Identity Politics in India and Europe

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Michael Dusche

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    Acknowledgements

    The bulk of this work was made possible thanks to the generous funding of the postdoctoral research project ‘Perceptions of Threat between Europe and the Muslim World’ by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research during my tenure at the University of Erfurt, Germany, from June 2006 to April 2009.

    Although all the material in this book is original, it should be mentioned that earlier versions of certain sections have been presented and discussed at the semestrial meetings of the joint project group on ‘Mobilisation of Religion in Europe’ at the University of Erfurt and at various seminars and conferences.

    The section on ‘New Institutionalism and Meyer's World Polity Approach’ was presented at the Third Workshop on ‘New Institutionalist Organisation Theory’ at the University of Bergamo, Italy, 23–24 March 2007, and at the International Workshop on ‘New Institutionalism, World Polity, and Religion’ at the University of Erfurt, 27–28 April 2007.1

    Parts on Al-Andalus were presented at the International Conference ‘Neue west-östliche Diwane’ at the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, 16–18 May 2007.

    ‘Reflections on Identity Politics in Europe’ were presented at the International Conference ‘Die Vielfalt Europas—Identitäten und Räume’, organised by Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas, University of Leipzig, 6–9 June 2007.2

    The part on ‘Identity Politics in India’ was presented at the annual meeting of the German and the European Associations for the Study of Religion ‘Plurality and Representation: Religion in Education, Culture, and Society’, Bremen, Germany, 23–27 September 2007.

    This accounts only for the most recent occasions to discuss parts of this study with scholars and the wider public. Of course, such a work has a much longer antecedent. It would not have been possible without my tenure at the Jawaharlal Nehru University during 2000 through 2005, which was sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service. This time was invaluable for gaining a deeper understanding of India, and also of Europe, since it is from the distance that the observer gains a fuller view of the picture.

    The considerations on language, culture and identity were developed in seminars attended in India such as the symposium on ‘Signification in Buddhist and French Traditions’ at the Indian Institute for Advanced Study, Shimla, 25–30 September 2001,3 the seminar ‘Beyond the Linguistic Turn’ at the Centre for Linguistics and English, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 22–26 January 20024, the seminar on ‘Language, Meaning and Text’ at the Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 5–6 November 2004, and the workshop on ‘European Union Studies’ at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, 16–17 February 2005.

    Parts regarding globalisation, world society and global justice were the subject of the conference on ‘Tolerance in the Context of Inter-culturality and Globalisation’ at the Department of German and Russian, University of Bombay, Mumbai, 12–15 March 20025 as well as of the opening lecture for the symposium on Global Justice organised by the student members of the Cusanus-Werk, Halle, Germany, 5–8 December 2002.6

    Reflections regarding religion, and especially Islam, in Europe were discussed at the seminar on ‘Asserting Religious Identities’ at the Third World Academy, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India, 16–18 October 20037 the seminar on ‘Multiculturalism in India and Europe’ at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, 6–7 November 20038 and during my visit at the Centre for Advanced Study, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, during May 2005.

    I am grateful for the valuable comments from participants of these conferences from the colleagues of the Erfurt project, notably Jamal Malik. I should also mention Michael Opielka from FH Jena who was a partner in the initial phase of the project. Thanks also for comments and encouragement to Antti Ruotsala and Andrew Wheatcroft.

    A great thanks to all of my interview partners from India, Turkey, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and to John W. Meyer from Stanford University for reading and commenting on parts of this book. Of course, the responsibility for all remaining shortcomings is entirely mine.

    Last but not least, a warm thanks to Anne Thomas for her help with the transcription in the interviews and in my struggle with the English language and to Rekha Natarajan and Manali Das from SAGE who took care of the smooth publication of this volume.

