The Planet does not return our Gaze

Dipesh Chakrabarty: My trajectory is intrinsically linked to globalization: my
interest in post-colonial issues is part of a global story. For example, India in the
context of the 18th century was the last theater of conflict between the French
and the British, who were fighting for the domination of a single empire. And it
was the French who lost. When the British historian E.P. Thomson, while visiting
India, observed that Indian Marxism was the same as English Marxism, a friend
of mine replied: “If this is so, it is because the French general called Dupleix lost
the [nascent French] Indian empire and the English general called Clive won it
[for the British], no more and no less. If India had become a French empire,
everybody would have spoken the language of structuralism. You governed us,
so we speak your language, but that has nothing to do with the world view that
the French had.”

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