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 religion as such, or some particular religion as a threat. What is your experience in this regard?
Every religion can be a threat and every religion can be a protection against a threat also. The perception of threat is sharper these days, because increasingly, religion is seen in a large part of the ‘civilised world’ as something which only the poor and the powerless have. The fear of religion is part of a fear of the dispossessed. Unfortunately for many, the poor and the powerless are increasingly finding voice, and they're articulating their displeasure sometimes in a human and sometimes in an inhuman fashion, through the language of religion. This has made us even more nervous about what religion ...