The NLS Public Lecture Series

Sectarian Secularism: Limits of Subaltern Politics

Secularism in India has been a terrain of intense contestation in the last few years and is perhaps an idea in need for further and newer conceptualisations. Critiquing earlier formulations of democracy and secularism, Prof. Ajay Gudavarathy spoke about his new edited volume Sectarian Secularism: Limits of Subaltern Politics. The book argues that secular politics in India has not been able to challenge sectarianism in India because it lacks a political imagination that resonates on the ground. His talk therefore, provoked the audience to think about challenging the rise of the Right, not through current articulations of secularism, minority-ism and Left politics but instead to reinvent the language and practice of an alternate politics of fraternity.

Prof. Ajay Gudavarthy, is Associate Professor, Centre for Political Studies, at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Before joining JNU, he held teaching positions in NLSIU, NUJS and ISEC. He writes extensively on Indian politics, Political Theory, Contemporary Political Movements, Postcolonial Theory, and Civil Society. His books include Politics of Post Civil-Society (2013), Maoism, Democracy and Globalisation (2014) and his latest and much acclaimed book, India and Modi: Populism and the Right (2018).

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