Pluralism and Equality - Values in Indian Society and Politics

Pluralism and Equality - Values in Indian Society and Politics

Product ID: 7813

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Author: Imtiaz Ahmad
Partha S Ghosh/Helmut Reifeld
Editor(s): Imtiaz Ahmad / Partha S Hhosh / Helmut Reifled
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2000
Language: English
Pages: 378
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170369576


With the end of the Cold War, interest in the core-values of stat, 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.

Emphasizing 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 India-particularly, the surge in communal conflict in recent years, the policies of so-called secular political parties, and the role of caste and ethnicity-form the third group. The fourth group of questions examines the challenges to the traditional nation-state, while the last looks at India in the context of globalization focusing on certain values which now play an important role in policy formulation-economic liberalization, democracy, the plurality of India’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.



Introduction: Helmut Reifeld


The Place of Individual in Indian Thought and Polity

The Cultural Capital of Europe: Values, Norms and Institutions as Devices for European Developmental Success

The State as Value? : India, Europe, China

More Equal but still Not Equal? State and Inter-Group Equality in Contemporary India

Is Secularism a Value in Itself?


Unity and Diversity in India: Two Ends of a Continuum or a Converging Horizon?

Majorities and Minorities in Modern South Asian Islam:
A Historian’s Perspective

Basic Conflict of We and They between Religious Traditions, between Hindus, Muslims and Christians in India

Basic Conflict of We and They between Social and Ethnic Groups

We and They Syndrome: The South Asian Experience


Reforms, Democracy and Justice: Some Issues of State and the Market in South Asia

Is Globalization a Threat to Regional and Local Identities?

Gender Lines: Personal Laws, Uniform Laws, Conversion

Individual and Group Rights in Western Europe and India


About the Editors and Contributors