Chapter II nationalism, Recognition, and Family-Formation I states, Kin Groups and Families

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Chapter II

Nationalism, Recognition, and Family-Formation

I States, Kin Groups and Families

Analogies between patriarchal authority within families and lineages, and the authority of the sovereign over subjects were motifs of early modern Western political theory, deployed to reinforce the authority of both sovereign and patriarch.1 They reflected the presence of patriarchal authority and patrimonial states, as Weber characterized them, in various societies.2 Lockean social contract theory severed the link between patriarchal and state authority, locating the latter alone in the consent of the governed. It presaged the efforts of centralizing states to consolidate their power through the appropriation of the authority to regulate family and intimacy from lineages and religious elites, but not the specific ways in which crucial agents framed these projects and the extent to which they redistributed such authority. The modes of regulation of the family were recast over the past two centuries in various societies in ways that provided individuals different choices about how they practiced intimacy and family life, and changed the relationship between patriarchal and state authority in different ways. European states had patrimonial features well after they are taken to have begun the consolidation of their authority, and many of the states in developing societies retained neo-patrimonial characteristics until now. Some of these states limited the authority and autonomy of prior social institutions, and thereby consolidated their authority and became more deeply embedded in society (e.g., France, Turkey), others accepted the continued authority of these institutions in various social arenas at a cost to their own power (e.g., Lebanon, Morocco), and many others consolidated their authority partly by building alliances with such institutions with which they shared various regulatory functions (e.g., Egypt, India, Indonesia).3

Nancy Cott highlighted the connections between Lockean contractualism and the formation of modern American family law.4 She showed that analogies between membership in the American republic and partnership in a marriage, based on consent and perhaps official validation in both cases, reinforced the state’s promotion of monogamous marriages as well as connections between the potential to head a household and political rights. The rhetorical link between political rights and the possibility of heading a household, she demonstrated, urged the extension of the franchise to black men as well as the recognition and encouragement of marriage among African Americans after emancipation, and this in turn provided a normative and rhetorical basis for women to demand the franchise as well as greater authority in marital relations. Cott’s account alerts one to a variety of dimensions along which proposals to make family register, influencing mobilization and policy. However, the imagination of the United States as a republic of equals did not determine the specific changes introduced in family law from the late nineteenth century on, such as the more systematic enforcement of heterosexual monogamy and the requirement of marriage registration, for similar changes were introduced around the same time in some other predominantly Christian countries such as Britain and France, and somewhat later in certain predominantly Muslim countries such as Turkey and Tunisia, although the nation was imagined rather differently in these societies. The nation was imagined in association with images of the Crown, the Anglican Church, and the “freeborn Englishman” in Britain, as republics born in opposition to the alliance of Crown and religious institutions in France and Turkey, and in connection with Arab and Muslim identity, and with Islamic normative and legal traditions in Tunisia.5

States did gain greater authority over the regulation of the family since the nineteenth century, as scholars such as Mary Ann Glendon and Lawrence Friedman show regarding the United States and Western Europe.6 However, they did not wield this authority in ways that always enabled the realization of individual liberty and social equality, as Friedman claims. Some of the changes they introduced in family law enabled these ends. This was the case regarding the decrease in the authority of family patriarchs over spousal choice, the increase in the room to effect marital separation and divorce, the enhancement of the inheritance rights of women and younger siblings, and of women’s custody and adoption rights, and the more extensive specification of the economic consequences of spousal separation and divorce, such as in the form of alimony obligations. But the growth in the scope and intensity of state regulation until the mid-twentieth century restricted the types of conjugal relationships citizens could enter, typically to monogamous heterosexual unions formally registered as marriages, and punished alternative forms of family and intimacy.

Michel Foucault and certain scholars who adopted his analytical approaches showed that the changes in legal systems and socialization patterns that occurred in the West from the seventeenth century to the early twentieth century and in various colonial and postcolonial societies since the nineteenth century, shaped conjugality along these lines. Foucault showed that modern European discourses about the body, health, pleasure and sexuality emerged from Christian practices like confession and penance, and shaped predominant norms as well as some of the alternatives that emerged to these norms. Some of his followers explored the formation of new forms of morality, classification, regulation and punishment in Asia, the Middle East and Africa through the engagement of modern Western discourses with various indigenous religious and cultural traditions and forms of reasoning.7 In the latter societies, which experienced colonial rule or Western hegemony, the gaps between legal frameworks and public moral sensibilities were especially large. The engagement of Western and indigenous discourses with one another both served to orient citizens to colonial institutions or institutions influenced by Western precedents, and to construct alternatives more suitable to these societies. These culturally rooted social visions accorded value to different conjugal and kinship practices; and varied in the importance they accorded the nuclear family rather than lineages, and the extent to which they promoted monogamy and patrilineal kinship instead of preexisting alternative practices. To the extent that states promoted monogamy and gave patrilineal bonds priority, they restricted the inheritance and maintenance rights of women and children who were involved in polygamous relationships or followed matrilineal customs, motivated groups to modify these customs, and marginalized these practices.

The transfer of authority over family life from lineages to states was far from complete in many postcolonial and post-imperial societies, as we saw in the Introduction. States assumed such authority, empowered the nuclear family and increased women’s rights through major changes in family law in Turkey and Tunisia, as well as in Morocco over the past decade. They barely disturbed lineage authority or changed personal law in Lebanon, Syria, Algeria and, until recently, Morocco; and increased the autonomy of the nuclear family and women in certain respects and maintained the authority of patrilineages and men in other respects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Libya and Senegal. Moreover, further culturally grounded modernist reforms were introduced since the 1970s in Indonesia, west peninsular and non-peninsular Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, and Morocco; in contrast with the diminution of women’s rights in certain respects and the increase in the influence of religious elites through the same period in Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria, east peninsular Malaysia, Afghanistan and Aceh (in Indonesia). (See Tables 1.1 and 1.2).

