Drawing data from an ethnographic study conducted in an early-years setting in Chennai, India, where everyday politics is couched in material and relational practices, the paper ruminates on the idea of ‘children as subjects’ in relation to politics and public life. By using the framework of ‘epistemologies of the south’, the analysis illustrates how a focus on ‘global cognitive justice’ might enable us to understand the politics of life in the global south differently from Western critical theory. The paper further deliberates on how such a ‘decolonial imagination’ would help us to reframe Eurocentric liberalist thinking and its conceptualisations of childhood and the political, practiced in a zone of messy social reality. In so doing, the paper tries to unpack ‘the political’ through paying particular attention to different ways of being, knowing, and doing children’s politics, and the subaltern practices of generational relations in subject making.
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