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Tejani, Shabnum (2013) 'Defining Secularism in the Particular: Caste and Citizenship in India, 1909-1950.' Politics and Religion, 6 (4). pp. 1-27.

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Abstract

Drawing on recent debates on secularism, this article addresses the methodological problem of writing histories of secularism in context. It considers the experience of India. I argue that a study of the issues from which secularism emerged historically offers a way out of the secularism-religion binary which, in India, has obscured contemporary problems related to democracy. These issues had to do with ensuring the public representation of minorities, both religious and caste, regardless of their relative size or social power. Scholarship on the minority question has begun with the constituent assembly and that on secularism centered on the category of religion. In contrast, this article argues that caste was central to the formulation of Indian secularism and requires a longer historical perspective. It maintains that secularism reified the religious minority and, in so doing, denied both its potential to overcome marginality and the legitimacy of the community in the nation.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
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ISSN: 17550483
Copyright Statement: © Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2013. This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1017/S1755048313000606
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2014 09:07
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/19055

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