Mounira Charrad explored the reasons for the complete transfer of authority over the regulation of family disputes and the promotion of the monogamous nuclear family in Tunisia, in contrast with the continued recognition of lineage authority in various respects in Algeria and Morocco, which shared with Tunisia the predominant influence of the Maliki madhhab (school of Islamic law) and the experience of French colonization.8 She traced the way family law was formed to the relations between states and lineages, the latter being the most important form of social organization in much of the Middle East and in various other regions too. Charrad claimed that Islamic law in its pre-colonial and colonial forms upheld the authority of the patrilineage. She argued that the Moroccan Crown chose not to reform colonial Islamic law as it was closely allied with lineages; the Algerian regime, that included groups with different relations with lineages and varying views about the main desirable family unit, was indecisive regarding family law until it chose to maintain much of colonial law in an unsuccessful effort to stem the growth of Islamist opposition a generation later; and the Tunisian regime, from which urban reformists ousted rural conservatives soon after independence, consolidated the state’s prior autonomy by assuming the authority to resolve family disputes, authorizing the nuclear family, and increasing certain rights of women.

Charrad identified some reasons why states assumed the authority to regulate the family to varying degrees, and used this authority in different ways. But, her analysis did not clarify why the state used such authority to secularize family law in early republican Turkey, and increased women’s rights to inheritance and autonomy from their husbands more than the reform of Islamic law did in Tunisia, although state-lineage relations were similar in the two countries. Moreover, it did not shed light on the ways in which nation and family were made in countries such as India and Indonesia, in which religious practices were more diverse than in North Africa, religious and language boundaries cut across one another, patterns of social organization and kinship varied across region and ethnic group, distinct religious law systems as well as norms and customary laws specific to region and ethnic group influenced family regulation, and important nationalist understandings engaged in different ways with various religious and cultural traditions. This is crucially because Charrad, like Cott, did not attend to cultural constructions of nations and understandings of the forms of modernity and types of traditions appropriate to build or maintain in particular societies.9 Explanations with greater comparative scope need to attend to the links between modes of imagination of the nation and approaches to regulate family life.

As states became more centralized and presented themselves increasingly as representatives of nations from the eighteenth century, the relationship of states with religious groups and sects, ethnic groups, lineages, and families was often conceived with reference to the proclaimed character and destiny of nations. Gendered familial norms were important aspects of nationalist narratives, which varied in how far they urged the retention rather than the reconstruction of predominant social practices, the practices they sought to retain, and the ways in which they aimed to change others. Discourses about nations, their constituent cultures, and the forms of modernity and variously reconstructed traditions appropriate for particular nations and cultural groups influenced projects to make citizens, recognize religious and other cultural groups, and shape the family. The book explores, in a comparative perspective, the formation of official nationalism, multiculturalism, secularism, and personal law in India, in mutual interaction.

II Nations and Modernities

Postcolonial theorists explored the connections between the imagination of nations and approaches to family life. They highlighted how the hegemony of colonial discourse pressed anti-colonial nationalists to make claims to both modernity and cultural authenticity, as colonial discourse typically took rigid cultural traditions to drive much of local social dynamics, presented colonized societies as backward, valued certain forms of cultural distinctiveness, and upheld the preeminent value of modernity. Partha Chatterjee understood many features of anti-colonial and postcolonial cultural politics in terms of these goals10. He believed that, to assert their sovereignty over the cultural realm, anti-colonial nationalists felt compelled to reject the paternalistic social reform initiatives of colonial states. Moreover, he argued that they resisted the “rule of colonial difference”, that refers to organized distinctions between colonizers, settlers, and the colonized, and those between different colonized groups, which were central to colonial state-society relations. Anti-colonial nationalists, he claimed, initiated reforms meant to produce authentically national (rather than Western) educational institutions, literary forms, and families while resisting the agency of colonial states in social change and, once they controlled postcolonial states, gave the state’s backing to such reforms. While building nations that were at once modern and culturally authentic, postcolonial states were said to refuse recognition to popular discourses of communities other than the nation they claimed to represent because they felt driven by the universalizing narrative of capital and prioritized the nation they took themselves to embody.11 Chatterjee and Mahmood Mamdani claimed that, in the process, postcolonial regimes rarely made a definitive break from colonial despotism and Western forms of polity and economy.12 Chatterjee juxtaposed his skepticism about the feasibility of multiculturalism and the transcendence of colonial hegemony in postcolonial societies uneasily to suggestions that opinion among the concerned groups, ascertained through systematic community consultation, should guide postcolonial cultural policy.13

The above claims were not based on a systematic examination of colonial law, the social reform agendas of anti-colonial and postcolonial nationalists, and postcolonial multicultural policies. Careful empirical accounts of colonial law demonstrate that colonized groups, including some of subordinate status, found some space to negotiate jurisdictional boundaries, group boundaries and rights under colonial law. Colonial administrators were sometimes willing to cede them such space either for administrative convenience or to gain support and limit discontent. Colonized groups used mixed strategies of pressing their interests through state courts, resorting to community courts which some states recognized, and contesting some features of colonial law. Some of them came to value certain features of colonial legality, and linked aspects of colonial personal and customary law with their identities, even if these legal systems were products of cultural exchanges between the colonizers and the colonized. This meant that the retention of features of colonial personal law and the adoption of imperial precedents did not necessarily undermine postcolonial assertions of rights and authenticity.14

While certain conservative anti-colonial nationalists resisted the social reform efforts of colonial states, many other nationalists gave such initiatives their carefully circumscribed support. For instance, in India, only the more conservative nationalists, such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Madan Mohan Malaviya, opposed the efforts of colonial officials and liberal Indian professionals to establish an age of consent that girls would need to reach before their husbands may have sexual intercourse with them in the 1890s, and to ban child marriage in the 1920s. Many other important Indian nationalists, including modernists such as Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as well as less conservative traditionalists such as Gandhi, supported these reforms, and Nehru and Gandhi also supported many of the Law Commission’s proposals of the 1940s to change Hindu law. The latter Indian nationalist leaders were not at the forefront of these reform efforts, but some of their supporters were, especially those in the major women’s organizations of the last colonial decades, the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC), the National Council of Women in India (NCWI) and the Women’s Indian Association (WIA). These actors did not feel that their participation in certain social reform initiatives of colonial officials compromised their efforts to build a culturally indigenous nation or their opposition to colonial rule because they either found or sought to construct domestic cultural bases on which to reshape the family along these lines. This was dramatized by the AIWC’s choice to support the efforts of the government-appointed Hindu Law Committee in the 1940s, even while the Congress party was engaged in civil disobedience to end colonial rule.15

Visions of national and group culture influenced the social reform proposals of anti-colonial nationalists, and postcolonial cultural policies. There was considerable contention over postcolonial social reform amidst the hegemony of nationalist discourse. Conservative nationalists, some of whom were represented in postcolonial regimes, resisted many reform proposals in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Pakistan, India, and Indonesia. Such conservatives dominated other postcolonial regimes, such as those of Syria, Lebanon, and Malawi, and these regimes did not attempt major social reforms. The disagreements among nationalists over social reform extended across the colonial and postcolonial periods in many societies, and thus did not derive mainly from attitudes toward colonial state agency. Rather, they were based on alternative understandings of the cultures and desirable courses of the nation and its constituent groups, and on the links of specific nationalist organizations and tendencies with particular social groups.

