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The attempt in this article is to extrapolate the notion of hybridity latent in B. R. Ambedkar’s reflections on mixed castes, and outcastes, which subsequently leads to the causal link that he then derives gesticulating to social evils, namely, the origin of untouchability. Whether this embryonic notion of hybridity present in Ambedkar’s work is amenable to the extrapolation of Dalit identity thought along the lines of Gilles Deleuze’s notion of “immanent mixtures” is a thread that this study pursues. This certainly has broad implications for the prevalent notions of Dalit identity. This study ventures to read Ambedkar’s work, Riddles in Hinduism (1987) alongside Deleuze, probing into the intuitive link between notions of hybridity and the plane of immanence.
Ideological distancing from predetermined categories of identity considered to be reductive in nature by the intellectuals of Indian philosophical thinking view such predetermined notions as facile conceptions that run short of representative qualities of complex and varied particularities of reasoned engagement with one’s resources. Amartya Sen heralded this ideological position in his work titled, The Argumentative Indian (2006), in favor of heterodoxy and reasoned choice determining priorities between different identities. Lacunae regarding identification of resources prominent in Sen’s work is pointed out by Jonardon Ganeri, who hails from the cluster of contemporary Sanskritists competent in philological and theoretical exegesis of “sastric” philosophical literature from the classical period of India.
This study is a close reading of Jonardon Ganeri’s concept of ‘resources within’ which he develops in his work, Identity as Reasoned Choice (2012) to examine the potentiality of this concept to advance a theoretical framework that could counter a sectarian view of Indian tradition, as it is professed at the outset of his work. Sectarianism, which Ganeri opposes, identifies mysticism to be its chief trait which he shows to be selectively usurping only those resources grounded in Vedantic wisdom from India’s past.
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