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Orientalism and Aryanism

This topic takes us back to some fundamental questions of identity, terminology and the historical processes by which ideas of race and ‘otherness’ came into existence. For a start it is best to consult Said’s Orientalism [15] (and to consider how far race enters into his polemical account of East and West) and Inden’s Saidian Imagining India [48] as well perhaps as such scholarly critics of Said as well as Irwin [10] but also Dalrymple’s polemic against Said [Introduction to 36].

More substantial from an India perspective is the discussion of the rise of the Aryan idea and its long term consequences for race ideology: on this see Joan Leopold’s article from 1974 [55] and Trautmann’s Aryans and British India [80]. The essays in Kaiwar and Mazumdar’s Antimonies of Modernity [50] are also useful in getting a sense of how the Aryan idea has evolved into more recent times.