Drawing from Chatterjee the understanding that postcolonial cultural politics and policy were often framed in terms of modernity and authenticity, I address the following questions that he did not: Under what conditions did postcolonial states introduce social reforms? What determined the approaches states took to recognize difference and promote culturally inflected forms of modernity? Various public actors developed understandings of the forms of modernity appropriate for particular colonial and postcolonial societies based on pre-colonial indigenous traditions, colonial knowledge about local society, forms of ongoing cultural mobilization, and earlier social changes in the modern West. They used such understandings to frame social reforms as based on aspects of local culture, and thus counter conservative efforts to discredit reform for causing cultural deracination. This study identifies certain understandings of indigenous forms of modernity influential in India and other former colonies, and sketches their influence over personal law.

Understandings of the forms of modernity appropriate for a nation, region or cultural group emerged in various colonial and postcolonial societies, “internal colonies” such as Scotland, Catalonia and Quebec, and other societies considered less developed when their links to other world regions increased (e.g., Italy, Ottoman Turkey, Russia, Japan, China, the southeastern United States, and Brazil in the later half of the nineteenth century). These models encompassed aspects of the political economy (particularly the forms of state engagement in the economy, types of property rights, and patterns of property and income distribution), state-formation (such as the nature of the bureaucracy and the military, the extent of state centralization, the forms of political representation, the character of state-society links, and the patterns of state engagement with religion), and public culture (such as the public roles of religion, and features of the languages of mass communication, public ritual, and everyday life). Their authors thus marked the distinction of their societies especially from more developed societies, made claims to sovereignty, and built culturally rooted social projects not only within the “spiritual realm”, as Chatterjee characterized it. Intellectuals, cultural and political mobilizers, and policy-makers articulated such visions because they felt that viable strategies of economic development, state-building, and cultural formation needed to take account of crucial features of the local society, and wished to frame their projects as culturally authentic. These understandings influenced the patterns of formation of polities and political economies, forms of secularization and religious practice, and types of nationalism, politicized ethnicity and recently constructed traditions.16

These models varied in the social spheres to which they paid greatest attention. Some emphasized the need for the state to intervene in the economy more and in a different manner in later developing societies, to enable economic growth, stabilization, redistribution, and poverty alleviation. They prescribed varied forms of state intervention such as the establishment of tariff barriers for infant industries, the easier provision of investor credit, the development of infrastructure, the direction of investment into desired sectors, the maintenance of peasant and artisanal production, the promotion of small industrial firms, state ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, and state ownership of much of agriculture and industry. Alexander Gerschenkron emphasized the distinctive features of these visions and their consequences for policy and economic change in Europe, and his lead was followed by scholars of state-led industrialization in East Asia such as Chalmers Johnson, Peter Evans, and Alice Amsden. Christopher Hill highlighted how important actors linked such economic strategies to narratives of national history.17 Political leaders like Lee Kuan Yew popularized aspects of these accounts, and connected them to features of religious culture.

Various intellectuals and political elites in colonial societies drew on the ideas developed earlier in Central and Eastern Europe and East Asia, added to them the claims that colonial rule had hindered industrialization and incorporated colonized societies into the world economy on a subordinate basis, and argued on these bases for building postcolonial developmental states. Moreover, they felt that postcolonial states needed to give special attention to promoting national cohesion and cultural decolonization, managing ethnic, religious, and racial conflict, and maintaining or changing the social structure. Such arguments were deployed in favor of the retention of collective land ownership tied to lineage power and customary law in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, the redistribution of land from European settlers to indigenous groups in various settler societies, as well as the maintenance of existing forms of the division of labor (especially in agriculture) or a return to imagined pre-colonial political economies in various colonies. Many important actors believed that the predominantly non-Christian religious cultures of much of the Middle East and Asia were important reasons to craft distinctive social projects, emphasizing either specific religions (particularly Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism and Buddhism) or the common features that they saw in the different popular religious cultures of their societies. Political leaders and nationalist intellectuals made Islam central to their understandings of national distinctiveness in much of the Arab world and Central Asia, but more of them valued the common features of the religious cultures of Indonesia, and to some extent India. Both kinds of constructions of national religious culture influenced proposals to revitalize the nation, accommodate diversity, and shape personal law.

Arguments to build distinctive forms of modernity were voiced early and in especially influential ways in India. Claims that colonial rule was associated with the drain of economic resources from the colonies, the destruction of pre-colonial life-worlds, and the promotion of religious and ethnic conflict emerged particularly early in India, in the nineteenth century, and were crucial aspects of the anti-colonial nationalist visions of the early twentieth century. Gandhi offered a particularly totalizing and popular critique of these features of the colonial encounter. While his preferences to build an agro-artisanal economy and devolve most governance functions to the local level were far removed from the determination of modernist nationalists like Nehru to promote industrialization, Gandhian traditionalists and the majority of modernists agreed that India needed to be autonomous of the global economy and imperial powers. This enabled the modernists to appropriate aspects of Gandhi’s critique of colonialism in favor of their plans to build a developmental state and consolidate parliamentary democracy, as well as to pursue certain goals that Gandhi shared – building national solidarity while recognizing difference, and constructing a secular state that accommodates many features of public religion. Along with various traditionalist allies, the modernists built broad social coalitions that supported versions of this agenda and the dominant Congress party. The agenda of the modernists included the culturally grounded reform of colonial personal law to promote individual autonomy and reduce gender inequality in certain respects, while maintaining the continuity of the nuclear family, various gendered social roles, and perhaps aspects of lineage authority.

