What is secularism? Can secularism be compatible with post-colonial democracies? In the last years, a wide literature emerged in post-colonial societies has been focused on the notion of secularism and its relation with democracy. In this respect, the case of India is particularly relevant. In this country, “Nehru-Gandhi consensus” on the secular rule was based on the recognition of the difficulty to overcome the deep religious antagonisms emerged in the aftermath of the declaration of Independence. However, critics of secularism have shown that the process of secularisation in India has presented ambivalences and disintegrative potential. This paper is concerned with the criticisms raised by two influential Indian scholars, namely Partha Chatterjee and Neera Chandhoke. In particular, it is focused on their critiques of Rawls’ model of political tolerance. Can the model of “reasonable pluralism” be useful in divided societies like India? I will show that the arguments raised by Chandhoke and Chatterjee cannot grasp key issues involved in this model. Although these two scholars present two distinct strategies of criticism (cultural relativism versus universalism of the principle of moral equality), both are likely to disregard the asymmetry between democratic legitimacy and justification, in other words both assume that liberal models of tolerance and reasonability would be acceptable and fully justified only by liberals.

Secularism in Plural Post-Colonial Democracies: Is Liberal Toleration Enough? / Gentile, Valentina. - (2015), pp. 65-84.

Secularism in Plural Post-Colonial Democracies: Is Liberal Toleration Enough?

GENTILE, VALENTINA
2015

Abstract

What is secularism? Can secularism be compatible with post-colonial democracies? In the last years, a wide literature emerged in post-colonial societies has been focused on the notion of secularism and its relation with democracy. In this respect, the case of India is particularly relevant. In this country, “Nehru-Gandhi consensus” on the secular rule was based on the recognition of the difficulty to overcome the deep religious antagonisms emerged in the aftermath of the declaration of Independence. However, critics of secularism have shown that the process of secularisation in India has presented ambivalences and disintegrative potential. This paper is concerned with the criticisms raised by two influential Indian scholars, namely Partha Chatterjee and Neera Chandhoke. In particular, it is focused on their critiques of Rawls’ model of political tolerance. Can the model of “reasonable pluralism” be useful in divided societies like India? I will show that the arguments raised by Chandhoke and Chatterjee cannot grasp key issues involved in this model. Although these two scholars present two distinct strategies of criticism (cultural relativism versus universalism of the principle of moral equality), both are likely to disregard the asymmetry between democratic legitimacy and justification, in other words both assume that liberal models of tolerance and reasonability would be acceptable and fully justified only by liberals.
9781138796003
Secularism, toleration, India
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/164479
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