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

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Solidarity beyond Patronage

Civility in Crisis: Democracy, Equality and the Majoritarian Challenge in India edited by Suryakant Waghmore and Hugo Gorringe, New Delhi: Routledge, 2021; pp 190, $48.95.

The book under review is an important contribution to the ongoing debate on the place of fraternity and solidarity in the course of achieving collective equality and individual liberty. Is there a case for cross-caste and cross-class dialogue and “emotional identification” in the course of challenging these very structures? Civility in Crisis: Demo­cracy, Equality and the Majoritarian Challenge in India foregro­unds the category of civility that can be variedly defined as an ensemble of trust, dignity, mutuality, politeness, tolerance, sympathy, dialogue, and public spirit. Establishing and working through these variables as normative ideals and lived practices, they are expected to undermine hierarchies, exclusions, and exploitation.

The introduction by the editors of the book, Suryakant Waghmore and Hugo Gorringe, hits the right note in making a case for the category of civility as distinct from both its colonial/orientalist and postcolonial framing. While the former equates civility to a civilising mission, the latter equates it with hegemonic discourses and instead prefers to privilege “para-legal” and what came to be recognised as “uncivil” practices of the “governed.” Civility, instead, is relocated in a non-western and communitarian context where it is imagined that

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Updated On : 20th Sep, 2022
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