Plurality, Identity, Democracy, Globalization... A conversation with Sunil Khilnani
CIOCCA, ROSSELLA and SUNIL, KHILNANI (2008) Plurality, Identity, Democracy, Globalization... A conversation with Sunil Khilnani. Anglistica, 12 (2). pp. 9-16. ISSN 2035-8504
Official URL: http://www.anglistica.unior.it/node/179/cover
abstract Rossella Ciocca interviews Sunil Khilnani author of the much appraised The Idea of India: one of the best non-fictional introductions to the complexities of politics in contemporary India. The strengths and weaknesses of present-day uneven modernity are discussed around a few strategic topics. First of all plurality, which in its linguistic, cultural, religious, ethnic variety has been vindicated since Independence as a foundational value, is seen as the quintessential resource for achosen practice of syncretism but also in danger of becoming the very source of fragmentation and implosion in a country increasingly maimed by fundamentalism and fanaticism. Democracy is then interrogated between the comfortable perspective of the firmly established and normally operating mechanisms of democratic routine, on the one hand, and the flawsof a still dramatically unjust system of distribution of rights and opportunities, on the other. Identity politics is in turn analysed both in its positive action of mobilizing society around the problem of social upgrading and in its unwelcome side effects of increasing practices of rigid and restricted classification fomenting division and violent sectarianism. In the end Indian growing cultural appeal upon the globalized scene is questioned in its complex relationship with the country’s quest for a role of protagonist in political as well as economic affairs upon a new multilateral international stage.
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