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Showing posts from September, 2010

Triple Whammy on Politics, Ideas, and Indian Democracy

SUDIPTA KAVIRAJ The Enchantment of Democracy and India Politics and Ideas Sudipta Kaviraj has long been recognized as among India’s most thoughtful and wide-ranging political thinkers and analysts, one of the subtlest and most learned writers on Indian politics. Paradoxically, this has remained something of a state secret, because Kaviraj’s writings have remained scattered in journals difficult to access. The essays in this volume, the third in a linked trilogy, try to approach Indian democracy from different angles. It is wrong to believe, Kaviraj argues, that with the rise of modernity human societies suffer complete disenchantment: modernity creates new forms of enchantment, and democracy is, in fact, part of the political enchantment of modernity. Focusing on Indian democracy, Kaviraj shows the limits of marxist and liberal political analyses. In its Indian incarnation, he says, liberal democracy has had to inhabit an unfamiliar cultural and historical w