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This essay argues that Ambedkar’s conception of an Indian nation consisting of Puruskrut (privileged) and Bahiskrut Bharat (excluded India) helps us comprehend the riddle of nationalism and its ideological framework—the rhetorical claim for social equality that sustains spatial practices of exclusion. It also questions the recent scholarship on nationalism that shows no sensitivity to or sense of urgency about recognizing and interrogating this spatial and ideological contradiction between the two Indias. It critiques the concept of sarvajan (equality of all people) that allows for glossing over the differences between the two Indias, which is central to the politics of nationalism, electoral politics, and globalization. Instead of dissolving the social hierarchies, the essay argues, the concept of sarvajan tends to accommodate them.

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