Book: Fabricating Difference
Chapter: 5. Strategies of ‘Othering’ in Contemporary India
In this response essay to Mayanthi Fernando’s article “The Myth of the French Republic,” Vincent Burgess applies Fernando’s theoretically nuanced and multidisciplinary approach in order to more thoroughly understand how strategies of othering are rhetorically employed in contemporary India. By demonstrating the importance of historicizing competing interpretations of secularity and nationalism, this essay argues for a mode of critical inquiry that draws from the humanities and social sciences to analyze and engage with popular, public discourse. Such an approach is not simply relevant and useful, but fundamental for a thorough understanding of how, exactly, various categories of difference are manufactured, historically situated, and discursively employed in the service of particular regimes of power.