Monday, August 28, 2006

Gandhi and Tagore: Against/Post Nationalism

Excerpts from a thought provoking essay by Ashis Nandy in a recent issue of EPW.

"I am treading on dangerous ground. Not only have I drawn attention to the eccentric hostility of our national poet to the idea of nationalism, I have diagnosed the nationalism of the Father of the Nation as fraudulent. Worse, I have read his assassination's nationalism as the genuine stuff, grounded in dominant contemporary ideas of sanity and rationality."

"Fortunately for the Indian nationalists, secular or otherwise, the evil influence of the two maverick thinkers I have discussed is waning. We are now proudly moving towards the genuine stuff - the real, textbook version of nationalism about which Ernest Gellner once said that you do not have to examine its contents in different parts of the world, for they are always the same. That is, paradoxically, nationalist thought is never nationally distinctive; it is globalised by definition. And it was so decades before globalisation became a buzz word."

here to read "Nationalism, Genuine and Spurious: Mourning Two Early Post-Nationalist Strains."


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