III State-Society Relations, Discourses of Community, and Personal Law

Individuals, social groups, associations, social movements and political parties imagine projects to make society and family, mobilize in their favor, and sometimes reframe them in light of contention with alternative projects on offer in society. They thus influence the projects that states adopt, as well as the social responses to these projects, which reorient state projects to varying degrees. Most analyses take the interaction of interests, institutional orientations, ideas and meanings to influence such projects. They vary in how they understand (a) the formation of interests and institutions, (b) the interactions between the formation of interests and institutions, the emergence and circulation of ideas, and the generation of meaning, and (c) how states (or different groups of elites that have significant influence over the state or particular state institutions) formulate projects and propose policies meant to realize these projects.

An older scholarship understood the array of organized interests and institutions in society to shape the goals and actions of states.18 It was unable to account for the varied policies that states adopted in similar social contexts, and for the special influence that states exert when they gain near-monopoly over the legitimate use of force. Scholars that emphasized state autonomy highlighted the definite preferences that public officials have in their specialized policy arenas (in contrast with the indifference of many social actors about various policies), and the resources and influence they often have to shape societal opinion to favor or at least not obstruct their preferences, and to override powerful interests that remain opposed to their preferred course. While some of these scholars focused on the autonomous formation of the preferences of crucial policy elites,19 others emphasized the ways in which the history of state formation and the resulting structure of the state channeled collective action, and shaped policy-makers’ incentives and goals.20 The former versions gave inadequate attention to the factors shaping the preferences of state officials, and both they and the latter disregarded the frequency with which powerful groups influenced these preferences or diverted policy-makers from their priorities.21

Other accounts of state centralization and state-led social change overemphasized how far state actions are driven by objectives to maximize control over resources and practices and to maintain stable regimes.22 A variety of policies may be considered compatible with such goals in many contexts, and the groups, ideas and values with which state elites feel greatest affinity influence their perception of the policies most suitable to these ends, and the polices they adopt. Moreover, these explanations do not adequately consider the conditions under which states may be unable to overcome certain forms of resistance or prefer to accommodate them by devolving aspects of social regulation to authoritative social institutions. Friedman adopted such an analysis of the formation of family law, which shared these problems. He claimed that the state’s greater control over family regulation in Western societies enabled greater social complexity, individual liberty and social equality, and inadequately recognized the frequent tensions between these ends.23 This approach did not capture why states retain prior personal law systems or change them in particular ways.

Other scholars took state-society relations to determine the social projects that states undertake and the capacity of states to pursue these projects, without assigning causal primacy to the actions of states or social groups. Their “state-in-society” approach stressed the porousness of state-society boundaries in many contexts, the frequency with which fragments of states ally themselves with different social groups locked in contention with one another, and the ways in which state-society boundaries get constituted through such interactions and alliances. Its emphasis on the influence of conflicts between particular state institutions, groups of state elites, and alliances of different state-society fragments over policy-formation was valuable.24

As personal laws lend the state’s recognition to particular social norms, the formation of these legal systems involves ongoing passage across the boundaries between state and society, and this study draws on various valuable insights of the state-in-society school to understand these processes. It nevertheless differs from some assumptions that much of the work of this school shares: social structure determines interests and the groups that have the capacity to mobilize significant alliances; old elites defend enduring practices that reproduce their dominance and ideas that uphold their authority, often in the name of tradition; emergent elites and groups generate and embrace new ideas that promote alternative practices and forms of solidarity; and the structure of states and the relationships of states or fragments of states with particular social groups determine the projects that states pursue.25 This book’s consideration of the different directions taken by nationalism, multiculturalism and personal law in postcolonial societies indicates that interests are constructed in different ways in societies with similar patterns of resource organization and distribution; that a variety of practices can often be credibly presented as having the force of tradition in a given society or social group; and that the discourses of community salient in particular societies or among specific social groups influence how individuals construct their interests, the projects of social change launched in society, the alliances formed in favor of these projects, the projects which particular state institutions or segments thereof promote, and how states or state-society fragments modify these projects in view of their interactions with social forces. Analyses focused on state-lineage relations, such as Philip Khoury and Joseph Kostiner, Charrad and some of the essays in Julia Adams and Mounira Charrad, adopt versions of the state-in-society approach and their explanations of state initiatives to reform society and family have the shortcomings indicated above.26

Most accounts focused on state autonomy, state centralization, and state-society relations attend inadequately to the ways in which beliefs, ideas and values influence how social groups construct their interests and mobilize to promote them, and how state elites perceive the interests in society, set their goals, and respond when their initiatives face resistance. They recognize the nearly universal tendency of states for over a century to claim to represent particular nations, but the influence that discourses of the nation and its crucial cultural cleavages exercise over the projects that various social groups support and that states adopt is not central to their analyses. Rather, they implicitly understand official nationalism and forms of social classification as concomitants of state-building processes, and the studies that adopt these approaches to the examination of nation-states and nationalism do so explicitly.27 This is particularly a problem for studies of postcolonial societies, in which understandings of the nation, its proclaimed cultural distinctiveness, and its constituent cultural groups are crucial motifs of public debate, and for analyses of policies to recognize and perhaps change national and group cultures.

Poststructuralists gave central importance to how discursive practices simultaneously shape subjects, disciplinary institutions, and state projects. Foucault explored the disciplinary practices employed by social institutions such as clinics, schools and churches, as well as by state institutions, and the forms of knowledge that accompanied such articulations of power. He considered such practices pervasive in effect because they not only constrained action, but also formed individual dispositions, popular mobilization and responses to policies.28 Certain other scholars who adopted these methods were more attentive to the tensions within disciplinary practices, which provided scope for varied responses from subject populations, including some that resisted the hegemony of disciplinary institutions.29 They examined the elaboration of colonial knowledge about colonized societies, which influenced the classification of subject populations in censuses, land surveys and revenue settlements, meant to render the peculiar customs of these populations legible, in James Scott’s usage, and open to bureaucratic management.30 Some of them highlighted ways in which colonized groups creatively fused knowledge originating in Europe and in the colonies in the course of colonial encounters with pre-colonial norms to both orient themselves to colonial institutions and to devise alternatives to them.31

Colonial knowledge and classification schemes exercised significant influence over colonial personal law and customary law systems. They influenced the choice of the cultural groups to be governed by distinct personal law systems, the traditions incorporated into these legal systems as well as those that were not enforced on grounds such as morality and public order, and the considerations guiding changes in these systems. Postcolonial theorists emphasized the enduring influence of colonial knowledge and institutions over postcolonial projects. In the process, they underestimated the autonomy of postcolonial responses to colonial strategies. Although they were influenced by ideas that emerged during colonial encounters, personal laws were presented as recognizing pre-colonial norms and practices, and sometimes as ways of delegating the governance of the family and perhaps land control to pre-colonial institutions and elites. Partly for this reason, colonized groups drew not only on colonial knowledge, but also on pre-colonial traditions as they interpreted them in light of current predicaments, practices that emerged in interaction with colonial governance while remaining somewhat autonomous of it, and postcolonial ambitions (often framed in nationalist discourses) to frame litigation strategies, and devise projects to maintain or change personal law and social practices.32 This study attends to the influence of postcolonial visions of the nation and its major constituent cultures on projects to make state, society and family.

