Caste Identities and The Ideology of Exclusion

A Post-Script on the Humanization of Indian Social Life

by Sebastian Velassery and Reena Patra

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Author website: http://www.overseaspress.net
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Synopsis

Today, when India is certainly once more emerging as one of the most important social experiments in the world, it is more than ever incumbent to explore and re-discover the underlying reasons and philosophy that marginalized the Indian consciousness in terms of caste, ethnicity, religion and the like. This book is intentionally taking a re-look at caste as ontology in a deeper level by taking recourse to the major mode of dehumanization that has systematically happened in this country by upholding tradition as sacred and thus cannot be challenged. Unlike the European enlightenment which was powerful enough to overthrow a cognitive method that was centered on religious considerations, Indian cultural and civic movements could not depose doctrinal claims based on caste and caste identities. Therefore, the most significant question is: Can a new form of civic culture devoid of Varnashrama morals and their preceptors will be a possible reality in this tradition and culture? This is the most formidable, intellectual, cultural, political and social anxiety that post-independence India faces with regard to the humanization debates of Indian societies.

About the Author

Sebastian Velassery, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India did his M. A. from Hyderabad Central University and Ph. D from IIT/Kanpur. Professor Velassery has contributed more than six dozen research articles in various national/international journals and anthologies. He has published eight books. The recent books are Casteism and Human Rights: Toward an Ontology of the Social Order; Globalization and Cultural Identities: Philosophical Challenges and Opportunities; Identity, Creativity and Modernization: Perspectives on Indian Cultural Tradition, and Reasoning in Faith: Cultural Foundations for Civil Society and Globalization.

Reena Patra was awarded the prestigious Graduiertenkolleg - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG-German Research Foundation) fellowship for her doctoral studies in combining the age old Indian concept of Vaastu Shastra with the Heideggerian concept of techne at Dresten University of Technology in Germany. Besides the two books Reena has published, she has contributed more than a dozen research papers on different philosophical themes in various national/international journals. Presently, she is working on an ICPR project with the Centre for Vivekananda Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh.