A liberal poetics of policy

In The Evolution of Educational Thought (1938), Emile Durkheim recounted the historical irony that undergirds the idea of institutionality – by pitting it against the birth of the university in medieval Europe. He noted how the coming into being of a corporative organisation – the universitas – was effectively an attempt at ‘unionising’ the body […]

Nationalisms by, against and beyond the Indian state

On 26 January 2020, thousands of people cheered as four women hoisted the Indian flag in Shaheen Bagh, a predominantly Muslim locality in New Delhi, which had become the epicentre of protests against the highly controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that was passed in December 2019. Three of the women referred to as the dadis […]

Lenin and Gandhi

Lenin and Gandhi A missed encounter? Étienne balibar The theme I shall address today has all the trappings of an academic exercise.* Still, I would like to attempt to show how it intersects with several major historical, epistemological and ultimately political questions. As a basis for the discussion, I will posit that Lenin and Gandhi […]

Aijaz Ahmad

INTERVIEW AijazAhmad Nationalism, Post-colonialism, Communism RP: Could we begin by asking you to tell us something about your background? Ahmad: I was born in India towards the end of colonial rule, so I was very much a child of nationalism. I came from a rather traditional rural family, but my father was a left-of-centre nationalist. […]

Primordial Being

Primordial Being Enlightenment, Schopenhauer and the Indian subject of postcolonial theory Chetan bhatt century Enlightenment philosophers – others could have been chosen – considered the place of ʻIndiaʼ and some of its religions and philosophies in their grand civilizational, cultural and philosophical chronographies. This is a difficult area whose complexities can be elided by the […]

Marx’s Eurocentrism

Marx’s Eurocentrism Postcolonial studies and Marx scholarship Kolja lindner The English jackasses need an enormous amount of time to arrive at an even approximate understanding of the real conditions of … conquered groups. Karl Marx, 1879A great deal of ink has already been spilled on the question of Marx’s Eurocentrism. The debate turns on his […]

Who needs postcoloniality?

Who needs postcoloniality? A reply to Lindner Harry harootunian In Marx’s articles for the New York Tribune on British colonialism in India and the events leading to the Second Anglo-Chinese War (Opium War), critics have caught sight of a double mission attributed by him to British imperialism and colonialism to tear down the structure of […]