    Notes

    1. Michael Dusche, “‘Europe and the Islamic World’—Perceptions and Stereotypes,” in Forum for Postcolonial Studies, ed. Anil Bhatti (Munich: Ludwig-Maximilians University [LMU], 2007). Available online at http://www.goethezeitportal.de/fileadmin/PDF/kkd#postkoloniale_studien/dusche_europe_islamic.pdf (accessed August 30, 2009).

    2. Michael Dusche, “Die europäische Zivilisation aus dem Blickwinkel der muslimischen Welt” [European Civilisation from the Perspective of the Muslim World], in Die Vielfalt Europas—Identitäten und Räume pp. 603–13 (Leipzig: Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas, 2009).

    3. Michael Dusche, “Signification in Opaque Contexts. Interpreted Logical Forms as Attitude Contents,” in Signification in Language and Culture, ed. Harjeet Singh Gill (Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 2002), 161–94.

    4. Michael Dusche, “Experts or Mediators? Philosophers in the Public Sphere,” in Post-structuralism and Cultural Theory, ed. Franson Manjali (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 2006), 170–84.

    5. Michael Dusche, “Liberal Tolerance between People(s),” TRANS—Internet Journal for Culture Studies 5 (2002). Available online at http://www.inst.at/trans/5Nr/dusche5.htm.

    6. Michael Dusche, “Staatliche Einheit und religiöse Vielfalt in Indien” [National Unity and Religious Diversity in India] suedasien.info (2006). Available online at http://www.suedasien.info/analysen/1457 (accessed August 28, 2008).

    7. Michael Dusche, “Asserting Religious Identities in the Federal Republic of Germany,” in Assertive Religious Identities: India and Europe, ed. Satish Saberwal and Mushirul Hassan (New Delhi: Manohar, 2006), 415–37.

    8. Michael Dusche, “Multiculturalism, Communitarianism and Liberal Pluralism,” in Religious Pluralism in South Asia and Europe, ed. Jamal Malik and Helmut Reifeld (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005), 120–44.

    Introduction

    Perceptions of self, identity, social order and peace on one hand and fears of instability, loss of self, disorder and violent conflict on the other seem to depend on each other in a dialectical way. Perceptions of ‘the other’ form an integral part of this dialectic. This was true of the formative years of the West as well as of the Islamic world. It was true of the encounters between the European colonial powers and the non-European world and it is true even today where a divide is supposed to exist between the West and the Islamic world.

    The history of perceptions between the West and the Islamic world does not begin with the recent terror attacks in the US, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. These in a way only mark the moment in the West when awareness became overwhelming that something is fundamentally amiss in its relations with the countries of the so-called Islamic world. This leads to a broad examination of the roots of religiously embellished terrorism.

    For lack of immediate access to the life worlds and languages of the people in the Middle East and South and South-east Asia, the enquiry based itself largely on the scriptures and symbols of Islam such as the Qur'an, the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, the Islamic legal tradition or symbols like the headscarf. This lead to new irritations and turmoil as in the infamous caricature controversy or the Regensburg speech of Pope Benedict XIV.

    Also the dealings with so-called Muslim minorities in Europe, Israel and India were reassessed in the light of these controversies. Honour killings, forced marriages and genital mutilations, in fact neither exclusively nor typically Islamic, are increasingly discussed in connection with Islam. Thereby, these cultural practices are given the importance of matters of conscience. They are discussed on a par with religious freedoms such as the recognition of Muslim associations as religious bodies of public law in Germany. In India, similar debates surround Muslim personal law and the practices that it supposedly entails such as polygamy—which again is not exclusively Islamic.

    In Europe, the willingness to concede to people of other cultures a certain degree of autonomy has reduced to make way for new forms of virtue despotism where Muslims are compelled to ‘integrate’ into a mainstream culture that increasingly becomes an object of public administration. Instead of addressing the problems as they relate to old-fashioned patriarchal ways of living, which would concern Muslims as well as non-Muslims, the debate has closed in on Muslims alone thereby alienating them more than including them in an open discussion on common norms and shared values.

