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.
Many these days perceive of religion as such, or a particular religion as a potential source of threat. What is your experience in this regard?
I don't take it as a threat. I just think that the expressions of religion have just found a new voice, a new way of finding its feet in the world today, which was denied for quite some time. That's my view. While finding a voice in the interstices of modern life, it comes into friction with lots of things but it's a voice which we all have been wanting to listen to and we brought it in the first place and religion is also trying to fight its way into expressions that are acceptable to the demands ...