Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Identities and the Indian State: An Overview

Sagarika Dutt
Third World Quarterly
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Sep., 1998), pp. 411-434
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3993131
Page Count: 24
  • Download ($45.00)
  • Cite this Item
Identities and the Indian State: An Overview
Preview not available

Abstract

The importance that IR theorists have traditionally given to sovereign statehood has decreased their ability to explain new issues of global heterogeneity and diversity. The need to explain the end of the cold war, the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and the revival of old identities as well as the eruption of ethnic conflict in various parts of the world has, therefore, led to the return of culture and identity in IR theory. The concept of nation-state in international relations is based on the assumption that humanity is divided into nations and each nation is entitled to a state of its own. Although a state can exist without a nation it does not have the same legitimacy as a nation-state. Thus post colonial states like India, which are often considered to have artificial boundaries and are made up of many ethnic groups, feel obliged to embark on nation-building and prove that they are a nation-state even though homogeneous nation-states are a dwindling minority. The rise of the BJP in India emphasises the importance of religious and cultural identities but still does not prove that India is a nation. There has always been a tension between national and subnational identities in India. Not everyone who lives within the territorial borders of India considers him/herself to be an Indian nationalist--for example, Kashmiris seeking independence. The central government has always been aware of this and has always given priority to the preservation of the unity and integrity of the country. Indeed the constitution of India, while giving recognition to the fact that India is a multi-ethnic state, does not given anyone the right to secede from the Union. However, it is difficult to say how far India has progressed in the past 50 years beyond mere political integration and towards the creation of a nation-state through the transfer of loyalties from regional or ethnic groups to the nation, whose legal expression is the Indian Union. In the long run this is the only thing that will preserve the Indian state as it exists today.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
411
    411
  • Thumbnail: Page 
412
    412
  • Thumbnail: Page 
413
    413
  • Thumbnail: Page 
414
    414
  • Thumbnail: Page 
415
    415
  • Thumbnail: Page 
416
    416
  • Thumbnail: Page 
417
    417
  • Thumbnail: Page 
418
    418
  • Thumbnail: Page 
419
    419
  • Thumbnail: Page 
420
    420
  • Thumbnail: Page 
421
    421
  • Thumbnail: Page 
422
    422
  • Thumbnail: Page 
423
    423
  • Thumbnail: Page 
424
    424
  • Thumbnail: Page 
425
    425
  • Thumbnail: Page 
426
    426
  • Thumbnail: Page 
427
    427
  • Thumbnail: Page 
428
    428
  • Thumbnail: Page 
429
    429
  • Thumbnail: Page 
430
    430
  • Thumbnail: Page 
431
    431
  • Thumbnail: Page 
432
    432
  • Thumbnail: Page 
433
    433
  • Thumbnail: Page 
434
    434