By SAT News Desk/Teamwork
MELBOURNE, 21 February 2021:
‘Who is Indian and what is ‘nationhood’?’ was a question that took center stage during a conversation between politician and celebrated author Shashi Tharoor, and journalist Faye D’Souza at the first-ever virtual edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
‘Who is Indian and what is ‘nationhood’?’ was a question that took centerstage during a conversation between politician and celebrated author Shashi Tharoor, and journalist Faye D’Souza at the first ever virtual edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
The session, titled ‘The Battle of Belonging’ takes inspiration from Shashi Tharoor’s book of the same name, and evaluates the historical and current political trends impacting the ‘idea of India.’ The book explores the changing interpretations of nationalism, patriotism, citizenship and belonging as well as the nature and future of nationhood. The duo, in turn discussed these themes and ideas in the context of the past, the present and the emergent future during their virtual conversation.
The politician spoke of two broad concepts of nationalism – one which is anchored in an identity defined by place of birth, ethnicity, language and religion or ‘identity nationalism’. The second which is linked to Constitutions and institutions – ‘a civic nationalism’. He mentioned how civic nationalism was first enshrined in the Indian Constitution after three years of debate and dialogue.
The conversation then traced India’s journey post Partition, and how the freedom struggle gave birth to a nationalism of shared sorrow. The duo also raised several other pertinent questions over the course of their hour-long conversation, related to delegitimising dissent, conformity, and India’s cultural identity.
The Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 will take place till 28th February on an exclusive