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Dalit Political Mobilization and Cultural Identity Politics

December 4, 2013 - 14:00-16:00

Public guest lecture by Dr. phil. habil. Heinz Werner Wessler, Department of Linguistics and Philology (Indology) at Uppsala University

Even though the postcolonial Indian state has made considerable efforts to create a homogenized society, the great majority of Dalits and Adivasis – forming one fourth of India’s total population – is still socially, ritually and economically marginalized.

Postcolonial Dalit identity politics are related to a rediscovery of religious and cultural identities. Dalit religiosity either relates to the so-called nirguṇa bhakti with a certain corpus of historical religious poetry at the core (Kabir, Ravidas, Chokha Mela etc.) or to religious conversion, particularly to the so-called Neo-Buddhism in terms of Dr. Ambedkar’s book “The Buddha and his Dhamma”. Efforts to regain cultural and religious agency is interpreted in terms of liberation from Brahmanic domination and its hegemonial discourse on Hindu/Indian identity.

Venue: Room 27.0.17, Faculty of Humanities, Unversity of Copenhagen

More information here

The lecture is organised by Asian Dynamics Initiative and Centre of Global South Asian Studies at ToRS.

Dalit Political Mobilization and Cultural Identity Politics


December 4, 2013