Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Critiquing Multiculturalism

Mistaken identity

Obsessing about culture traps people in their own history, argues Kenan Malik

Today’s multiculturalists argue that to fight racism one must celebrate group identity. The consequence has been the resurrection of racial ideas and imprisonment of people within their cultural identities. Racial theorists and multiculturalists, the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut observes, have “conflicting credos but the same vision of the world”. Both fetishise difference. Both seek to “confine individuals to their group of origin”. Both undermine “any possibility of natural or cultural community among peoples”. Challenging such a politics of difference has become as important today as challenging racism.


1 comment:

vadapalli rama rao said...

Kenon Malik's insightful essay leads one to ponder the issue of dwindling cohesiveness in societies.
In the Indian context caste classifications and carrots to some among many can lead only to more unhappiness, heart burn and eventual undoing of all.
How can anyone cry a halt to
well-mouthed but fissiparous activities.
Nothing can be done except sending up prayers to the ultimate power with no plural.
Malik, congratulations
All the best
Rama Rao