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India and Civilizational FuturesBackwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics II$
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Vinay Lal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199499069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199499069.001.0001

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India and the Challenge of the Global South

India and the Challenge of the Global South

Some Thoughts on Pluralism, the Categories of Knowledge, and Hospitality

(p.1) 1 India and the Challenge of the Global South
India and Civilizational Futures

Vinay Lal

Oxford University Press

The idea of the ‘Global South’ arose from the conference of African and Asian nations at Bandung in 1955 even if the term has only recently entered academic parlance. To many it evokes what used to be called the Third World, just as it calls to mind anti-colonial struggles of the 1950s to the 1970s. However, the question is whether the idea of ‘Global South’ can be recuperated to furnish a more ecologically pluralistic framework of knowledge that would also accommodate more radical conceptions of dissent leading to social justice for the poor and the disenfranchised. After probing the prevalent ideas of ‘South Asia’ and the scholarship on South Asian history and religion, this chapter asks what the notion of Indic civilization brings to the idea of the Global South. It explores briefly the emancipatory potential of Indian epics and popular cinema, commenting besides on the varieties of Islam from South and Southeast Asia, before concluding with a lengthier exploration of the Indian idea of hospitality and how it can be channelled to contest the categories of modern knowledge systems.

Keywords:   Global South, hospitality, Third World, anti-colonialism, Bandung, South Asia, civilization, knowledge systems, nationalism, development

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