Author: Dipankar Gupta
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195643917
This work questions the widely held conceptualization of nation-states and ascriptive identities, through a study of Sikh extremism in the Punjab. The author argues that contrary to popular opinion, regional sympathies can co-exist with nationalist loyalty.
In this book the author maintains that viewing ethnic conflict in terms of cultural exclusiveness and intolerance prevents us from comprehending how friends and enemies switch sides radically even within a relatively short span of time. Ethnic identities are not fixed and permanent, but dynamic and have to be located within specific sociological co-ordinates. To this end, Dipankar Gupta uses ethnographic material relating primarily to the Punjab problem, with comparative references to the Shiv Sena movement, on which has he done considerable work. He argues for a triadic framework where the interaction between warring dyads is contextualised by the thematics of the nation-state. He thus attempts to separate ethnicity from the related phenomena of communalism and fundamentalism.
EXCERPTS FROM REVIWES:
Here is a painstakingly researched and utter honest attempt at analyzing and presenting the Sikh problem in a proper perspective.
= The Hindu
This book not only provides a fresh perspective on one of the most critical periods of Independent India, but also gives us some important clues to understand other similar problems both inside and outside the country.
PART I - AUTHENTICATING THE NATION-STATE
Partition Makes the nation-State
The Indispensable Center
PART II - ETHNICIZATION OF PUNJAB
Punjab: the making of an Ethnic Consciousness
The Sikh Imago
Against the primacy of the Cultural Logic
PART III - APOSTROPHES
Ascriptive Rivalries and Historical Consciousness
>From Dyad to Triad: A Critique of Postmodern Construction of Identity
Between General and Particular 'Other': Some Observations on Fundamentalism
The Anandpur Sahib Resolution
Samples of Sikh Extremist Releases