The “Voice” of Data in the Turkish and Indian Contexts: Between Historical Articulation and Contemporary Discontents

Bahar Tabakoglu, New York University

Turkey and India, the two countries that have been known long for their secular state traditions as a product of their modernization projects, have lately been experiencing the politicization of religion which took the form of political Islam and political Hinduism, respectively. Far from being a change merely in the realm of politics, the escalation of religious politics in both countries brought about a transformation of their polities with points of correspondence with the socio-political-economic and cultural spheres. Hence, transcending the boundaries of institutionalist debates such as the ones on political party representations and constitutional arrangements, a sociological analysis focusing, instead, on the social class components of religious politics in Turkey and India would provide a critical understanding of the underlying dynamics of such formations. For this purpose, the paper will focus specifically on the working class components of religious politics in both countries, and the labor wings of political Islam and political Hinduism will constitute the main units of analysis. The analysis will rest on the field research that I have conducted in both countries. The research design, consisting of a collection of qualitative data through in-depth interviews and archival material, will, in the analytical trace, also provide a discussion on the processes and procedures of “data collection” with an aim to construct a dialogue between the “historical data” and its “contemporary discontents”.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 37. Culture, Knowledge & Politics