IV Religious Norms, Social Structure, Regional Custom, and Family Law

Friedman reconstructed the changes in Western family law since the late eighteenth century as aspects of the formation of a legal culture of modernity, involving the interrelated processes of legal secularization, the replacement of group-specific norms with universalistic rules, and the realization of individual liberty and social equality.33 Various other teleological accounts of legal development shared such an understanding.34 These narratives suggested a close connection between the recognition of religious and other group-specific norms and restrictions on forms of family, intimacy and kinship. They believed that the accommodation of such norms in various colonial personal law systems limited the export of modern Western legal systems and their culture of liberty and equality, and considered the legalization of difference a major barrier to constitutionalism, the rule of law, and the extension of rights in postcolonial societies.

Archana Parashar adopted such a perspective on Indian personal law, and attributed the modest character of postcolonial reform to the “religious nature” of the major personal law systems. As she took religious law to necessarily restrict women’s rights, she misunderstood the Muslim law reforms of the 1930s to have subjected women to the “rigorous control of the high culture Islamic law” because they applied Islamic law rather than regional custom to Muslim family life.35 However, these reforms provided women greater inheritance rights and divorce rights.36 The assumption that religious laws limited reform also prevented Parashar, Rajeswari Sunder Rajan and Susan Okin from recognizing the judicial reforms in Indian Muslim law from the 1970s.37

Contrary to such understandings, family laws that were framed in religious and other culturally specific discourses followed very different trajectories. The religious laws recognized by colonial states underwent little change after independence in Lebanon, Syria, and Algeria, but changed to provide women greater rights and individuals greater liberties around the same time in Tunisia, and to a lesser extent in Indonesia, Thailand, west peninsular Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Libya and Senegal. Moreover, such legal systems changed in a conservative direction since the 1970s in Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Afghanistan and east peninsular Malaysia, in contrast with the modernist reforms introduced through this period especially in Morocco, and to a lesser extent in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India and Senegal.

The more extensive modernist reforms changed family law along many of the same lines that certain largely secularized family law systems followed. Nuclear families and individuals gained greater authority in family life in Tunisia in the 1950s, as had happened only a few decades earlier in most industrialized countries, and around the same time or a little later in some predominantly Catholic industrialized societies such as Italy, Spain and Portugal. Morocco adopted the Tunisian reforms over the past decade and went further in certain respects, especially regarding matrimonial property and spousal authority in family life. Moreover, some official religious laws provided women certain rights recognized only in a minority of largely secularized family law systems. For instance, many courts granted women shares in matrimonial property equal to those of their husbands under the rubric of Islamic law in Indonesia and Moroccan legislation gave women these rights as well a decade back. These shares were greater than divorcees get in about half the states in the United States and many other industrialized regions.38 This was possible because religious discourses were reconstructed in these societies, and could be elsewhere too under appropriate conditions, to support most family practices that gained recognition in conjunction with legal secularization in industrialized societies from the mid-nineteenth century until about the 1970s. Moreover, the view of the marital bond as fragile in classical Islamic law and certain customary laws has affinities with how marriage was reconstructed and no-fault divorce rights granted in most industrialized societies since the 1960s.

Religious discourses did limit legal reform in various societies in certain ways, however. For instance, even the most extensive Islamic law reforms, seen in Tunisia and Morocco, did not alter the unequal shares of parental property (in a 2:1 ratio) that the Qur’an prescribes for sons and daughters, and other male and female kin with a similar relationship to the decedent.39 Moreover, Islamic law reform marginalized certain kinship practices and sexualities that had enjoyed some social acceptance but were considered contrary to Islamic norms, such as matriliny in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and India, and alternative sexualities and transgendered behavior in Malaysia and the Philippines.40 Changes in family law had such mixed effects on rights not only in countries with religious laws, but also in those with largely secular family laws.

To understand the directions taken by official religious laws over the last century, we need to plot the different relationships between the mobilization of religious and other cultural communities, the enactment of kinship, and the formation of states and nations. Four assumptions underlying Charrad’s approach to these questions merit critical examination: (a) classical Islamic law supports the authority of the patrilineage, a claim that is of broad relevance as many more states recognize some form of Islamic law than any other kind of religious law today; (b) urban groups counter lineage power because they are less dependent on agriculture, the main source of lineage resources and authority, live in more nuclearized households, and are more influenced by the modern Western valuation of companionate marriage and autonomous nuclear families; (c) under conditions of prior state autonomy and significant urbanization, centralizing state elites and urban groups reform cultural and religious traditions to promote nuclear family autonomy; and (d) family nuclearization aids women’s rights.41

While Islamic legal traditions uphold male authority over many family practices and recognize inheritance rights mainly based on relationships with men, their prescriptions reduce the authority of patrilineages in certain ways. For instance, the fixed inheritance shares that they prescribe for individuals, including women, are not conducive to patrilineal property control.42 This led to conflicts between ulama and landed elites at different points over inheritance practices in various societies with strong lineages.43 Urban groups vary in the extent of their dissociation from agricultural property, and nuclearized households may find extended families both constraints and sources of support. This renders uncertain the relationship urban groups have with lineages and cultural traditions that uphold lineage authority, and thus the extent of their support for initiatives to limit lineage power and increase nuclear family authority. The implications of family nuclearization for women’s rights depend crucially on the nature of authority relations in the nuclear family. Discourses of nation and community influence the kind of family units and the types of familial gender relations that both urban and rural groups value most.

