The (Dis)Enchantment of Equality: Reclaiming Subjectivity
Pia David
SECULAR SECTARIANISM: LIMITS OF SUBALTERN POLITICS by Ajay Gudavarthy Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2020, 336 pp., 1095.00
January 2023, volume 47, No 1

Ajay Gudavarthy has through this edited volume of essays foregrounded the argument that there are internal contradictions giving rise to new power formations which are a result of conflict within and between marginalized groups. He states, ‘today, we cannot understand social dynamics exclusively as conflicts between the dominant and dominated. While such conflicts are relatively easy to frame as initiating a process of social change, how do we problematize a process of one marginalized group targeting the other? How do we theorize the dynamics of subjugating the weaker amongst the weak?’1 The crises of marginalization and intra-subaltern conflict have been located by him as a form of assertion which is not a quest for political equality but as ‘retributive mobility’, a quest for a moral self-worth for these communities. The secular consensus is seen as propelling the sectarian rise of identity groups. The essays in this volume touch upon various thematics and case studies to demonstrate the nature of this sectarianism.

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