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Chapter Summary

This is the conclusory chapter of the book, which demonstrates how different aspects of the literati's discourse on identity both in relation to 'others' (contiguous ethnicities, and other Indians) and the 'self ' (the regional self) reflected a deployment of specific elements of samaj. It demonstrates the specific ways in which the transition from region to nation was accomplished in the discourse on samaj and jati. Conceptualisations of the region as a part of a wider national whole were enmeshed with a unique self-other relationship where ideas about identity flowed out from the samajik self of Bengal to embrace wider ideas of pan-Indian unity. By rescuing the agency of the colonial intelligentsia from the ensnaring discourses of colonial disciplinary power which haunt postcolonial realities and predicaments, the book outlines a different paradigm for recalibrating the ways in which 'colonial' stereotypes, and strategies of segregation continue to shape postcolonial identities.

Keywords: colonial intelligentsia; jati; samaj



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