Echoing Charrad (though without referring to her work), Mytheli Sreenivas linked the emergence of ideas of the conjugal family in India to the growth of new mercantile and professional elites and their competition from the nineteenth century with landholding elites, which defended the authority of the patrilineal joint-family.44 She took better account of ongoing changes in family forms than Charrad did, but presented only fragmentary evidence that class status was closely connected to the positions taken in debates over family life. In attempting to align positions in these debates with the occupational specialization of agents, she misrepresented some of these positions.45 Ritu Birla’s more empirically detailed and conceptually nuanced analysis showed that the joint-family remained crucial in the organization of mercantile activity in colonial India, and that many aspects of the legal construction of the Hindu joint-family as an entity that controls property were results of efforts to promote commerce.46 This was a reason why fewer mercantile and professional elites favored granting individuals control over ancestral property than over property accumulated through professional activities. Thus, individuals from these groups piloted the passage of the Hindu Gains of Learning Act, that assured professionals full rights in the property they acquired by virtue of their education as early as 1930, even if joint-family resources had funded their education. But many of them resisted efforts to make ancestral property readily divisible into individual shares in the 1950s, and accepted this change only in 2005.

While social structure did not determine preferences regarding personal law and family life in the ways that Charrad and Sreenivas indicated, there are some affinities between particular social groups and certain projects of family-formation. Urban professionals with limited connections to agricultural land favor the autonomy of the nuclear family in certain respects, and sometimes that of individuals. They vary however in the activities over which they favor giving nuclear families control, the extent to which they prioritize such authority for the nuclear family, and in whether they seek to promote these ends by secularizing law or reforming religious law, adopting Western precedents or reforming indigenous traditions. Rural elites and urban professional groups with significant landed property tend to favor the shared control of extended kin over ancestral property (especially land) and various forms of clan authority. Those of them embedded in patrilineal kinship practices particularly support the rights of agnatic kin. The majority of colonial personal laws upheld such forms of property control as well as other forms of authority for extended kin, and certain pre-colonial normative and juristic systems supported them as well. Legal elites, that play crucial roles in initiatives for legal change, tend to draw their visions of authentic legal tradition largely from colonial personal law and customary law, rather than from the older cultural and jurisprudential traditions that these legal systems are said to reflect. By way of contrast, religious elites and certain ethnic elites more often base their personal law agendas partly on pre-colonial traditions.

Charrad paid inadequate attention to the diverse ways in which the kinship practices upheld in classical religious texts were enacted in particular social contexts, the various sources from which colonial personal laws were drawn, the different relationships that systems of religious personal law had with local customs, and the particular ways in which different groups felt that their social identities were tied to classical religious law on the one hand and local customs on the other hand. Due to her focus on a region where the Maliki madhhab developed in interaction with patrilineal forms of kinship, she did not consider the rather different forms of “practical kinship” enacted as normatively Islamic and enforced as Islamic law in different societies.47 John Bowen, Michael Feener, Mark Cammack and Michael Peletz showed that kin relations developed among Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia through the interaction of the matrilineal and bilateral practices that existed prior to the advent of Islam in these societies with the largely patrilineal norms of the Shafi`i madhhab that is said to govern these groups.48 Qadis (religious judges) often mandated inheritance according to adat (ethnic or regional customs, many of which predate the influence of Islam in the region and differ from the prescriptions of Islamic jurisprudence). Even the authoritative texts of the main school of Shia law (the Ithna Ashari) prescribed bilateral rather than patrilineal inheritance outside the nuclear family, influenced by the predominantly bilateral kinship practices of Iran and Iraq, where the majority of the world’s Shias live.49 The variety of inheritance practices followed by Muslims, some of which were encoded in texts of religious law, are among the many indicators that world religions assumed different forms in interaction with specific social contexts.

Even if they were framed as religious laws, colonial personal laws incorporated many customs specific to region or ethnic group, as well as common law or civil law conventions. These customs had uncertain relations with the texts on which colonial policy-makers mainly based their understanding of religious law. Some of them governed members of many religious groups. Colonial courts recognized many such customs in Indonesia, where various colonial intellectuals and officials considered such customs rather than Islamic law the main basis of family practices especially regarding inheritance, although Islamic law was said to govern the country’s Muslim majority. They also recognized the inheritance customs followed by the majority of Indian Muslims, which did not give women the shares in family property that classical Islamic law prescribed. Thus, colonial personal law was in most cases some steps removed from the classics of religious law. It often influenced what colonized groups considered of cultural value, and to the extent that it did so, postcolonial rulers faced popular expectations that they would recognize many family practices that the texts of classical religious law did not support. This was less the case among Indian Hindus. Colonial officials constructed official Hindu law based importantly on particular Hindu religious texts (especially the Mitakshara and the Dayabhaga) that upheld many of the customs of the dominant castes and lineages of particular regions. They systematized different schools of Hindu law based on these earlier texts, and applied them to the residents of specific regions. This aligned the Hindu law in force with certain prevalent customs.50

The perceived relationship between religious law and custom influenced how groups connected their identities with religious law on the one hand and regional custom on the other hand. Indian Hindus saw ethnic and regional customs more often as the prescriptions of religious law, while Indian Muslims (particularly religious elites) felt that the customs of their religious group departed from their religious law in crucial respects. As a result, Muslim religious elites demanded that the rules of classical Islamic law rather than the customs of landed elites be applied to Muslim inheritance, and faced the resistance of Muslim landed elites, who ensured the continued application of regional custom to land inheritance. Among Hindus, the majority of religious elites and landed elites made common cause in opposing personal law reform on the grounds of religious tradition as well as indigenous custom from the late nineteenth century until the 1950s.

Besides, groups vary in the stake they feel in religious law. Indian Muslim religious elites did so more than their Hindu counterparts did because expertise in religious law was more important to their authority. As a result, they mobilized Muslim personal law as an important domain of religious identity from the late nineteenth century, and remained closely engaged with Muslim law adjudication and legislation thereafter. By way of contrast, Hindu religious elites largely withdrew from debates about personal law after parliament introduced moderate reforms in the 1950s. Resistance to Hindu law reform came primarily from the social elites of patrilineal groups thereafter.

