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.
Today, many people think of religion as such, or a particular religion as a threat. What is your personal experience in this regard?
It depends on what you think of religion. I don't think religion is a threat in that way. I would possibly want to reformulate the question. What is probably a threat is identity politics. The way that identities get defined, religion may be used as a particular feature in the definition of identities as opposites perhaps. I suppose it becomes a threat when it becomes a diacritical mark. But questions of ideas and faith, and after all atheism, could also be a form of religion. I wouldn't think that anyone would consider it a threat today. So it depends on ...