Indian Political Theory : Laying the Groundwork for Svaraj Hardback
At present, a nativist turn in Indian political theory can be observed.
There is a general assumption that the indigenous thought to which researchers are supposed to be (re)turning may somehow be immediately visible by ignoring the colonization of the mind and polity.
In such a conception of svaraj (which can be translated as `authentic autonomy'), the tradition to be returned to would be that of the indigenous elites. In this book, this concept of svaraj is defined as a thick conception, which links it with exclusivist notions of spirituality, profound anti-modernity, exceptionalistic moralism, essentialistic nationalism and purism.
However, post-independence India has borne witness to an alternative trajectory: a thin svaraj.
The author puts forward a workable contemporary ideal of thin svaraj, i.e. political, and free of metaphysical commitment. The model proposed is inspired by B.R. Ambedkar's thoughts, as opposed to the thick conception found in the works of M.K.
Gandhi, KC Bhattacharya and Ramachandra Gandhi. The author argues that political theorists of Indian politics continue to work with categories and concepts alien to the lived social and political experiences of India's common man, or everyday people.
Consequently, he emphasises the need to decolonize Indian political theory, and rescue it from the grip of western theories, and fascination with western modes of historical analysis.
The necessity to avoid both universalism and relativism and more importantly address the political predicaments of `the people' is the key objective of the book, and a push for a reorientation of Indian political theory. An interesting new interpretation of a contemporary ideal of svaraj, this analysis takes into account influences from other cultures and sources as well as eschews thick conceptions that stifle imaginations and imaginaries.
This book will be of interest to academics in the fields of philosophy, political science, sociology, literature and cultural studies in general and contemporary political theory, South Asian and Indian politics and political theory in particular.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 222 pages
- Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
- Publication Date: 24/02/2017
- Category: Political science & theory
- ISBN: 9781138240223
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