The norms of specific ethnic groups and regions supplemented religious jurisprudence more in societies in which predominant nationalist discourses highlighted cultural similarities and cultural exchanges across religious boundaries. This was especially the case in Indonesia. Sensitivity to regional culture also depended on the level of government that was responsible for family law, being greater in federal polities in which the state governments assumed much of this responsibility such as Malaysia, the United States and Canada, than in unitary polities such as Britain, or in federal polities such as India’s in which the federal government assumed primary responsibility.

Bina Agarwal explored the implications of kinship practices for orientations to family law in South Asia. She argued that regional differences in customs regarding inheritance, marital alliances and post-marital residence influenced women’s rights to inherit land, as well as their effective access to land. Agarwal demonstrated that the customs of patriliny, village and kin exogamy, and patrilocality, predominant in northern and western India, Pakistan and Nepal limited women’s ability to access resources, especially land, to which they were legally entitled. The greater prevalence of bilateral and matrilineal inheritance and village and kin endogamy, and more varied patterns of post-marital residence in southern and eastern India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were more favorable to women’s access to land. Moreover, Agarwal showed that these customs influenced state-specific land legislation, which overrode national-level Hindu laws regarding the inheritance of agricultural land until recently, and seriously limited women’s land rights in northern and western India.51 These regionally specific practices influenced the Hindu law debates of the 1950s and the 2000s, in which legislators from the north and the west especially opposed changes that would have enabled women to access ancestral property. They were also crucial to the introduction of such changes initially in the southern states. Furthermore, they influenced people’s positions on marriage and divorce law, which Agarwal did not discuss. Representatives from northern and western India particularly resisted allowing kin endogamy, and increases in the rights to marital separation and divorce. This was especially the case among those from the upper and upper-middle castes, which followed norms of kin exogamy and marriage indissolubility most.

V Secularism, the Recognition of Religion, and Multiculturalism

Certain states that claim to be secular recognize personal laws that draw from religious norms and govern specific religious groups or sects. Tensions arise between their secularist claims and their application of religious laws. Secular states aim to restrict or change the social roles of religion to promote various ends. Liberal democratic secular states and states that present themselves as such, claim that their interventions in religion are meant to ensure individual liberties, treat different religious groups similarly, limit religious discrimination in society, contain religious and sectarian conflict, and promote social equality to levels necessary to produce an autonomous citizenry. An important body of literature indicates that secularist institutions and policies depend on, and perhaps ought to reflect, the nature of religious practices and religious institutions, the prior engagement of states with such practices and institutions, and the visions of religious toleration, equality and freedom salient in particular societies.52 These studies trace the higher resistance to the recognition of religious norms and the greater restriction of religious symbols in public life in France than in the United States to such factors as the role of anti-clericalism in restricting the monopolistic power of the Catholic Church in France and the greater prevalence of religious practice in recent decades in the United States. Similarly, they attribute the greater accommodation of religious norms and greater attention to the state’s equidistance from religions and religious groups in India than in France and the United States to the higher public relevance of religion and greater intensity of inter-religious conflict when a sovereign state was established there.53 These considerations are taken to have motivated the recognition of religion as a basis for social and cultural rights (e.g., to distinct educational institutions and personal laws), but not for political rights (e.g., separate electorates) in India. In highlighting the extensive accommodation of public religion in India and the correspondence of these arrangements with certain popular expectations, this literature refutes the claims of T.N. Madan and Ashis Nandy that India’s secular institutions did not engage with crucial public cultures infused by religious norms and therefore drew support only among a narrow elite. We will see however that such criticisms were applicable to Turkish secularism.54

Gary Jacobsohn offered such a contextually specific understanding of three models of secularism - American assimilative secularism that seeks to preserve religious liberty in the private sphere, while urging political assimilation in the American republic; Israel’s visionary secularism that involves the coexistence of the vision of Israel as a state of the Jewish people with commitments to preserve religious liberties and cultural autonomy; and India’s ameliorative secularism, committed to transform enduring social inequalities related to religious belief and practice, while ensuring cultural autonomy. He considered these models responses to religion’s roles in social life and national identity, and understood features of family law as expressions of these models. While the American state’s determination to subsume the claims of religious groups to the supremacy of civil law led to the penalization of alternative family practices related to minority religious norms (specifically, Mormon polygyny), the inclination of the Israeli and the Indian states to accommodate the religious minorities led them to accept polygyny among Muslims while banning the practice among their religious majorities. Jacobsohn claimed that the Indian state was more likely than the Israeli state to reform Muslim law and introduce uniform secular family laws if opinion among the concerned groups supported these steps because of its ameliorative ambitions.55

These authors contributed significantly to understanding varieties of secularism, but slipped too readily from an empathic understanding of official secularisms to the conclusion that religion was accommodated appropriately in various societies. They paid inadequate attention, for instance, to the ways in which the association of the British state with the Anglican Church, the incorporation of Judeo-Christian visions in the constitution and aspects of the legal system in the United States, and the reluctance of states in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands to extend non-Christian religions the recognition they had given Christian sects that had lived for long in their societies meant that these states engaged very unequally with specific religious groups and sects, a problem which became more glaring as these societies became more diverse in religious practice. Nor did they consider whether the religious laws of Israel and India best reflect religious practices, reform initiatives and the requirements of tolerance. The ban on polygyny among the majority and not among Muslims was related to public opinion in Israel but not in India, where bigamy was practiced and accepted about as much among Hindus as among Muslims when the practice was banned among Hindus soon after independence. Even in Israel, polygyny was practiced among some Mizrahi groups (Jews from the Arab world, Caucusus, Central Asia and Ethiopia) when they migrated to Israel. As the Israeli political and judicial elite prioritized changing practices among the Jews, but not among the Muslims, they applied the civil law banning polygyny (and other civil marriage laws) much of the time in the rabbinical courts, but accepted the continued validation of polygynous marriages in the Muslim courts.56

Major understandings of Indian secularism identify the main reasons for the maintenance of distinct personal laws, but do not effectively account for the postponement of change in the minority laws or the specific changes made in Hindu law. Jacobsohn and Rajeev Bhargava argued that the focus on Hindu law reform reflected the greater support for personal law reform among Hindus and a commitment to minority accommodation. In a similar vein, Paul Brass, James Chiriyankandath, Subrata Mitra and Alexander Fischer attributed the choice not to change the minority laws after independence to the agreement that Congress party leaders had reached with certain Muslim elites to maintain distinct Muslim laws.57 These authors ignored the compatibility of minority accommodation with changes in minority laws based on the relevant group’s norms, practices, and initiatives, and misunderstood the relative strength of reformist mobilization. Significant initiatives to change social life and personal law had emerged among Muslims from the 1920s. They led to some reforms in Muslim law in the late 1930s, and made many Muslim elites open to further changes if they were based on Islamic norms and significant Muslim mobilization.

