Towards another idea of India

In 'Looking for the Nation: Towards Another Idea of India', author Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee explores the violent Hindu nationalism that pervades the current political discourse

By The Telegraph
  • Published 28.09.18, 12:28 AM
  • Updated 28.09.18, 12:28 AM
  • a min read
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A representational image of Hindu-Muslim unity Rajtilak Naik #1/Flickr

Looking for the Nation: Towards Another Idea of India (Speaking Tiger, Rs 350) by Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee says that countries are born with, and live by, dates. Some dates are reminders of the promise of a freedom that was not there before. Others bring back memories of horror and loss. One such memory is the myth-making surrounding the ‘other’ in the wake of the Partition. The resultant fear, Bhattacharjee excellently argues, is tied to the dispensation of justice — a notion which forms the plinth of democracy. Invoking thinkers like Octavio Paz and Jacques Derrida, Bhattacharjee makes an important distinction between law and justice. He shows that on the shoulders of the latter lies the duty to heal past injustices.

The most significant contribution of the book, though, is the author’s exploration of the violent Hindu nationalism that pervades the current political discourse. His objectivity in doing this makes for refreshing reading.