05 August, 2021

Mr Ravana: Slay The Myth

It's time to rethink our cardboard theories: the creation myths of India and Pakistan. Advani's pilgrimage to the other side has opened up a territory we fear to explore.

Mr Ravana: Slay The Myth

Political controversies confuse rather than resolve historical disputes, especially those supported by well-orchestrated national myths. But in recasting history in the light of new political exigencies, they can also provide useful insights into some of the starker contradictions in the foundational ideologies of modern nation-states. The uproar in India provoked by Lal Krishna Advani’s comments about Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s secularism is a case in point. At a time when the two regional adversaries are looking to forge a more amicable relationship, it is not too difficult to fathom why the main Hindutva hardliner in India chose the occasion of a state visit to shower praise on the founder of Pakistan. However, discussions of the motivations and intentions of the BJP president’s seeming ideological volte face have generated emotive debate without shedding much light on history. The political drama...

More from Ayesha Jalal

Latest Magazine

August 09, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section