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

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Beyond Telangana Sentiment

The return of patronage culture in Telangana calls for a re-examination of democratic claims made on behalf of “Telangana’s cultural turn.” This turn to the centrality of sentiment, emotion, even death, in political mobilisation sought to break culture’s links with the Telugu language and its dominant caste speakers and resituate it as an expression of the region’s democratic demands. Cultural resources of the Adivasi, Dalit and backward castes, such as dialect, songs and performances were deemed “authentic” sites of regional identity even as these were widely disseminated through audiovisual media such as posters, newspapers, and internet between 2001 and 2014. Post-separation marginalised groups are unable to reclaim these cultural resources to further their demands of political representation, as political culture is now mediated by institutions of a postcolonial state and the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi party’s welfare–patronage policies. Marginalised castes are also unable to move towards a common ethical and moral standard as culture is seen from the restricted logic of politics of representation.
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