‘A narrow idea of India fuels illiberal tendencies’

Professor Jyotirmaya Sharma of the University of Hyderabad in Mail Today:

“The label of India being the largest democracy is not enough. It is not sufficient for us to go through the motions of conducting elections; sending representatives to Parliament and legislatures is not enough. Along with democracy, we need to build liberal institutions in the country.

“A narrow, official conception of nationalism often comes in the way of suppressing dissent, ignoring minority views, and demanding compliance in the name of an abstract idea of the nation. In turn, these illiberal trends fuel the demand for unity, which often is authoritarian tendencies masquerading in the name of keeping the country united and strong.”

Illustration: courtesy R. Prasad/ Mail Today

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