Construction of Communalism In Colonial India by Gyanendra Pandey

By Gyanendra Pandey

In colonialist writing, "communalism" is an idea that stands for the puerile and the primitive--for all that colonialism itself, in its personal reckoning, used to be now not. it truly is for that reason paradoxical that using this idea has been propagated, greater than a person else, via nationalists and competitors of colonialism. during this significantly new research of the matter of communalism in India, the writer hence has as a lot to claim approximately nationalism as approximately colonialism. He argues that either those strategies are items of the Age of Colonialism, of cause, and of Capital. His research of communalism is a part of a bigger workout geared toward realizing the development of Indian society and politics as a complete lately.

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The tendency to abstract hybridity into an epistemological principle is clearly evident in Cultural Studies’ selective appropriations of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. According to Anderson, “[c]ommunities are to be distinguished not by their falsity or genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined” (15). Anderson’s emphasis on subjectivity, his interest in styles of imagining, and his bracketing of the question of empirical truth make his work particularly appealing for Cultural Studies.

Common to the dominant articulations of cultural hybridity I have described earlier is a move in which the critique of totalizing knowledges and totalitarian nationalisms is unaccompanied by any comparable critique of a totalizing capitalism. Rather, as Alok Yadav observes, the “ ‘recognition’ of present realities [specifically, the powerful effects of global capitalism] is posited as a kind of superior insight, selfconsciousness, and political maturity which typically serve to distinguish ‘us’ from other parts of the world” (200).

Moreover, this negotiation cannot be read as proof of Gilroy’s claim about the oppressive power of the nation-state per se, since it is the national imaginary of THE POST-NATIONALIST MOMENT 29 black America that is crucial to his construction of a dissenting black Britishness: “The Caribbean, Africa, Latin America, and above all black America contributed to our lived sense of a racial self ” (109, emphasis added). Although the significance of this sentence could be minimized by reading it as a simple statement of autobiographical fact, the general claims of the book as a whole support it.

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