    Explaining the other's behaviour by recourse to her/his religion is a stratagem of ‘othering’ more than a way to mutual understanding. It has a long history. In the West, the perception of threat emanating from the Muslim world is as old as Islam itself (or the West for that matter).

    The perception developed in the 7th and 8th centuries when Muslim conquerors expanded the reach of Islam well into Spain, Italy and even France. Islam was portrayed as a hostile alternative to Christianity, and Muhammad was denounced as a heretic or even as the Antichrist. In the process of disengagement with the Mediterranean as a cultural region, Europe formed its Western identity first and foremost with the Islamic world as its cultural ‘other’. To build its own identity around the notion of Latin Christendom, western Europe needed Islam as its own antithesis. When the Christian religion was seen as the epitome of all that was good, Islam became the incremental evil in the eyes of the western Europeans.

    This perception has found its expression in European art, literature and historiography and even in some academic disciplines (Orientalism). Those expressions rage from caricature depictions of Muslims on Romanesque church buildings to the romances of the crusader period; from anti-Turkish wall hangings and paintings to learned tractates about ‘the Oriental’.

    The reverse was also true but very much less markedly so. For long periods, western Europe hardly figured in the mental map of the people who found themselves living in the Muslim world. If it did, it was for the ‘firanghis’ (Franks) who made their way into the Middle East as crusaders or traders. Neither posed a threat of any import before the time of European colonial expansion.

    The period of colonialism and later of imperialism, however, left a deep mark on the geography of the colonised lands and the minds of the people colonised. The Europeans left the Middle East and South Asia with borders drawn arbitrarily or along religious and ethnic lines, both with the potential for eternal conflict. The Israel-Palestine conflict is only one of the most persistent of these. Generally, it left the decolonised with a sense of mistrust vis-à-vis the West.

    There are thus some realities on the ground that account for the mutual misgivings that ‘Westerners’ and ‘Orientals’ tend to have about each other. These can play a promotive role in present conflicts. At the same time, they can have an internally stabilising effect on societies that have a need for an external ‘other’ in order to create a sense of cohesion among themselves. While the ‘other’ is portrayed as foreign and hostile, one assures oneself of one's own uniqueness and identity. This can be conducive for the sense of inner cohesion that each society needs in order to form a functioning political body. At the same time, it harbours conflict both within and without.

    The portrayal of the Muslim ‘other’ both in India and in Europe draws on age-old stereotypes, whose genealogy can be traced back to the early encounters between the emerging world of Latin Christendom in Europe and the expanding world of Islam. This is where this book will begin. Of course, it is not possible to give a full picture of the complex relationships between the two in just a few pages. The focus is laid extensively on the origins of perceptions of Muslims as the threatening ‘other’. This ignores many positive aspects of this mutual encounter. The author is painfully aware of this. However, it is not the aim of this book to give an accurate account of a very complex and varied relationship over hundreds of years. The focus is therefore not on the relationship itself but on the role of perceptions in this relationship. Of course, India has its own and independent history of perceptions of Islam and Muslims prior to the advent of the British rule. The book can also not do justice to this very important part of the story. Through the British rule, however, the discursive spheres of India and Europe were interlinked and many of the perceptions of Muslims generated in Europe entered the colonial discourse about the Muslims in India.

    In enquiring into the mutual perceptions between Europe and the Islamic world, one has to take cognisance of the historical entanglements between the two. This is what this book attempts in its first part. Here the ground is laid for an alternative perception of these relations, one that does not itself fall prey to the kinds of stereotypes that have long prevented a positive appraisal of the commonalities and mutually beneficial entanglements between the two. As a result, what is portrayed as two worlds turns out really to be one single world with common references to the Abrahamitic and Judaic traditions, the Hellenic and Byzantine legacy and, more lately, the global condition of modernity.

