International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 1554-5210

Original article | International Journal of Progressive Education 2012, Vol. 8(3) 128-139

Activating Citizenship – the nation‟s use of education to create notions of identity and citizenship in south Asia

Shreya Ghosh

pp. 128 - 139   |  Manu. Number: ijpe.2012.048

Published online: October 15, 2012  |   Number of Views: 4  |  Number of Download: 21


Abstract

Identity in south Asia was anchored by, on the one end, community, and on the other, an appreciation of sub-continental (geographical and cultural) space. People, historically, drew their identity as part of communities, which in turn existed in continuity to each-other in the seamless regional expanse of south Asia. Imagination as nationals - a post-colonial construct - faced contestations, both, from community affiliations and spatial imagination contrary to the territorial  - modular  form of  nation-state.  As  a response, the  state fabricated the     idea  of ‗patriotic-citizen‘ and used nationalist historiography to create citizens who are taught to believe the nation as prime-marker of self-definition and act like soldiers, guarding national identity against alternative imaginations. Education has become the most potent devise through which this is achieved. The article, on the basis of textbook narratives in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, would demonstrate (i) how educational practices build a militarist idea of citizenship and, (ii) in doing so co-opts the demands of community by showing the nation as vindication of community-aspirations and on the other hand erasing conceptualisation of a south Asian space from cognitive maps of its subjects. The idea of ‗active‘ citizenship understands ‗active‘ as responsible citizenship, emphasising a right based discourse. On the contrary education in south Asia is used to ‗activate‘ citizenship which is relational in content - based on ideas of ‗us‘ versus ‗them‘ – instead of allowing critical understanding of rights and identities.

Keywords: Active citizenship, identity, South Asia


How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Ghosh, S. (2012). Activating Citizenship – the nation‟s use of education to create notions of identity and citizenship in south Asia . International Journal of Progressive Education, 8(3), 128-139.

Harvard
Ghosh, S. (2012). Activating Citizenship – the nation‟s use of education to create notions of identity and citizenship in south Asia . International Journal of Progressive Education, 8(3), pp. 128-139.

Chicago 16th edition
Ghosh, Shreya (2012). "Activating Citizenship – the nation‟s use of education to create notions of identity and citizenship in south Asia ". International Journal of Progressive Education 8 (3):128-139.

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