Dialectical democracy: Indian Muslims and the politics of resistance
Keywords:master-servant dialectic, democratic subordination, participative cultural productions, Indian Muslims, resistance, dialectical democracy
AbstractMajoritarian regimes use perfectly legal and democratically uncensurable strategies to subordinate dissenters and unpopular minorities with the consent of their electorally significant mass of supporters. The anxieties ensuing from democratic subordination can be mitigated only through democratically workable participative cultural productions, the Hegelian concept of Bildung of the subordinated, recognised as legitimate by civil society and as uncensurable by the majoritarian state. Employing the illustrative case of Indian Muslims and Hegel’s master-servant dialectic, this paper argues that the fragile essence of democracy itself must be understood in terms of the dialectical relation between the citizen’s particularities and the state’s universality.
Ambedkar BR. 2002. The essential writings of B.R. Ambedkar. In: Rodrigues V (ed). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Arendt H. 1968. Men in dark times. San Diego: Harcourt.
Alam A. 2015. Emergence of Muslim middle class in post-independence India and its political orientations. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 35(1): 123-140.
Alam M and Ahmed S. 2019. Resisting minoritization: postcolonial Muslim politics and Indian democracy. In: Ajay Gudavarthy (ed). Secular sectarianism: limits of subaltern politics. New Delhi: Sage.
Ahmed H. 2019. Communal Violence, Electoral Polarization and Muslim Representation. Muzaffar Nagar, 2013-14. In: Irfan Ahmad and Pralay Kanungo (eds). The Algebra of Warfare-Welfare A Long View of India’s 2014 Election. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ahmend H. 2020. Who represents India’s Muslims? Thanks to CAA protests, we now know the answer. The Print. 17 January. Available at: https://theprint.in/opinion/who-represents-indias-muslims-thanks-to-caa-protests-we-now-know-the-answer/350709/. [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Ahmad R. 2018. Renaming India: saffronisation of public spaces. Al Jazeera. 12 October. Available at: https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2018/10/12/renaming-india-saffronisation-of-public-spaces [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Ali A. 2022. Bulldozer Raj: India’s display of brute force against its Muslim minorities. TRT World. 16 June. Available at: https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/bulldozer-raj-india-s-display-of-brute-force-against-its-muslim-minorities-58031 [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Apoorvanand. 2018. The reason for renaming places. The Hindu. 13 November. Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-reason-for-renaming-places/article62110680.ece [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Aswani T. 2021. After ‘love jihad,’ India’s Muslims are now being accused of ‘narcotics jihad.’ The Diplomat. The Diplomat. Available at: https://thediplomat.com/2021/10/after-love-jihad-indias-muslims-are-now-being-accused-of-narcotics-jihad/ [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Banerjee M. 2014. Exploring the political in South Asia: why India votes? London, New York, New Delhi: Routledge.
Baxi U. 2009. Outline of a ‘theory of practice’ of Indian constitutionalism. In: Bhargava R (ed). Politics and ethics of the Indian Constitution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bhatia Sidharth. 2022. Mughals are the latest villains of BJP and the Hindutva Brigade. 21 May. The Wire. Available at: https://thewire.in/communalism/mughals-are-the-latest-villains-of-bjp-and-the-hindutva-brigade [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Bhargava R (ed). 1998. Secularism and its critics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Beiser C Frederick. 1993. Introduction: Hegel and the problem of metaphysics. In: Frederick C (ed). The Cambridge companion to Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
De Beauvoir S. 2009 [1949}. The second sex. Transl Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany. Chevallier. London: Vintage.
Brass PR. 2003. The production of Hindu-Muslim violence in contemporary India (Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Brass Paul. 2004. Development of an institutionalised riot system in Meerut City, 1961 to 1982. Economic and Political Weekly. 30 October: 4839-4848.
Bhattacharyya S. 2020. The Sound of silence: protest, poetry and a nation on the streets. Cenacle 1(10): 79-89.
Burns T. 2006. Hegel, identity politics and the problem of slavery. Culture, Theory and Critique 47(1): 87-104.
Butler J. 2000. Restaging the universal: hegemony and the limits of formalism. In: Butler J, Laclau E and Žižek S (eds). Contingency, hegemony, universality: contemporary dialogues on the left. London: Verso.
Butler J. 2005. Giving an account of oneself. New York: Fordham University Press.
Chatterji AP. 2019. Remaking the Hindu/Nation: terror and impunity in Uttar Pradesh. In: Chatterji AP, Hansen TB and Jaffrelot C (eds). Majoritarian state: how Hindu nationalism is changing India. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chatterji AP, Hansen TB and Jaffrelot C. 2019. Introduction. In: Chatterji AP, Hansen TB and Jaffrelot C (eds). Majoritarian state: how Hindu nationalism is changing India. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Das V and Poole D (eds). 2004. Anthropology in the margins of the state. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dutta AN. 2020. ‘UPSC jihad’ show offensive, could promote communal attitudes — govt in affidavit to SC. The Print. 18 November. Available at: https://theprint.in/india/governance/upsc-jihad-show-offensive-could-promote-communal-attitudes-govt-in-affidavit-to-sc/547415/ [accessed on 28 November 2022].