    Part II of the book takes this globalised modernity as a point of departure and asks anew, where mutual threat perceptions stem from and what function they fulfil in the set-up of the modern polity. The analysis thus turns from rather sweeping comparisons between spheres of great magnitude, both geographically and in terms of civilisational depth, to the more manageable sphere of the nation-state. Here it can be observed how alleged perceptions of threat are being created through discourse and whom they serve in the arena of national and international politics.

    The conflict lines here are not between civilisational spheres but they cut right through individual societies and mark the difference between various adaptations of modernity to varying local conditions. Often controversies over the right combination of modern precepts and traditional ways of life take hybrid forms and it becomes quite difficult to make out if a social movement is modern or non-modern or progressive or regressive.

    ‘Modernity’ as a term is thus used value-free in this study. Modernity holds out promises but never lives up to them. The outcome is always ambivalent, the ambivalence ranging from wholesome to horrid. There is thus hardly any point in labelling social movements or conceptions of social order as modern or non-modern if it were not for the implicit reference to a time when mass politics did not exist, when masses did not matter in the equations of those wielding power and when the political mobilisation of masses for a common cause did not make any sense.

    The modern age, which, after humble beginnings, culminates for the first time in the American and the French revolutions, thus marks a watershed beyond which today's concepts of statehood and politics tend to lose their meaning. On this side of the watershed, mass politics has been established as the prime resource of power. Power based on mass politics can be generated in democratic ways. However, it can also be generated in demagogical ways serving the interests of only a few ruling elites. The latter is sometimes called identity politics. This term will figure prominently in the analysis of the interplays of power in three different contexts.

    The study from which this book emerged looks at three national contexts—India, Israel, Palestine and Turkey—with an interest in the fault lines of conflict in these countries. The analysis therefore looks at the conceptions of normative order that are prevalent or contested in these countries. Altercations between the defendants of the established order and their challengers are looked at through the lens of academic and intellectual discourse.

    As an empirical access route to these discourses, interviews were taken with academics from social sciences and humanities in India, Israel, the Palestinian occupied territories and Turkey. Those taken in India are printed in Part III of this volume. The ones taken in Israel, Palestine and Turkey will form the subject of a second volume. Together they form the basis of an assessment of the three countries regarding the role that their academic elites play in the controversies surrounding the identity of their polity. With the dangers of identity politics lurking in the background, academic elites were assessed with regard to the tempering role that they might play in these discourses.

