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.
… there is an intense period of engagement with and legitimating modern science in society which begins from 1870–80 and carries on till the 1950s, at least amongst sections of the scientific community. This engagement takes the form of interrogating traditional science and Western science. And the way out of this interrogation is by neutralising the notion of the ‘Western’ in science, and asserting the existence of modern science, and not Western science. So by neutralising the cultural import in modern science, you then legitimate the uptake of science as morally beneficial and economically worthwhile activity. It's a wrong way of looking at history, but this period can be seen as a sort of preparation. This is not to suggest that all ...