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Process of Othering in the case of India and Pakistan

Title:Process of Othering in the case of India and Pakistan
Author:Sanjay Chaturvedi
Publication:Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie / Blackwell Publishers
Enumeration:Volume 93 Issue 2 Page 149 - May 2002
Abstract:Integral to the geopolitics of place-making on the subcontinent, having acquired hegemonic categorical forms in the imperial mapping of 'India' as two opposed and self-contained communities of the 'Hindus' and the 'Muslims', authenticated by an 'unclean partition', the otherness in the case of India and Pakistan persists in its various avatars. The reflexivity in the process of othering is evident in the character as well as behaviour of nations, which not only define themselves in respect to each other, but also seek for some kind of purity for the self through the demonisation of the other. Otherness is further reinforced through hegemonic, homogenising, state-centric discourses on 'national identity' and 'national (in)security', and exclusivist geopolitical imaginations of various ethno-religious groups. The discourse of otherness meets practice not only in the Pakistani social studies curriculum but also at the least expected site of the Wagah border crossing between Pakistan and India. But it does raise a few difficult questions, which are worth probing by inter-disciplinary, comparative studies of partition of India.

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