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Prophets Facing Sidewise : The Geopolitics of Knowledge and the Colonial Difference

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Abstract:

There is no safe place and no single locus of enunciation from where the uni‐versal could be articulated for all and forever. Hindu nationalism and Western neo‐liberalism are entangled in a long history of the logic of coloniality (domination, oppression, exploitation) hidden under the rhetoric of modernity (salvation, civilization, progress, development, freedom and democracy). There are, however, needs and possibilities for Indians and Western progressive intellectuals working together to undermine and supersede the assumptions that liberal thinkers in the West are better placed to understand what is the common good better than Indian thinkers in post‐partition India. Science, in the last analysis, doesn't carry in itself an ethics and politics. Therefore, it is doubtful to argue that science is beyond both, and only concerned with the advancement of the frontier of knowledge and understanding. Science could be (like Christianity, Hinduism, Liberalism or Marxism) both imperial and liberating. Knowledge and understanding, rather than science; gnoseology rather than epistemology, should be thought out as which the horizon toward a dialogical and critical cosmopolitanism (e.g., pluriversallity as universal project), could be envisioned beyond East and West, Hindu nationalism and Westertn (neo) liberalism.

Keywords: Abstract universals; Border thinking; Coloniality; Coloniality of knowledge; Critical cosmopolitanism; Pluriversality as universal project

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02691720500084325

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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