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Ambivalence of Social Consciousness: Inter-Community Relations in Modern India

Sudhir Chandra
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 41, No. 5 (Feb. 4-10, 2006), pp. 397-402
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4417760
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ambivalence of Social Consciousness: Inter-Community Relations in Modern India
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Abstract

In the latter half of the 19th century, a social consciousness increasingly characterised by ambivalence began to emerge in the wake of the colonial encounter. The dominant response to the British presence came to be one that felt the pain of subjection, understood the fundamentally baneful character of the alien dispensation and paradoxically, hailed that dispensation as the harbinger of national regeneration. It produced a consciousness that recognised no incongruence between loyalism and nationalism. A similar ambivalence also manifested itself in issues like tradition, which came to be seen as "rotten" but also formed a "spring of renewal". This divided view of tradition was articulated in various forms that derived from and in turn hardened prevailing community identities.

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