  • Appendix: Binary Oppositions in Counter-Hegemonic Discourse1

    Unmarked (positive, normative)Marked (negative, deviant)
    Resilience of traditional communities in South Asia (v)[Rapid change in modern Western societies]
    Traditional resistance to violence (v)Assembly line violence in modern ethnic conflicts (v)
    Robust commonsense (v)[Abstract modern rationality]
    People living ordinary lives (v)[People uprooted by modernity]
    Social inertia (v)Cultural attack (v)
    ‘Cussed’ refusal to change way of life (v)[Addicted to change]
    Rarely heroic (v) [actually heroic considering the odds][Deplorable]
    [Personal] community life (v)Impersonal political processes (v)
    [Personal] local politics (v)Impersonal forces of organised mass violence (v)
    [Pre-political community]‘Proper’ modern nation (vi)
    Borderlines between communities not defined (vi)Conventional ethnic majority [Hindu] (vi)
    [Traditionally blurred boundaries between faiths]Proper ethnic and well-behaved nationalities (vi)
    Traditional conceptions of community life and intercommunity relations (vi)Progress, development, secularism, national security, the nation-state, census operations (vi)
    Salad bowl (vi)Melting pot (vi)
    Individuality transcended through presence of others (vi)Individualistic assumptions (vi)
    Communities retain their distinctive identities (vi)Anti-communitarian bias (vi)
    [Eastern traditional knowledge]European Enlightenment (vi)
    [Natural, not artificial, not crafted]Statism, state building, nationalism, nation formation (vi)
    [Organic society]Law-and-order machinery (vii)
    [Consensual decision making, counselling procedures]Game numbers in competitive politics (vii)
    Lived world of Hinduism (vii)Standardised religion (vii)
    Traditions of social healing (vii)Fever-pitch pace of cultural engineering of Hindus (vii)
    Rereading, cauterising and healing of traumata (vii)Ravages of modern historical consciousness (vii)
    Principled forgetfulness (vii)[Compulsory self-awareness]
    Multilayered primordialities, open-ended self (vii)Ravages of impersonality and massification (vii)
    [Traditional ways of exchange]Modern economic and political market (vii)
    [Wholesome, embedded individuality][Suppressed] underside of modern individualism (vii)
    Awareness of resistance to violence from everyday Hinduism and Islam (vii)Unawareness due to ‘principled’ forgetfulness of the class of modern, secular scholars (vii f.)
    [State-independent scholarship]Monopoly of secular categories backed by state power and statist propaganda (viii)
    [Religiously self-aware scholarship]Repression of awareness that the ideologues of religious violence represent the disowned other self (viii)
    [Eastern scholarship]Western scholarship (vi)
    [Scholarship committed to the whole of the population][Bias of] South Asia's modernised middle classes (viii)
    Authentic primordialities (viii)Impersonal checks of institutions (viii)
    ‘Normal’, lethargic, easy lifestyle … distinctive mix of the petty and the sublime (viii)Ideas such as the constitution, democratic elections and human rights (viii)
    Indian civilisation (ix)Imperial West (ix)
    Core organising principles of Hinduism (ix)19th-century social evolutionism
    [Victim of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)[Victimiser of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)
    Hindus and Muslims united in victimhood (ix)[Hindus and Muslims divided by the ruing West]
    [Local order built on principles of Indian civilisation]Global order built on values of European Enlightenment (ix)
    [Innocent] ‘villains’, carriers of messages they themselves cannot read (ix)[West is true villain, external enemy against which Hindus and Muslims should unite]
    [The Indian people]Smug, Westernised Indian middle-class complicit in the Ramjanmabhumi stir (ix) [the enemy within]
    Inner strength of the [Indian] civilisation as expressed in the ways of life of its living carriers (xi)Frightened species facing extinction (ix)
    Resilience of traditional communities in South Asia (v)[Rapid change in modern Western societies]
    Traditional resistance to violence (v)Assembly line violence in modern ethnic conflicts (v)
    Robust commonsense (v)[Abstract modern rationality]
    People living ordinary lives (v)[People uprooted by modernity]
    Social inertia (v)Cultural attack (v)
    ‘Cussed’ refusal to change way of life (v)[Addicted to change]
    Rarely heroic (v) [actually heroic considering the odds][Deplorable]
    [Personal] community life (v)Impersonal political processes (v)
