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 one or the other religion, or maybe religion as such as a potential threat. What is your experience in this regard?
My view is that more or less this is a Western perception. Of course, at one point of time, we in the East had that kind of notion where Hindus thought that the Muslims were a threat and the Muslims thought the Hindus were a threat. But we have come almost 50 years since 1947, and now we do not think that religion per se can be a threat. It is when some people use religion that it becomes a threat. That way I think the motif should be separated from religion as such. So I don't think ...