29 July, 2021

A Familiar Anatomy

Empty, cash-driven cosmopolitanism vs the 'real' India

A Familiar Anatomy
Several writers, critics, historians and statesmen from A.L. Basham, D.D. Kosambi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Rabindranath Tagore to Octavio Paz, R.C. Majumdar, Ramdhari Dinkar, K. Damodaran and Nirmal Verma have attempted to characterise, historicise and problematise Indian culture from different points of view.

The attempt to define our civilisation has gone hand in hand with the evolution of our nationalist consciousness. This has been an area where conflicting concepts and ideologies from those of Orientalism and Marxism to Neo-Hinduism and Subalternism have been battling for hegemony.

B.P. Singh, the scholar-bureaucrat, has chosen the well-trodden liberal nationalist, secular passage to Indian civilisation, following the footsteps of pioneers like Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad. His project is to examine the conceptual foundations of Indian culture, to relate cultural development to the overall development of the community and to critique the vision and practice of State patronage to the arts. The book has immensely succeeded in achieving...

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