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The Postcolonial ContemporaryPolitical Imaginaries for the Global Present$
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Jini Kim Watson and Gary Wilder

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280063

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280063.001.0001

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Deprovincializing Anticaste Thought: A Genealogy of Ambedkar’s Dalit

Deprovincializing Anticaste Thought: A Genealogy of Ambedkar’s Dalit

(p.126) Five: Deprovincializing Anticaste Thought: A Genealogy of Ambedkar’s Dalit
The Postcolonial Contemporary

Anupama Rao

Fordham University Press

This essay focuses on the inherent globality of anticaste thought, and underscores the significance of historical comparison (race, class, minority) in the writings of key thinkers who predicated radical equality on the annihilation of caste. The essay argues against culturalizing caste, which has been the dominant mode for apprehending its social specificity, and instead argues that efforts at political commensuration offer key instances for understanding heterodox histories and practices of subject formation. By placing anticaste thought within a global field of concern about historic dispossession and human emancipation, the essay also addresses the politics of the twentieth century through a genealogy of the exceptional subject, e.g., the Dalit [outcaste] or the remainder, and argues that this offers rich possibilities for enlarging the conceptual matrix of “politics” and political subjectivity.

Keywords:   anticaste thought, B. R. Ambedkar, historical comparison, Marxism, minority, outcaste [Dalit], political commensuration, race, radical equality

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