[SydPhil] Rink Lamba talk, University of Sydney, June 4

Alexandre Lefebvre alex.lefebvre at sydney.edu.au
Tue May 26 11:10:40 AEST 2015

The following talk may of interest:

Giving Bhakti Its Due: Some Reflections on Political Ideas in Modern India

Rinku Lamba
Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

5-7 pm, Thursday, June 4th, 2015
Quadrangle Building, Room S421
University of Sydney

In this paper I wish to consider how the conceptual resources for thinking about faith, hierarchies and normative orders offered by pre-colonial formations and practices of Bhakti (expressible through what Fred Dallmayr calls "the standard of castelessness, nonhierarchy and caring human fellowship") link up with key presuppositions of modern Indian political thought. I focus on the as yet understudied political implications of the practices of Bhakti to examine (i) the way the normative vocabulary of Bhakti connects with articulations about appropriate modes for political action enunciated by figures such as Gandhi, Tagore and Ambedkar, and (ii) the place of religion in shaping the culture of Indian democracy. Through the above exercises I seek to respond to those assessments of the doctrines of liberalism and secularism which judge them to be unsuited for polities such as India because of these doctrines’ historical ties with socio-political formations associated with the modern west.

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