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By Milind Wakankar

This publication explores the connection among mainstream and marginal or subaltern non secular perform within the Indian subcontinent, and its entanglement with principles of nationhood, democracy and equality. With exact readings of texts from Marathi and Hindi literature and feedback, the publication brings jointly experiences of Hindu devotionalism with problems with non secular violence. Drawing at the arguments of Partha Chatterjee, Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida, the writer demonstrates that Indian democracy, and certainly postcolonial democracies typically, don't consistently adhere to Enlightenment beliefs of freedom and equality, and that faith and secular lifestyles are inextricably enmeshed within the heritage of the fashionable, even if understood from the point of view of Europe or of nations previously colonized by way of Europe. hence subaltern protest, in its personal try and lay declare to heritage, needs to depend upon an idea of faith that's inextricably intertwined with the deeply invidious legacy of state, country, and civilization. the writer means that the co-existence of acts of social altruism and the event of doubt born from social strife - ‘miracle’ and ‘violence’ - needs to be a critical factor for moral debate. holding in view the ability and succeed in of genocidal Hinduism, this publication is the 1st to examine how the faith of marginal groups instantly affirms and turns clear of secularized faith. this significant contribution to the study of vernacular cosmopolitanism in South Asia may be of significant curiosity to historians and political theorists, in addition to to students of spiritual experiences, South Asian experiences and philosophy.

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Extra resources for Subalternity and Religion: The Prehistory of Dalit Empowerment in South Asia (Intersections: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories)

Example text

Dwivedi writes, Casting aside with untold courage all external forms of conduct. Kabir arrived on the scene of [spiritual] seeking. It is not as though mere dissent is of value here or simply refusing assent. But to refuse to assent to [religious] barriers for a grcater cause is truly an act of courage. Purposeless protest can entail destruction, but protest driven by a noble end must ever be the motive of the valiant. (Kabir,146) The structure of Dwivedi's argument in this later passage (to pre¥empt my own analysis in what follows) gives us a particularly acute sense of the link between Dwivedi's notion of an Indian skepticism and his account of the popular.

The idea of an "Indian" skepticism identifiable with Kabir serves as the threshold for a genealogy of "Indian" subjectivity, one that is at once intensely personal and innately social. What brings together the personal and thc social into a single idea of individual atrect? It is Dwivedi's history of trauma, which is also a theory of trauma, whose roots he begins to uncovcr in the passage we have been discussing. 59 Hinduism and radical evil To examine more closely the language of trauma associated with the advent of Islam in Dwivedi's text, let us now return to the passage at the start of his historical chapter, which as we saw painted a picture of an ecumenicism at the heart oflndian culture.

Posited as this principle of radical autonomy in the tradition. OWlvedl's Kabir could not easily be assimilated to the dominant traditions of protest and historical action in north India. For where earlier scholars such as Shukla had looked in the work of Surdas and Tulsidas for the ideal of a national community in action, Dwivedi pushed Hindi criticism's nationalist investment in socially purposive literature in the direction of the radical individual, the singular and "dangerous" instance to whose specinc protest the ideal of national community would have to respond, inaugurating a new ethics of the individual in nationalism.

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