Religion, Identity and Belonging in Goa (with podcast)

Citizenship in a Caste Polity: Religion, Identity and Belonging in Goa is a new book authored by Jason Keith Fernandes, published in Hyderabad by Orient BlackSwan. The book is reviewed for JCA by Kenneth Bo Nielsen of the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Norway.

Described as “meticulously researched and well-written,” the book studies the “citizenship experience of the Goan Catholics” and “seeks to make three major interventions in current debates on the politics of citizenship in modern India”: (i) documenting the foundational role of caste; (ii) establishing the significance of” viewing contemporary India from spaces outside of what was British India”; and (iii) making an “original theoretical perspective on citizenship by working with and expanding Partha Chatterjee’s writings on this theme.”

Nielsen states: “The book’s theoretical ambitions and historical depth combine to make this a captivating read.” He argues that Citizenship in a Caste Polity demonstrates:

how fruitful it can be to engage what is arguably the most burning issue in contemporary India, namely the question of citizenship, from the country’s smallest state. By looking at contemporary India from Goa’s peculiar historical location between the epistemological frames of Portuguese India and British India, Fernandes is able to build a wider critique of citizenship in India.

An interview with the Fernandes, conducted by Kenneth Bo Nielsen is available here.

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