Overview for Pluralism and Equality: Values in Indian Society and Politics
With the end of the Cold War, interest in the core-values of state, pluralism, secularism and equality has intensified. This important volume examines these principal values in the differing historical and social-cultural contexts of Europe and India, emphasising their fundamental role in democratic governance, and highlighting the wide variations in both their meaning and content in different cultures. The result of a dialogue between German and Indian scholars, this book stresses the need for greater inter-cultural exchange in the present global scenario, and creates a basis for further dialogue on core-values. The contributors address five sets of questions. Those relating to the political position of the individual human being and human rights are dealt with first, followed by questions that address the dialectic between individual and group rights. Questions relating to the problems of secularism in contemporary Indiaâ€”particularly, the surge in communal conflict in recent years, the policies of so-called secular political parties, and the role of caste and ethnicityâ€”from the third group. The fourth group of questions examines the challenges to the traditional nation-state, white the last looks at India in the context of globalisation focusing on certain values which now play an important role in policy formulationâ€”economic liberalisation, Democracy, the plurality of Indiaâ€™s civil society, and the gender problematic. Overall, the volume places secularism, pluralism, equality and the state in the comparative perspective of Europe and India, and examines how these core-values have been critical in shaping social and political institutions. It also evaluates contemporary controversies about how such values should be understood and applied in the Indian context. Comprising contributions from distinguished scholars, this volume constitutes a lucid and cogent analysis of recent shifts in public policies and political polemics on the meaning and context of various core-values, and offers directions for their construction and application so that democratic governance is ensured. Dealing with many central issues of topical concern, it will be of interest to students of political science, history, sociology, and cultural studies, as well as to non-governmental organizations involved in human rights and the informed lay reader.
Imtiaz Ahmad (Editor)
Imtiaz Ahmad was a Professor of Political Sociology at JNU. His Caste and Social Stratification among Muslims in India is a pioneering work. He has written research articles for national and international magazines on the politics of communalism, and electoral democracy.
Partha Ghosh (Author)
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