By Dipesh Chakrabarty
In Habitations of Modernity, Dipesh Chakrabarty explores the complexities of modernism in India and seeks rules of humaneness grounded in lifestyle which may elude grand political theories. The questions that encourage Chakrabarty are shared via all postcolonial historians and anthropologists: How will we take into consideration the legacy of the eu Enlightenment in lands faraway from Europe in geography or background? How will we envision methods of being sleek that talk to what's shared world wide, in addition to to cultural variety? How can we face up to the tendency to justify the violence accompanying triumphalist moments of modernity?Chakrabarty pursues those concerns in a chain of heavily associated essays, starting from a historical past of the influential Indian sequence Subaltern reports to examinations of particular cultural practices in sleek India, resembling using khadi—Gandhian variety of dress—by male politicians and the politics of civic cognizance in public areas. He concludes with issues of the moral dilemmas that come up whilst one writes on behalf of social justice tasks.
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Additional info for Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies
While khadi persists, its nieanings have lost the richness ofthe times of struggle against British rule. It now represents either thoughtless habit or-if the decision te) wear khadi is clearly conscious-callous hypocrisy. 5 It documents something about the routine cynicism with which we now read the khadi that adoras the body of the political man. Thus, khadi, once described by Nehru as "thc liverv of freedom" and by Susan Bean as the "fabric of Indian independence,"e now stands unambiguously for the reverse of its nationalist definition.
Many modernizers have talked about scrapping the past altogether. Nandy's position, by contras[, is respectful of the past without being bound by it. It uses tradition but in a way that is guided by the critique of the present that it has developed. In discussing Gandhi-in many ways, the person who comes closest to his idea of a wise political leader-Nandy names his position critica¡ traditionalism. Critical traditionalism, according ro Nandy, is different from uncritical adulation of past practices, a position that he finds illus- su,oea^rrr ANn-Hr: rnvi /4' 40 ] CHAPTFR •rHI&LLI.
Makes the work ofsdt ou sclf t isiblc lo) a mann in discussmg Augustine , an all knowing God. (arntcssions are narrarions Of selt higher self, knotvledge addressed to a being sebo knotvs evervtbing anea av . 21 Gan, rathcr , thev are dedhi's confessions are, interesringh , not called that Thc add1 essec ot scribed as provisional results ofongoing eyperiments . the higher being to whom rhe work of selt on self Gandhi's narration , cxperernent the word , knosying selt is being revealed , is, thus, no all carrying within itself an inexorable comtotation of openness and unCrandhi makes it quite clear that God is not the addressee of certain y .