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'Memories of Underdevelopment' Language and Its Identities in Contemporary Karnataka

Janaki Nair
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 31, No. 41/42 (Oct. 12-19, 1996), pp. 2809-2816
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4404683
Page Count: 8
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'Memories of Underdevelopment' Language and Its Identities in Contemporary Karnataka
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Abstract

Kannada nationalism, like all nationalisms, attempts to produce a solidarity between all Kannada speakers in order to efface the specificities of caste and class, and pits itself against other dominated minorities rather than addressing the hierarchical division of labour that has ensured Kannada's dominated status. As long as it continues to privilege the identity of Kannada over other democratic aspirations, the movement will tend increasingly towards alignment with strident communal or anti-minority forces. The movement encompasses a range of moderate and progressive intellectual positions, which have of late been overshadowed by the more strident voices. There is the danger that in the context of the structural changes already under way, benefiting a few at the expense of the rest, the ideology of the movement while expressing genuine anxieties may tend towards undemocratic resolutions of its identity crisis.

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