Interrogating the dialogic relation between Subaltern modernity and intersectionality through the lens of Dalit Feminism


  • Damayanti Das Junior Research Fellow Department of English, Rabindra Bharati University Kolkata, West Bengal India


In postcolonial India, the concept of modernity defined by the nationalist desire of strengthening the integrity of the modern nation-state based on the abstract universal idea of secular humanism is not immune to criticism. It has not yet been able to  dismantle the structural hierarchy maintained by the privileged sections which set normative standards to  delegitimize the voices of the ‘other’. However, as a reactionary response, the dissenting voices of the gendered and caste subalterns are potentially threatening normative patriarchy and Hindu majoritarianism by shaping the discourse of alternative modernity. Though their respective world-views are progressive steps towards destabilizing the power structure, their alternative discourse of modernity fails to benefit those who inhabit the margins of overlapping identitarian categories, i.e dalit women. In respect of this, my question is- could it be said that the intersectional dalit feminist movement marks a new turn in subaltern politics which at once critiques the dalit and feminist conceptualization of modernity by underpinning their androcenrtic bias and insensitivity to the caste question respectively?


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