31 May 2016

Why India Is A Nation – Sankrant Sanu

One of the oft-repeated urban myths that sometimes pops-up in conversation even among many educated, well meaning Indians is that India as a nation is a British creation. The argument goes roughly as follows – India is an artificial entity. There are only a few periods in history when it was unified under the same political entity. It was only the British that created the idea of India as a single nation and unified it into a political state. A related assumption, in our minds, is that the developed Western countries have a comparatively far greater continuity of nationhood, and legitimacy as states, than India.

This urban myth is not accidental. It was deliberately taught in the British established system of education. John Strachey, writing in `India: Its Administration and Progress’ in 1888, said “This is the first and most essential thing to remember about India – that there is not and never was an India, possessing … any sort of unity, physical, political, social or religious; no Indian nation.

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10 May 2016

Revivalism and Secularism – by Amal Kiran

[This article was published in the “Mother India” issue of 14 October 1950. How relevant it is even today!]

For a number of days after the election of Purushottamdas Tandon to the Congress Presidentship the talk of the whole nation turned on Congress’s future policy under the direction of the new President. Perhaps feelings ran high more about the issue of the Secular State and the question came to the fore: Should our country, with its huge Hindu majority, be revivalist or, because of its multi-communal character, secular?
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