De R. 2018. A people’s constitution: the everyday life of law in the Indian Republic. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Derrida J. 1997. The politics of friendship. Transl George Collins. London: Verso.
Ellis-Petersen and Khan A. 2022. They cut him into pieces: India’s ‘love jihad’ conspiracy theory turns lethal. The Guardian. 21 January. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/21/they-cut-him-into-pieces-indias-love-jihad-conspiracy-theory-turns-lethal [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Emmerich A. 2019. Political education and legal pragmatism of Muslim organizations in India: a study of the changing nature of Muslim minority politics. Asian Survey 59(3): 451-473.
Fanon F. 1952. Black skin, white masks. New York: Grove Press.
Farooqi I. 2020. Citizenship as participation: Muslim women protestors of Shaheen Bagh. Economic & Political Weekly 55(4): 13-15.
Farooqui A. 2020. Political representation of a minority: Muslim representation in contemporary India. India Review 19(2): 153-175.
Freire P. 2005. Pedagogy of the oppressed. Thirtieth anniversary edition. Transl Myra Bergman Ramos. New York: Continuum.
Fukuyama F. 1992. The end of history and the last man. New York: The Free Press.
Gopal JN. 2013. Citizenship and its discontents, an Indian history. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Golwalkar MS. 1939. We, our nationhood defines. Nagpur: Bharat Publications.
Guru G. 2009. Rejection of rejection: foregrounding self-respect. In: Gopal Guru (ed). Humiliation: claims and contexts. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Harris HS. 1997. Hegel’s ladder: Vol. I: The pilgrimage of reason and Vol. II: The odyssey of spirit. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.
Houlgate S. 2005. An introduction to Hegel: freedom, truth and history. New York: Blackwell Publishers.
Hasnat K. 2021. What is ‘land jihad’, and why BJP has promised a law against it in Assam Election Manifesto? The Print. 26 March. Available at: https://theprint.in/politics/what-is-land-jihad-and-why-bjp-has-promised-a-law-against-it-in-assam-election-manifesto/628521/ [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Hansen TB. 2019. Against the law: reflections on India’s illiberal democracy. In: Chatterji AP, Hansen TB and Jaffrelot C (eds). Majoritarian state: how Hindu nationalism is changing India. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hansen. TB. 1999. The saffron wave: democracy and Hindu nationalism in modern India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Hegel GWF. 2018. The phenomenology of spirit. Transl Terry Pinkard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hoff S. 2014. The laws of the spirit: a Hegelian theory of justice. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
Horkheimer M and Adorno TW. 2002. In: Noerr GS and Jephcott E (eds). Dialectic of enlightenment: philosophical fragments. Stanford University Press.
Islam M. 2019. Indian Muslim(s) after liberalization. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Islam FU and Rashid M. 2022. How BJP is distorting Indian history for the upcoming generations. Outlook India. 27 June. Available at: https://www.outlookindia.com/national/how-bjp-is-distorting-indian-history-for-the-upcoming-generations-news-204937 [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Jafri A. 2021. ‘Thook jihad’ is the latest weapon in Hindutva’s arsenal of Islamophobia. 20 November. The Wire. Available at: https://thewire.in/communalism/thook-jihad-is-the-latest-weapon-in-hindutvas-arsenal-of-islamophobia [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Jaffrelot C. 2019. A de facto ethnic democracy? Obliterating and targeting the Other, Hindu vigilantes, and the ethno-state. In: Chatterji AP, Hansen TB and Jaffrelot C (eds). Majoritarian state: how Hindu nationalism is changing India. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Indian Muslims from Social Marginalization to Institutional Exclusion and Judicial Obliteration. Modi’s India. Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jayal NG. 2019. Reconfiguring citizenship in contemporary India. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 42(1): 33-50.
Khalid U. 2022. Umar Khalid on his two years in jail: 'I feel pessimistic at times. And also, lonely. The Wire. 13 Sep. Available at: https://thewire.in/rights/umar-khalid-on-his-two-years-in-jail-i-feel-pessimistic-at-times-and-also-lonely [accessed on 17 December 2022].
Kojève A. 1969. Introduction to the reading of Hegel: lectures on the phenomenology of spirit (1933-39). Bloom A (ed). Transl James H. Nichols Jr. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Lijphart A.1996. The puzzle of Indian democracy: a consociational interpretation. American Political Science Review 90(2): 258-68.
Malika MB. 2005. Muslims in India: a demographic and socio-economic profile. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 25(3): 399-422.
Marcuse H. 1941. Reason and revolution: Hegel and the rise of social theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mathur Shubh. 2008. The everyday life of Hindu nationalism: an ethnographic report. Delhi: The Three Essays Collective.
Momin AR. 2004. The empowerment of Muslims in India: perspective, context and prerequisites. New Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies.
Mistry BM. 2005. Muslims in India: a demographic and socio-economic profile. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 25: Issue 3.
