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Secular Sectarianism

Secular Sectarianism
Limits of Subaltern Politics

Edited by:
  • Ajay Gudavarthy - Associate Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

December 2019 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

Secularism is a tenet that is fundamental to Indian democracy and enshrined in the Constitution. However, its practice has been severely hampered in recent times largely due to the secular sectarianism pursued by secular, democratic and progressive political formations. This implies the tendency of specific secular political movements to act as if their agenda are exclusively important. Secular sectarianism has gradually polarized communities and advanced a woefully limited political imagination, leading to the proliferation of conflicts between various marginalized groups—Dalits, tribals, OBCs, Muslims, women and the Left. Secular Sectarianism: Limits of Subaltern Politics includes several accounts of such conflicts, opening up a new area of study for further conceptualization.

This book emphasizes that citizenship in practice is expressed through the right to speak for others and not just for oneself. Progress can be made only by opening up dialogues within and across political communities. This is essential for India’s survival as a secular and democratic nation. Progressive politics needs to move towards affinity and an idea of shared spaces.


Introduction: Prolegomenon to a Critical Theory of Secular Sectarianism
Part I - Casting Sectarianism, Engendering Secularism
Incommensurable Sacral–Secular Sectarianism? Rohith-Movement and the Emergence of the Inappropriable
Thirumal P. and Dickens Leonard
Intra-Subaltern Conflict: Dalit–Tribal Conflict in Odisha
Suratha Kumar Malik
Interrelations of Gender, Caste, Religion and State: Women's Centrality as Counter to Secular Sectarianism
Tarushikha Sarvesh
Part II - Limits of Minority-ism
Ghar Wapsi or Reconversion?
Samir Gandesha
Understanding the Analytics of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and Pasmanda Frame
Afroz Alam
Resisting Minoritization: Postcolonial Muslim Politics and Indian Democracy
Mursed Alam and Seema Ahmed
Rethinking Minority Politics in India
Shadab Arab
The Forgotten of the Conflict in Indian Jammu and Kashmir: On the Exile of the Pandit Minority
Nathalene Reynolds
Part III - Left and Its Fragments
Governance as Practice and Politics as Intersectionality: Socializing Governance, Localizing Theories
Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, Manas Dutta and Tirthankar Ghosh
What Is Left for Left in West Bengal? The New Left and the World of the Third
Dhritiman Chakrabarty
Afterword: Politics of Secular Sectarianism
Ajay Gudavarthy and Nissim Mannathukaren
Key features

• The book vividly presents the current status of various secular political formations and movements.

• It covers the polarization of subaltern society along sectarian lines.

• It elucidates the underlying reasons for the development of secular sectarianism in Indian politics.

• It provides a strong basis for reorientation of all such formations towards a state of mutual dialogue and collaboration, to facilitate the development of Indian politics and society along progressive lines.


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ISBN: 9789353286774