Caste, critique and colonial consciousness: A response to Meena Dhanda

The article at this link is a response to Meena Dhanda’s article “Anti-castism and misplaced nativism: Mapping caste as an aspect of race” in the July/August 2015 issue of the British based journal Radical Philosophy. It proclaims itself to be the “philosophical journal of the independent left”. That same journal refused to carry my article because, they say, they only accept letters to the editors of up to 1,000 words. The editors further required that “within that word limit one should address the main political and/or philosophical points in her article”. They said that the piece below “does not do that, but rather loses its main political and/or philosophical claims in a range of other pointless twists and turns that render it unpublishable.” As I reproduce the same version of that article, the reader can judge whether that description fits and whether I make “pointless twists and turns”. As an alternative the editors offered that I submit a “more sustained theoretical intervention into the debate, one which perhaps incorporates a critique of Dhanda’s article”. I did not want to do that as I already have work published elsewhere in which I tackle the problem of the caste legislation in the UK, the conceptual history of the Indian ‘caste system’, and the role played by Meena Dhanda and her colleagues in supporting the introduction of the British legislation on caste. As it stands, the editors allowed Meena Dhanda to publish her article of over 7,000 words, an article that I claim is based on dubious cognitive criteria, but do not allow my right of reply. Be that as it may, the reader will see how I was compelled to reply to her article given that she does not name me specifically but refers to blogs that I have written against the principle of the caste legislation in the UK and its potential impact in practice.

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This entry was posted in Ambedkar, anti-discrimination law, Britain, caste, caste discrimination, caste system, Christianity, colonial conciousness, descent discrimination, discrimination law, Edward Said, employment, Equality Act 2010, Equality and Human Rights Commission, ethnic minorities, ethnic origins discrimination, Gandhi, S.N. Balagangadhara and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Caste, critique and colonial consciousness: A response to Meena Dhanda

  1. Ramnik Shah says:

    The editors of `Radical Philosophy` were clearly not radical enough to allow your critical response to Ms Dhanda`s article. The 1000 word limit on the letter format could have been circumvented by publishing your critique as a stand-alone piece. After all this is the stuff of academic discourse. I am reminded of the Pankaj Mishra v Niall Ferguson saga in the London Review of Books not so long ago, when their exchanges went on for far longer. No matter though – the points you have made now, so succinctly and with reason, are a brilliant summation of the falsity of the much misunderstood concept of caste discrimination. You have set the record straight. Well done.

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