Author: K N Panikkar
Publisher: Books for Change
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8187380748
This is a timely and important book focusing on the growing menace of right reaction. A work of paramount moral, social and political significance, it analyses the depth of the crisis in India today and the challenges of fascist and communal mobilization.
These essays of Prof Panikkar written in the last ten years reflect on the myriad ways in which the Sangh Parivar has pursued a fascist agenda, particularly in the cultural and political realms. They also attempt to understand the reasons for the inability of the secular forces to stem the tide of communalism and explore the possible ways in which a counter cultural movement can be initiated.
An agenda for secularism would involve building an infrastructure within social practices and institutions to ensure the rights of every citizen. In today’s India secularism has to be retrieved from being a pale shadow of what is projected as religious co-existence, to a system of values and actions that come from insisting upon democratic functioning and human rights.
Especially since the last ten years India has been facing increasing hostility towards the idea and reality of a multi-religious society with all religious groups having equal status. A particular formulation of Hinduism-the Hindutva variety promoted by the Sangh Pavivar-is sought to be projected as the primary religion of the India nation-state. This variety attempts to silence and marginalize those who follow other religions through threats to their lives – and in Gujarat in the recent night of terror-has moved from intolerance to violence and the condoning of indiscriminate killing. The system of education is give a religious terms, geographical names are changed to reflect religious identity and cultural resources are appropriated as religious legacy.
A must read for all in order to reiterate the fuller agenda for secularism afresh if it is to be a presence in Indian political and social life.
As Professor Panikkar maintains, the true agenda of secularism – a more creative secular response to the contemporary condition – needs to be put into practice. There has to be an ethically determined society from the one that is being sought to be imposed on us today. The essays in this collection reflect these concerns and will doubtless contribute to the creation of such a social ethos.
-Prof. Romila Thapar
A Perspective for Intervention
Religious Symbols and Political Mobilisation
Hindu Revivalism: A Political and Cultural Project
An Agenda for Secularism
Towards Secular Cultural Mobilisation
Secular and Democratic Education
Democratic Education: Some Reflections
Whither Indian Education
Denationalizing the Nation: Politics of Globalization
An Agenda for Cultural Action
Freedom Fifty: A Critical Introspection
Ungodly Men, Unholy Activities
Why Remember Gandhi
Before the Night Falls