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Limits of Justice in a Welfare State: The Curious case of Bengali Muslims

Khatun, Arju

The paper seeks to understand the ideologies of justice in the postcolonial neoliberal state of the Indian subcontinent. The paper reads welfare system of the Indian constitution in relation to the minority question, here it takes up the case of Bengali Muslims of West Bengal. Drawing upon the theories of justice and Marxist class relations, the paper argues that recognition of the minority communities by the secular nation-state is predominant than redistribution. The paper further notes that religion and more importantly practice of Islam have remained a crucial factor in distributing justice in the Indian subcontinent. The nation-state of India has immense pressure on it to become a fully developed country with neo-liberal policies so that it can flourish in the global market. On the other hand, the once colonised country has the burden of running its democratic state. The paper will try to negotiate with those discourses of justice in the context of Bengali Muslims, and explore various possibilities and approaches that might be helpful for a better understanding of discrimination and inequality experienced by them.


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