A lay summary of my thesis
Humans need communities. After all, we are social beings. These communities should be built around our neighbors, co-workers, family members, and friends. But, there should be a scope for inclusion of new people - of strangers - in our communities. Without inclusivity, diversity, and trust, communities become stale, fragmented and suffocating for individual growth and freedom.
People often have a very idealized vision of communities. They think that communities are places of high social capital. Yes, they are, but what kind of social capital? Actual communities (throughout the world) can often look like an Indian village fragmented and stratified by the "caste system," where people adhere to vigorously enforced community norms and are skeptical of outsiders.
After the sixteenth century, "communities" like merchant guilds began to diffuse, and give way for market-based societies in Europe. And so was laid the foundation of the modern, more bourgeois, and more cosmopolitan world. But, in India the caste identity became more salient during the colonial period, which hinders India's rise today as a prosperous and modern society. Hopefully, India is undergoing a bourgeois revolution at this moment. Will all parts of India benefit from this revolution equally?
(Here's a longer Thesis Introduction)
Personal blog. Views expressed are my own, expressed in personal capacity.