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Popular Culture, Radical Egalitarianism, and Formations of Muslim Selfhood in South Asia

Caron, James and Dasgupta, Ananya (2016) 'Popular Culture, Radical Egalitarianism, and Formations of Muslim Selfhood in South Asia.' South Asian History and Culture, 7 (2).

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Abstract

In early twentieth century leftist politics on the geographical fringes of South Asia, Islam played a major role. Were activists in these movements leftist despite their understandings of Islam, or because of them? This essay introduces the project represented in the essays of this special section of South Asian History and Culture, as well as the essays that will appear in a complementary section in a subsequent issue this year. The editors of this project reconstruct a conversation on surprising resonances in subaltern sources in Pashto and Bengali of early twentieth-century grassroots indigenous traditions of radical Muslim egalitarianism. What should we make of these resonances? Building on Latin American decolonisation theory in the wake of Subaltern Studies, we introduce a series of articles that together illustrate what Ramon Grosfoguel calls a ‘pluriverse’ of perspectives on the ethical self: some rooted in the local lifeworlds of Bengal and some in the Afghan borderland; all interlinked through a series of ‘middle actors’. In so doing, we excavate some dense but hidden two-way traffic between subaltern worlds of Muslim piety and devotion on two distant ends of South Asia, and all-India, international or cosmopolitan politics. These together helped constitute a surprising amount of what we know as the South Asian left, from what are usually seen as its geographical, social, and especially intellectual peripheries.

Item Type: Articles
Additional Information: Published online: 15 Feb 2016.
Keywords: Islam; leftism; piety; subaltern; resistance; radicalism; communism; socialism; decolonisation; indigenous cosmologies
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
Institutes and Regional Centres > Centre of Contemporary Central Asia and the Caucasus
Institutes and Regional Centres > South Asia Institute (SSAI) > Centre for the Study of Pakistan
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DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/19472498.2016.1143666
Depositing User: James Caron
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 11:41
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/21862

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