    [Personal] local politics (v)Impersonal forces of organised mass violence (v)
    [Pre-political community]‘Proper’ modern nation (vi)
    Borderlines between communities not defined (vi)Conventional ethnic majority [Hindu] (vi)
    [Traditionally blurred boundaries between faiths]Proper ethnic and well-behaved nationalities (vi)
    Traditional conceptions of community life and intercommunity relations (vi)Progress, development, secularism, national security, the nation-state, census operations (vi)
    Salad bowl (vi)Melting pot (vi)
    Individuality transcended through presence of others (vi)Individualistic assumptions (vi)
    Communities retain their distinctive identities (vi)Anti-communitarian bias (vi)
    [Eastern traditional knowledge]European Enlightenment (vi)
    [Natural, not artificial, not crafted]Statism, state building, nationalism, nation formation (vi)
    [Organic society]Law-and-order machinery (vii)
    [Consensual decision making, counselling procedures]Game numbers in competitive politics (vii)
    Lived world of Hinduism (vii)Standardised religion (vii)
    Traditions of social healing (vii)Fever-pitch pace of cultural engineering of Hindus (vii)
    Rereading, cauterising and healing of traumata (vii)Ravages of modern historical consciousness (vii)
    Principled forgetfulness (vii)[Compulsory self-awareness]
    Multilayered primordialities, open-ended self (vii)Ravages of impersonality and massification (vii)
    [Traditional ways of exchange]Modern economic and political market (vii)
    [Wholesome, embedded individuality][Suppressed] underside of modern individualism (vii)
    Awareness of resistance to violence from everyday Hinduism and Islam (vii)Unawareness due to ‘principled’ forgetfulness of the class of modern, secular scholars (vii f.)
    [State-independent scholarship]Monopoly of secular categories backed by state power and statist propaganda (viii)
    [Religiously self-aware scholarship]Repression of awareness that the ideologues of religious violence represent the disowned other self (viii)
    [Eastern scholarship]Western scholarship (vi)
    [Scholarship committed to the whole of the population][Bias of] South Asia's modernised middle classes (viii)
    Authentic primordialities (viii)Impersonal checks of institutions (viii)
    ‘Normal’, lethargic, easy lifestyle … distinctive mix of the petty and the sublime (viii)Ideas such as the constitution, democratic elections and human rights (viii)
    Indian civilisation (ix)Imperial West (ix)
    Core organising principles of Hinduism (ix)19th-century social evolutionism
    [Victim of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)[Victimiser of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)
    Hindus and Muslims united in victimhood (ix)[Hindus and Muslims divided by the ruing West]
    [Local order built on principles of Indian civilisation]Global order built on values of European Enlightenment (ix)
    [Innocent] ‘villains’, carriers of messages they themselves cannot read (ix)[West is true villain, external enemy against which Hindus and Muslims should unite]
    [The Indian people]Smug, Westernised Indian middle-class complicit in the Ramjanmabhumi stir (ix) [the enemy within]
    Resilience of traditional communities in South Asia (v)[Rapid change in modern Western societies]
    Traditional resistance to violence (v)Assembly line violence in modern ethnic conflicts (v)
    Robust commonsense (v)[Abstract modern rationality]
    People living ordinary lives (v)[People uprooted by modernity]
    Social inertia (v)Cultural attack (v)
    ‘Cussed’ refusal to change way of life (v)[Addicted to change]
    Rarely heroic (v) [actually heroic considering the odds][Deplorable]
    [Personal] community life (v)Impersonal political processes (v)
    [Personal] local politics (v)Impersonal forces of organised mass violence (v)
    [Pre-political community]‘Proper’ modern nation (vi)
    Borderlines between communities not defined (vi)Conventional ethnic majority [Hindu] (vi)
    [Traditionally blurred boundaries between faiths]Proper ethnic and well-behaved nationalities (vi)
    Traditional conceptions of community life and intercommunity relations (vi)Progress, development, secularism, national security, the nation-state, census operations (vi)
    Salad bowl (vi)Melting pot (vi)
    Individuality transcended through presence of others (vi)Individualistic assumptions (vi)
    Communities retain their distinctive identities (vi)Anti-communitarian bias (vi)
    [Eastern traditional knowledge]European Enlightenment (vi)
    [Natural, not artificial, not crafted]Statism, state building, nationalism, nation formation (vi)
