ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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World of the Third

Recent analyses of the discursive exclusion of the "world of the third" from the development discourse are theoretically acute and provoke one to rethink postcoloniality. These constitute the rich literature on India's postcolonial experience and can be traced from Subaltern Studies, which adopted a distinctly structural approach. The recent interventions adopt a modifi ed Lacanian frame where the theoretical focus is on foreclosure and foregrounding. The substantive contention is that major population segments of the now poor countries have been dislocated physically through and discursively in the course of modernisation and globalisation. Development theory has tried to include the dislocated through its inclusive development programmes. The included "Third World" is however a denigrated representation of the actual. Its emancipation can come through alternately imagining itself.

Discussions (Chakrabarti and Dhar 2009; Chakrabarti et al 2012) on the discursive exclusion of the “world of the third” from the discourse of development and the inclusion of the Third World are theoretically acute and provoke one to rethink postcoloniality.

The literature on India’s postcolonial experience is particularly rich in theoretical diversity. Unfortunately, the genre has lacked a self-consciousness of its own continuities and discontinuities. The narrative started with a strong inclination towards structuralism (particularly towards structural linguistics) in the Subaltern Studies. Because of this inclination, the subjectivity of “the other” of the colonial mindset could only be approached through the metaphor of inversion. The possibility of articulation in the postcolonial context was elaborated in neo-Gramscian terms through the theoretical field of complex hegemony (Chatterjee 2004; Sanyal 2008). Chaudhury (1988) and Chaudhury, Das and Chakrabarti (2000) (henceforth CDC) critiqued this deployment for its inability to capture articulation as an exchange between two cultural spaces—modernity and tradition—defined solely in terms of their difference—and not in terms of historical essences.

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