Mistaken Modernity : India Between Worlds

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Author: Gupta Dipankar
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers India
Edition: 20140109
ISBN-10: 8172234147
ISBN-13: 9788172234140
No of pages: 235
Weight: 229
Language: English
Book binding: Paperback

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Dipankar Gupta is a professor of sociology at the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has also taught abroad. He writes regularly on sociopolitical issues in national newspapers. His other books are: Nativism in a Metropolis - The Shiv Sena in Bombay (1982); Context of Ethnicity - Sikh Identity in a Comparative Perspective (1996); Political Sociology in India (1996); Rivalry and Brotherhood - Politics in the Life of Farmers in Northern India (1997); Interrogating Caste - Understanding Hierarchy and Difference in India (2000); and Culture, Space and the Nation-State - From Sentiment to Structure.

From Hindu notions of dirt, South Asia's preference for women leaders to patronage in democratic politics, Dipankar Gupta resolves many of the paradoxes of contemporary India in this book. In the process, he issues a damning indictment of the"westoxicated" elitist Indian middle class, and shows how unmodern the people of this class are in the very areas in which they are considered to be modern. Modernity, argues the author, is not about technology and consumption, as is mistakenly believed in India, but has to do with attitudes, especially those that come into play in our social relations. It is here that the Indian middle class is found severely wanting. Family connections, privileges of caste and status, as well as the willingness to break every law in the book characterize our social relations very deeply. The past clings tenaciously to our present - traditional India thrives in contemporary locales. A brilliant and chilling treatise on the hypocrisy and vanity of the Indian middle class, and its pathetic attempts to cloak its traditional ways in superficial modernity.