The most important change made in Muslim law was the passage of the Shariat Act in 1937, initiated by various Muslim political and religious elites, which required the application of Islamic law rather than customs specific to region, caste or lineage to Muslim family life. This increased the rights of most Muslim women in colonial India to whom the courts had applied patrilineal customs until then, particularly to inheritance. Muslim women were thereafter entitled to half the share of similarly positioned male kin in family property. The resistance of Muslim landed elites to the shares that Islamic law gave women in family property led to a compromise that exempted agricultural land from the purview of Islamic law, as we saw. As a result, patrilineal customs that gave women no shares or very limited shares in family property continued to govern most Indian Muslims with regard to agricultural land.58 The majority of the Muslim landed elites that had pressed for this compromise wound up in Pakistan after 1947. The resulting decline in the power of Muslim landed elites in India significantly reduced opposition to extending the Shariat Act’s purview to agricultural land, and the majority of ulama would have supported this change because they considered the inheritance shares prescribed in the Qur’an immutable features of Islamic law. Moreover, the Indian constitution, adopted in 1950, moved succession to agricultural land from the sole jurisdiction of provincial governments to the concurrent jurisdiction of the national and the state governments, removing procedural obstacles to the passage of national legislation to this effect.59 Despite this, the Shariat Act was applied to the inheritance of agricultural land soon after independence in West Pakistan (today’s Pakistan), but not in India, where only two state governments made this move.60

Certain Muslim legal and political elites proposed other Muslim law reforms by the 1940s, such as requiring families with means to provide their daughters dower, giving women control over their dower and the right their husbands already had to repudiate their spouses, and restricting unilateral male repudiation.61 Policy-makers did not consider such changes or an increase in Christian divorce rights, which various Christian organizations demanded from the 1950s. Besides, Hindu law reform initiatives faced considerable resistance. Thus, support for personal law reform was no stronger among Hindus than it was among Muslims and Christians, and influential Muslims and Christians had highlighted culturally specific grounds to change their personal laws.62 Nevertheless, policy-makers changed Hindu law alone soon after independence because most political elites primarily engaged initiatives among Hindus, imagined the nation primarily with reference to various Hindu cultural sources, and conceived projects to reshape the nation and reduce deep inequalities mainly with reference to such sources and initiatives.

Gyanendra Pandey, Partha Chatterjee and Aamir Mufti noted that the majority of Indian nationalists, both cultural pluralists and those who sought Hindu hegemony, shared such orientations in the late colonial period, but the literature has not explored the consequences for postcolonial recognition.63 Many aspects of Indian multiculturalism had a Hindu majoritarian orientation, not only personal law but also preferential policies and state responses to autonomist and secessionist movements. Preferences in education, government employment, and political representation, and special civil rights protections were extended to the Hindu lower castes (scheduled castes) and tribal groups, and later to lower caste individuals practicing other religions of South Asian origin such as Sikhism (in 1956) and Buddhism (in 1990), but not to lower caste Muslims and Christians, although the latter groups faced much the same constraints and indignities as the former. This discouraged lower caste conversion from Hinduism to Christianity and Islam, which was contrary to the state’s claim to promote religious freedom.64 The formation of Pakistan as a country for India’s Muslims led many policy-makers to consider the religious minorities most likely to favor secession. They therefore more readily accommodated autonomist and secessionist movements that emerged among predominantly Hindu cultural groups (as they did with the Dravidian and the Assamese movements), while repressing such movements more often if they grew among predominantly non-Hindu groups (acting thus at different points toward the Naga, Kashmiri, and Sikh movements).65 Various scholars did not address the influence of religious identity over preferential policies and policies toward ethnic movements.66 The manner in which these policies took religious identity into account was contrary to the Indian state’s claim to equidistance from the various religious groups. Bhargava and Charles Taylor nevertheless misleadingly deemed the state’s maintenance of such a “principled distance” from religious groups a major distinctive feature of Indian secularism. The asymmetries in the Indian state’s engagement with religious groups weakened efforts to build inter-religious understanding, reduce durable inequalities, and represent the country’s different religious cultures in the emergent nation.

Jacobsohn understood early postcolonial Hindu law reform as meant to realize the constitutional principle, based in liberal public reason, of ameliorating deep inequalities and Bhargava as aimed to make personal law more gender-just. However, the main sources of these changes, notions of social reform based on Hindu normative traditions, and the model of the heterosexual and monogamous nuclear family that Western law provided at the time, were neither based on a liberal imaginary nor urged the systematic reduction of gender inequalities. The former encouraged the maintenance of lineage control over property, and limits on mate choice and divorce rights, and the latter influenced reductions in the rights of women in matrilineal groups or in polygynous relationships. Moreover, a preference to maintain broad support led policy-makers to accommodate conservatives by placing serious limits on women’s access to ancestral property, and strengthening men’s right to the conjugal company of their spouses.

VI Central Arguments in Brief

The book explains the course of personal law with reference to two sets of factors, that develop in mutual interaction: first, features of state-society relations; and second, the discourses of community that are salient among ruling elites or groups with significant influence over policy. The relevant features of state-society relations are social structure, the nature of state-society engagements under the predecessor regime, the coalitions that the regime or segments of the regime have and aim to build, and the projects of state elites to change state-society relations. The discourses of community that exercise greatest influence are those about the nation, its cultural groups and its traditions. The ways in which two category couplets are deployed in discourses of community matter: nation-community and modernity-authenticity. The particular forms in which the nation-community and the modernity-authenticity dyads are articulated influence the imagination of the following: the crucial group boundaries, the dynamics of the society, the nature of state institutions, and the boundaries and engagements between state and society in the present and in the projected future. Such forms of imagination of community in turn influence the construction of states and state-society relations, and how certain actors experience these phenomena.

The two crucial explanatory variables, state-society relations and discourses of community, develop through such interactions with one another, and their interactions shape various policies, particularly those pertaining to the recognition, transmission and transformation of cultures. Diagram 1 and Tables 2.1 and 2.2 capture these relationships.

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