Mill Johan Stuart. 2015. On liberty, utilitarianism and other essays. Philp M and Rosen F (eds). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nancy Jean- Luc. 1997. Restlessness of the negative. Transl Jason Smith and Steven Miller. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Novakovic Andreja. 2017. Hegel on second nature in ethical life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nisar AC. 2020. Participative cultural productions of the oppressed: the master-servant dialectic through an Indian lens. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/20797222.2020.1850474
Nisar AC. 2021. Self and culture in Hegel's phenomenology: a critique of the politics of exclusion. PhD thesis. Bombay: Indian Institute of Technology.
Ollman Bertell. 2008. Why dialectics? Why now? In: Ollman B and Smith T (eds). Dialectics for the new century. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pandey G. 1999. Can a Muslim be an Indian? Comparative Studies in Society and History 41(4): 608-29.
Pinkard T. 1994. Hegel’s phenomenology: the sociality of reason. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rae G. 2011. Realizing freedom: Hegel, Sartre and the alienation of human being. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Rao R. 2020. Nationalisms by, against and beyond the Indian State. Radical Philosophy 2(7): 17-26.
Rodrigues V. 2011. In search of an anchor: Muslim thought in modern India. Economic and Political Weekly 46(49): 43-57.
Rodrigues V. 2017. Ambedkar as a political philosopher. Economic & Political Weekly 52(15: 101-07.
Russon J. 2016. Infinite phenomenology: the lessons of Hegel’s science of experience. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Sartre J-P. 1956 . Being and nothingness. Transl Hazel E Barnes. New York: Philosophical Library.
Rumkmini S and Singh V. 2015. Muslim population growth slows. The Hindu. 25 August. Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Census-2011-data-on-Population-by-Religious-Communities/article61777196.ece [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Said W Edward. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Press.
Said W Edward. 1994. Culture and imperialism. New York: Vintage Press.
Salam Z. 2022. BJP wants 40 ‘Mughal’ villages renamed. But some of them are not Mughal at all. The Hindu. 28 May. Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/society/new-delhibjp-wants-40-mughal-villages-renamed-but-some-of-them-are-not-mughal-at-all/article65442040.ece [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Salam Z. 2021. Interview: Aakar Patel. Aakar Patel: ‘Structurally, we have already arrived at a Hindu Rashtra’. Frontline. 26 March. Available at: https://frontline.thehindu.com/arts-and-culture/interview-aakar-patel-structurally-we-have-already-arrived-at-a-hindu-rashtra-book-on-hindutvapolitics/article34006509.ece?response_id=SARTGxxnyf8StnvkgkyGhRouUbjRB9tzTKBaqV67Sy5Brigip3&internal_redirect_uri=https%3A%2F%2Ffrontline.thehindu.com%2Farts-and-culture%2Finterview-aakar-patel-structurally-we-have-already-arrived-at-a-hindu-rashtra-book-on-hindutva-politics%2Farticle34006509.ece [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Sachar R. 2006. Social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India: a report. Lok Sabaha: Indian Parliament. Available at: https://www.minorityaffairs.gov.in/sites/default/files/sachar_comm.pdf [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Scott JC. 1990. Domination and the arts of resistance: hidden transcripts. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Sarkar S. 2020. Religious discrimination is hindering the Covid-19 Response. BMJ 369: 2280.
Shani G. 2021. Towards a Hindu Rashtra: Hindutva, religion, and nationalism in India. India, Religion, State & Society 49(3): 264-280.
Shaban A (ed). 2018. Lives of Muslims in India: politics, exclusion and violence. London, New York, New Delhi: India.
Sen S. 2019. Tampering with history: how India’s ruling party is erasing the Muslim heritage of the nation’s cities. 20 May. The Conversation. Available at: https://theconversation.com/tampering-with-history-how-indias-ruling-party-is-erasing-the-muslim-heritage-of-the-nations-cities-116160 [accessed on 28 November 2022].
Sud Nikita. 2022. The actual Gujarat model: Authoritarianism, Capitalism, Hindu nationalism and Populism in the Time of Modi. Journal of Contemporary Asia 52(1).
Spivak GC. 2010. Can the subaltern speak?Reflections on the history of an idea. Morris RC (ed). New York: Columbia University Press.
Scroll Staff. 2016. Full text. 'My name is Umar Khalid, certainly, but I am not a terrorist.’ Scroll. 22 Feb. Available at: https://scroll.in/article/803988/full-text-my-name-is-umar-khalid-certainly-but-i-am-not-a-terrorist
Taylor C. 1999. Sources of the self: the making of the modern identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Taylor C. 1994. The politics of recognition. In: Gutmann A (ed). Multiculturalism: examining the politics of recognition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Taylor C. 1979. Hegel and modern society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Taylor C. 1975. Hegel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tejani S. 2008. Indian secularism: a social and intellectual history, 1890-1950. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press
Varshney A. 2019. Modi consolidates power: electoral vibrancy, mounting liberal deficits. Journal of Democracy 30(4): 63-77.
Waghmore Suryakant. 2013. Civility Against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India. New Delhi: Sage.
Copyright (c) 2022 AC Nisar
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.