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The Light of KnowledgeLiteracy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India$
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Francis Cody

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452024

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452024.001.0001

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Reflections on a Time of Charismatic Enlightenment

(p.206) Epilogue
The Light of Knowledge

Francis Cody

Cornell University Press

This epilogue presents some reflections about the Arivoli Iyakkam. It argues that the Arivoli Iyakkam was a charismatic Enlightenment project because the movement was able to articulate the aspirations of a wide set of social actors, less through its ideology of enlightenment, than in its mode of operation through reciprocity. Although the Arivoli Iyakkam promised forms of enlightenment and emancipation that could never be delivered through literacy propagation alone, the promises it did make appear to have had a performative effect of drawing people to the movement that far outweighs their positive content. That the Arivoli movement should fade out and become routinized even as it produced new generations of activists was a fate that was perhaps built into its charismatic mode of mobilization.

Keywords:   Arivoli Iyakkam, social movements, literacy movements, enlightenment, emancipation

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