    [Organic society]Law-and-order machinery (vii)
    [Consensual decision making, counselling procedures]Game numbers in competitive politics (vii)
    Lived world of Hinduism (vii)Standardised religion (vii)
    Traditions of social healing (vii)Fever-pitch pace of cultural engineering of Hindus (vii)
    Rereading, cauterising and healing of traumata (vii)Ravages of modern historical consciousness (vii)
    Principled forgetfulness (vii)[Compulsory self-awareness]
    Multilayered primordialities, open-ended self (vii)Ravages of impersonality and massification (vii)
    [Traditional ways of exchange]Modern economic and political market (vii)
    [Wholesome, embedded individuality][Suppressed] underside of modern individualism (vii)
    Awareness of resistance to violence from everyday Hinduism and Islam (vii)Unawareness due to ‘principled’ forgetfulness of the class of modern, secular scholars (vii f.)
    [State-independent scholarship]Monopoly of secular categories backed by state power and statist propaganda (viii)
    [Religiously self-aware scholarship]Repression of awareness that the ideologues of religious violence represent the disowned other self (viii)
    [Eastern scholarship]Western scholarship (vi)
    [Scholarship committed to the whole of the population][Bias of] South Asia's modernised middle classes (viii)
    Authentic primordialities (viii)Impersonal checks of institutions (viii)
    ‘Normal’, lethargic, easy lifestyle …distinctive mix of the petty and the sublime (viii)Ideas such as the constitution, democratic elections and human rights (viii)
    Indian civilisation (ix)Imperial West (ix)
    Core organising principles of Hinduism (ix)19th-century social evolutionism
    [Victim of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)[Victimiser of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)
    Hindus and Muslims united in victimhood (ix)[Hindus and Muslims divided by the ruing West]
    [Local order built on principles of Indian civilisation]Global order built on values of European Enlightenment (ix)
    [Innocent] ‘villains’, carriers of messages they themselves cannot read (ix)[West is true villain, external enemy against which Hindus and Muslims should unite]
    [The Indian people]Smug, Westernised Indian middle-class complicit in the Ramjanmabhumi stir (ix) [the enemy within]
    Resilience of traditional communities in South Asia (v)[Rapid change in modern Western societies]
    Traditional resistance to violence (v)Assembly line violence in modern ethnic conflicts (v)
    Robust commonsense (v)[Abstract modern rationality]
    People living ordinary lives (v)[People uprooted by modernity]
    Social inertia (v)Cultural attack (v)
    ‘Cussed’ refusal to change way of life (v)[Addicted to change]
    Rarely heroic (v) [actually heroic considering the odds][Deplorable]
    [Personal] community life (v)Impersonal political processes (v)
    [Personal] local politics (v)Impersonal forces of organised mass violence (v)
    [Pre-political community]‘Proper’ modern nation (vi)
    Borderlines between communities not defined (vi)Conventional ethnic majority [Hindu] (vi)
    [Traditionally blurred boundaries between faiths]Proper ethnic and well-behaved nationalities (vi)
    Traditional conceptions of community life and intercommunity relations (vi)Progress, development, secularism, national security, the nation-state, census operations (vi)
    Salad bowl (vi)Melting pot (vi)
    Individuality transcended through presence of others (vi)Individualistic assumptions (vi)
    Communities retain their distinctive identities (vi)Anti-communitarian bias (vi)
    [Eastern traditional knowledge]European Enlightenment (vi)
    [Natural, not artificial, not crafted]Statism, state building, nationalism, nation formation (vi)
    [Organic society]Law-and-order machinery (vii)
    [Consensual decision making, counselling procedures]Game numbers in competitive politics (vii)
    Lived world of Hinduism (vii)Standardised religion (vii)
    Traditions of social healing (vii)Fever-pitch pace of cultural engineering of Hindus (vii)
    Rereading, cauterising and healing of traumata (vii)Ravages of modern historical consciousness (vii)
    Principled forgetfulness (vii)[Compulsory self-awareness]
    Multilayered primordialities, open-ended self (vii)Ravages of impersonality and massification (vii)
    [Traditional ways of exchange]Modern economic and political market (vii)
    [Wholesome, embedded individuality][Suppressed] underside of modern individualism (vii)
    Awareness of resistance to violence from everyday Hinduism and Islam (vii)Unawareness due to ‘principled’ forgetfulness of the class of modern, secular scholars (vii f.)
