Sunil Khilnani: We exaggerate the lives of our historical subjects

Sunil Khilnani: We exaggerate the lives of our historical subjects: , director of the India Institute at King’s College London and author of , you have written that one of the reasons you decided to write about 50 Indian historical figures was to address the “inev


"Yes, it does seem like the idea of a pluralist and Hindu nation is under challenge now. But it is also important to understand that it is during these moments of crisis in Indian history that people have shown amazing originality and innovation in how they respond to it. The nation often comes out stronger during difficult circumstances. Think of our freedom fighters like Gandhi, Tagore, etc., who showed the ability to retain their freedom of thought in the most difficult times of colonial suppression. It was that constrained pressure that provoked them to be strong, critical and brave and that should be the positive, inspirational aspect of what is happening in India right now.
Indira Gandhi was blamed for the Emergency, but at the same time she helped to provoke a response from within India which strengthened our democratic institutions, and helped with the re-emergence of civil society as the defender of the nation. I write about that in the book. Therefore, the current sense of threat and danger might precisely provoke a recommitment to democratic rights, to pluralism, and a multicultural ethic. There are a thousand pluralities and different views that comprise the life blood of India. Our creativity lies in how we advance or redefine this."
Please read full interview using the link.
M G Warrier


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