The Minority Conundrum
Living in Majoritarian Times
The second volume in the Rethinking India series focuses on what it means to be a minority in majoritarian times. The contributors identify vulnerabilities that encumber the quest for the realization of substantive citizenship by minority groups. The essays deal with educational attainments, employment prospects in a liberalized economy, possibilities of equal opportunity, violence of the state and vigilante groups, emerging questions of citizenship and employment, linking language with the material life of its speakers, and the receding political voice of minorities during a majoritarian upswing.
Along with the subject of minorities, its inextricable bond with two allied ideas, equally foundational to the vision of the Indian Republic, is also examined: secularism and nationalism. The three together form a conceptual whole to the extent that none finds its manifestation without referring to the other two. The take-offs of the minority question in India include the archetypal nationalist's disapproval of the very endurance of the subject post-Independence. Or, the resilience of religions, customs and practices of non-Sanskritist or non-Hinduistic inheritance, considered perilous to national security, called for a final solution. This and several allied issues form the topics dealt with in this thought-provoking volume.