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 people nowadays perceive some religions or religion as such as a threat. What is your personal experience in this regard?
Religion has to be dealt with at two fairly different levels. One, as a matter of belief, and this involves the individual at the private level as well as the social level. Religion forms a system of beliefs on the basis of which you act, an input into the way you perceive yourself, project yourself, and the way other people perceive you. So it is a basis of your personal identity and social interaction. The second element of course is the presence of organised religion in the form of religious groups/communities. While religious communities exist in the social world, their presence is ...