While investigating the cultural, social and political dynamics in Maharashtra, Rethinking Western India looks into the relations and processes that make up what are usually thought to be regional problems.
The essays show how the regional must be understood in contexts that supersede the region and geographical determinism.
The opening essays not only contextualise Maharashtrian texts as coherent wholes, but also the meanings contained within these texts, thereby addressing “the semantics of the social”.
A focus on “the mechanics of the social”—the interface of actions that articulate societal relationships at different levels, and of different characters—is attempted by the next set of essays.
The concluding essays emphasise how local dynamics are as much a part of forces ostensibly “beyond Maharashtra”, as they are products of dynamics within Maharashtra. There is, therefore, a deep analysis of the social and cultural referents upon which collective identities are built.
Dušan Deák is Docent of Oriental Languages and Literatures, Department of Comparative Religion, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
Daniel Jasper is Associate Professor of Sociology, Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.