Identity Politics in India and Europe combines qualitative methods (20 interviews) with historical and philosophical analysis. The first part of the book discusses the history of perceptions between the Europe of Latin Christianity and the so-called Muslim world, starting from the 7th century onwards. The second part is devoted to a discussion on the emergence of modernity and how it changed the identity politics of earlier times. The third part explores the role that intellectual elites have to play. It comprises interviews of eminent scholars and thinkers in India such as Imtiaz Ahmad and Ashis Nandy. These make for an insightful read, especially as subtle ideological differences surface in their responses to a set of common questions.
The Global Condition: Modernity and its Critics
[Page 48][Page 49]TThe following part attempts to capture the principal patterns of ‘perceiving’ and ‘stereotyping’ the ‘other’ in the context of modern politics. Modern politics is driven by mass mobilisation as opposed to decisions taken in cabinets, which are closed to the public as it was in earlier times. One means to achieve this end is the mobilisation of people on grounds of identity. Therefore, various forms of identity politics have emerged and proved quite successful. The term is often used in the context of minority politics within a nation-state.1 In contrast, the meaning given to identity politics here includes and even emphasises nationalism as a form of identity politics.2 Nationalism was ...