FF UK Univerzita Karlova v Praze Filozofická fakulta Filozofická fakulta

ÚJCAIndologie a indonésistikaAktualityRaj Sekhar Basu: Interpreting Lower Caste Movements in Colonial India (prosinec 2012)

Raj Sekhar Basu: Interpreting Lower Caste Movements in Colonial India

Pozvánka na přednášku, kterou prosloví

Dr. Raj Sekhar Basu

Mykolo Romeris University, Vilnius

Přednáška proběhne dne 6.12. 2012 ve 14:10 hod. v místnosti č. 337 (budova FF UK, Celetná 20). Přednáška bude proslovena v angličtině.

The study of lower caste movements in the colonial and the immediate colonial period reveals several interesting issues. Social theorists like Gail Omvedt would argue that “colonialism in many ways solidified caste; it also provided openings for subaltern assertion.” While it is true that many of the articulate sections of the lower castes, who now resent the degraded status that had been assigned to them in the past and prefer to introduce themselves as Dalit Bahujans to assert their demands for social equality fall back on history to explicate their economic and social servitude to the upper castes as well as to critique the elite nationalism of the Congress. However, identities were by no way fixed, based on shared cultural and economic experiences and this was often reflected in the perceptions of the lower caste leaders vis-a-vis nationalism. In fact, these perceptions vis-a-vis the nation state and nationalism did undergo a change in course of a few decades. There have been attempts to give a more wider definition of Indian nationalism and this has been reflected more in recent times with demands of democratisation, which it is believed can widen the representation of the Dalit interests and voices.

The lecture argues that there is a danger of privileging certain social categories. The historically oppressive dichotomies built around the walls of race and ethnicity have to be broken down. The dichotomy of upper caste versus lower caste must be rejected in favour of a framework emphasising multiple and overlapping identities. What would be argued is that any individual identity is an amalgam of gender, caste, class, religious and countless other factors, thereby preventing identification on the lines of a particular category.