28 February, 2021

Selective Witchcraft

Exorcising all things 'Hindu' but sans sociological depth

Selective Witchcraft
IN Vanaik's view, the new urgency created by the rise of communalism has forced many to think for the first time, others to think anew, so that all may be better equipped to tackle this ugly beast.

There is no running argument in the book—it is a collection of essays produced in the last five years for the media. The author, who is a leftwing enthusiast, harps on the effect of communalism on the Indian polity. Several intellectuals have emerged as critics of one kind of secularism or another as well as of 'secular' India. Both are placed in the dock by Vanaik and blamed for the "rise of communalism and fundamentalism".

The author claims he has provided theoretical advances and new insights on the ideology of secularism (arguing for a separation of the political and the religious). Yet, his obsession persists: "The long-term battle to defeat communalism and fundamentalism will be waged on the terrain of civil society where the democratic process must be stabilised and secularisation deepened."...

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