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A Battle of the Books: Linguistic Antagonisms and the Crisis of Postcolonial Secularism

A Battle of the Books: Linguistic Antagonisms and the Crisis of Postcolonial Secularism ma Ni Sh a Ba Su A Battle of the Books Linguistic Antagonisms and the Crisis of Postcolonial Secularism iNTro Duc Tio N In his contribution to a timely collection of essays entitled e C Th risis of Secularism in India, Partha Chatterjee identifies a new element in what is increasingly being considered legitimate politics in contemporary South Asian contexts. This is the idea, he writes, “being voiced, not from the extremist fringes but from the very center of representative institutions, that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of minorities must be negotiated afresh in the political domain” (142). I will return momentarily to an elaboration of what exactly has led to this need to renegotiate minority rights and what theoretical responses it requires from the critical minds of our times. For now, let it suc ffi e to say that in so far as his essay goes on to iden- tify the matters of minorities at the very center of a process of modern secular- ization, Chatterjee suggests that, in the contemporary context he is examining, a new brand of secularism likewise involves new means of recognizing and man- aging (minority) difference at a time during which the national body http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

A Battle of the Books: Linguistic Antagonisms and the Crisis of Postcolonial Secularism

The Comparatist , Volume 37 – May 12, 2013

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

ma Ni Sh a Ba Su A Battle of the Books Linguistic Antagonisms and the Crisis of Postcolonial Secularism iNTro Duc Tio N In his contribution to a timely collection of essays entitled e C Th risis of Secularism in India, Partha Chatterjee identifies a new element in what is increasingly being considered legitimate politics in contemporary South Asian contexts. This is the idea, he writes, “being voiced, not from the extremist fringes but from the very center of representative institutions, that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of minorities must be negotiated afresh in the political domain” (142). I will return momentarily to an elaboration of what exactly has led to this need to renegotiate minority rights and what theoretical responses it requires from the critical minds of our times. For now, let it suc ffi e to say that in so far as his essay goes on to iden- tify the matters of minorities at the very center of a process of modern secular- ization, Chatterjee suggests that, in the contemporary context he is examining, a new brand of secularism likewise involves new means of recognizing and man- aging (minority) difference at a time during which the national body

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 12, 2013

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