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Intersecting Perspectives

Moggallan Bharti

Edited by Clarinda Still
Routledge, New Delhi, 2014, pp. 292, Rs. 750.00


S lavoj Zizek while discussing his new work at LSE recently, emphatically un derlines the ‘Universalism of Capitalism’ and further states that at the level of economy ‘capitalism has triumphed worldwide’ in contemporary times. For Zizek ‘the mask of cultural diversity today is sustained by the actual universalism of global capital’. It is clear that in today’s India there is a growing acceptance of Neoliberalism* as the only viable framework of economic progress. This global model of financial capitalism under the rubric of neoliberal philosophy was unleashed in the Indian economy by the Rajiv Gandhi Government in early 1990s; rigorously pushed by the Manmohan Singh Government since 2004 and has now found an almost invincible patron under the Narendra Modi Government since June 2014. Today we are witnessing a Hindu Right Government—riding high on the promise of development—which of course is neoliberal in nature; openly embracing the capitalist class and by the same logic—unabashed capitalism. Barring a few university classrooms and seminars, there is not even the slightest hint of debating neoliberalism in India today. The politics of neoliberal hegemony is now near complete and it is this universalism as unceremoniously pointed out by Zizek and an uncritical acceptance of the same which is dangerous not only for the country as a whole, but counterproductive to the dalit movement as well. Dalits in Neoliberal India: Mobility or Marginalisation? edited by Clarinda Still, as its title suggests, helps in understanding the process of neoliberalism within the context of rising inequalities in Indian society—a society which is deeply embedded in social inequalities to begin with. This book where young scholars along with seasoned academics are both present with their critical analysis and inputs, was duly awaited. That is not to say that there is a complete absence of critical work being done on neoliberal economy in India. There is of course a vast literature available today which scrutinizes the current status of the Indian economy and exposes the ugly consequences of the same which has further pushed the multitudes to the brink of poverty. However, this work stands unique in the sense that it gives multifaceted understanding on the lives of millions of dalits and where do they rest on the spectrum of economic growth or how dalits have progressed in the middle of this neoliberal churning. How does the withdrawal of the state under aggressive neoliberalism affect dalits, ...

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