De-familiarising Nationalist Discourses: Performative Ironies of the Normative Indian Episteme

  • Saswat S. Das, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
  • Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, Kazi Nazul University, India
  • Sandeep Sarkar, Vellore Institute of Technology, India

Abstract

The present excursus attempts a deconstructive reading of the foundational texts of normative Indian nationalism and problematises them and their epistemic plexus through the critical trajectories of Homi K. Bhabha and Partha Chatterjee. Nationalism still remains a primary signifier in academic debates and in works like The Nation and its Fragments and Nationalist Thoughts and the Colonial World, Chatterjee challenges the assumption that nationalism in Asia and Africa is a derivative version of pre-given European nationalist a prioris. For Chatterjee, Asian and African nationalism was based on difference and not on derivation and the present essay addresses this differentiality, this dynamics of performative operativity of Indian nationalism with specific references to textual episteme of foundational thinkers such as Tagore, Gandhi, Vivekananda and Jawaharlal Nehru. We interrogate the normative cognitivities of these foundational thinkers by pitting them against the radical conceptualisation of DissemiNation of Homi K. Bhabha. We argue that while the foundational texts of Indian nationalism did not imitate the epistemic structures of the West they ended up in offering only mythic abstractions and religious normativities that surely fail to betray any proud deliberative encounter with “the historic and objective realities” of India.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Saswat S. Das, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
Saswat Samay Das is Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur, India.
Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha, Kazi Nazul University, India
Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha is Associate Professor at Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol, India.
Sandeep Sarkar, Vellore Institute of Technology, India
Sandeep Sarkar is Assistant Professor, Vellor Institute of Technology, India.
Published
2014-12-15
How to Cite
Das, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, S. S., Purakayastha, Kazi Nazul University, India, A. S., & Sarkar, Vellore Institute of Technology, India, S. (2014). De-familiarising Nationalist Discourses: Performative Ironies of the Normative Indian Episteme. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 8(2), 176-194. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/AJELL/article/view/496
Section
General Articles