    [State-independent scholarship]Monopoly of secular categories backed by state power and statist propaganda (viii)
    [Religiously self-aware scholarship]Repression of awareness that the ideologues of religious violence represent the disowned other self (viii)
    [Eastern scholarship]Western scholarship (vi)
    [Scholarship committed to the whole of the population][Bias of] South Asia's modernised middle classes (viii)
    Authentic primordialities (viii)Impersonal checks of institutions (viii)
    ‘Normal’, lethargic, easy lifestyle … distinctive mix of the petty and the sublime (viii)Ideas such as the constitution, democratic elections and human rights (viii)
    Indian civilisation (ix)Imperial West (ix)
    Core organising principles of Hinduism (ix)19th-century social evolutionism
    [Victim of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)[Victimiser of] proxy battle the modern West fights through its brain children in the Southern world (ix)
    Hindus and Muslims united in victimhood (ix)[Hindus and Muslims divided by the ruing West]
    [Local order built on principles of Indian civilisation]Global order built on values of European Enlightenment (ix)
    [Innocent] ‘villains’, carriers of messages they themselves cannot read (ix)[West is true villain, external enemy against which Hindus and Muslims should unite]
    [The Indian people]Smug, Westernised Indian middle-class complicit in the Ramjanmabhumi stir (ix) [the enemy within]
    Resilience of traditional communities in South Asia (v)[Rapid change in modern Western societies]
    Traditional resistance to violence (v)Assembly line violence in modern ethnic conflicts (v)
    Robust commonsense (v)[Abstract modern rationality]
    People living ordinary lives (v)[People uprooted by modernity]
    Social inertia (v)Cultural attack (v)
    ‘Cussed’ refusal to change way of life (v)[Addicted to change]
    Rarely heroic (v) [actually heroic considering the odds][Deplorable]
    [Personal] community life (v)Impersonal political processes (v)
    [Personal] local politics (v)Impersonal forces of organised mass violence (v)
    [Pre-political community]‘Proper’ modern nation (vi)
    Borderlines between communities not defined (vi)Conventional ethnic majority [Hindu] (vi)
    [Traditionally blurred boundaries between faiths]Proper ethnic and well-behaved nationalities (vi)
    Traditional conceptions of community life and intercommunity relations (vi)Progress, development, secularism, national security, the nation-state, census operations (vi)
    Salad bowl (vi)Melting pot (vi)
    Individuality transcended through presence of others (vi)Individualistic assumptions (vi)
    Communities retain their distinctive identities (vi)Anti-communitarian bias (vi)
    [Eastern traditional knowledge]European Enlightenment (vi)
    [Natural, not artificial, not crafted]Statism, state building, nationalism, nation formation (vi)
    [Organic society]Law-and-order machinery (vii)
    [Consensual decision making, counselling procedures]Game numbers in competitive politics (vii)
    Lived world of Hinduism (vii)Standardised religion (vii)
    Traditions of social healing (vii)Fever-pitch pace of cultural engineering of Hindus (vii)
    Rereading, cauterising and healing of traumata (vii)Ravages of modern historical consciousness (vii)
    Principled forgetfulness (vii)[Compulsory self-awareness]
    Multilayered primordialities, open-ended self (vii)Ravages of impersonality and massification (vii)
    [Traditional ways of exchange]Modern economic and political market (vii)
    Note

    1. Page numbers in round brackets refer to Ashis Nandy et al., eds, Creating a Nationality. The Ramjanmabhumi Movement and Fear of the Self (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995). Inferred propositions and terms are set in square brackets.

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    About the Author

    Michael Dusche holds a PhD in Philosophy and International Relations from the University of Frankfurt am Main. His thesis is published as Der Philosoph als Mediator (The Philosopher as a Mediator) (Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 2000). From 2000 to 2005, Dusche held the position of a senior assistant professor and DAAD lecturer at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. From 2005 to 2009 he held research positions at the University of Erfurt, Germany and F.H. Jena, Germany. Since June 2009, he has been a fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.


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