Saturday, August 9, 2008

Interview with Ashish Nandy

Anil Lal, Vinay Lal's brother, has sent me the link to a recent interview with Ashish Nandy. You'll find it by clicking here. In the interview he is very critical of the impact of modernization and secularization on India, insists that Gujarat has become a kind of intellectual and cultural waste land, laments that the middle class do not have middle class values and lack "the modern concept of cosmopolitanism," discusses the reemergence of religion as a dominant force, and talks about how, in his disillusionment after the Emergency, he found himself re-evaluating Gandhi: "I began to look for new ways of looking at Indian politics. My discovery of Gandhi happened at that time. I had always disliked Gandhi: his allegiances had looked primordial; his style a deviation from our idea of cosmopolitanism; his politics anti-modern. But I rediscovered Gandhi. I became more sceptical of the Indian state, which was modelled on the colonial state that had ruled us. I saw that the categories that dominated Indian politics had no openness to the experiences of a majority of Indians." It's an uncompromising articulation of his position.

If you read it, feel free to comment here as a way to extend the discussions we began to have on the trip.

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