empirical situations, facts, and figures, warrant input of native, periphery-generated in­formation. Anything with the adjective global or human derives from the transatlantic region, while work generated from other locales is expected to be modified by the area adjective: Indian or non-Western, for example.

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Updated On : 1st Dec, 2020

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