15 June, 2021

Hyphenation State

The nation-state is no redresser of problems, it's a part of them

Gireesh G.V.
Hyphenation State
Ashis Nandy is known to be an icon blaster. And that is his charm, for it is always interesting to see how he prises open concepts and beliefs which we take at face value. In a disenchanted post-modern world where certainties have been replaced by doubt, where what has been considered acceptable has been shown to be unacceptable, and what is considered emancipatory is now revealed as nothing but another play of power, Nandy delights in raising questions. In this book he sets out to demystify any illusion we may have once held that the nation-state may try to resolve or at least address our problems. The nation-state, he insists, is part of the problem. And all the mythologies that the nation-state has surrounded itself with, all the paraphernalia of nation, development, security and secularism are nothing but devices to legitimise itself. In the process, Nandy seems to suggest, we as citizens are fated to be crushed by the coils of a self-perpetuating spiral of power.

Nandy’s critique of the modern nation-state and its attendant ideologies is part of his general...

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