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Time Warps: The Insistent Politics of Silent and Evasive Pasts

Ashis Nandy (Author)
Synopsis In this book Ashis Nandy, one of South Asia's foremost public intellectuals, grapples with India's political culture by looking from new perspectives at the country's past, and by envisioning for the subcontinent a variety of alternative futures. He is able to do this by sidestepping the discipline of history and the ideological apparatus of the modern state. He argues that academic history and the state are overly reliant on three key categories—secularism, modern scientific rationality, and the social-evolutionist idea of progress. Nandy contends, in contrast, that although ordinary Indians posses the democratic right to political choice, they have been prevented from bringing into the centre of India's public life the everyday categories and thought processes with which they actually live. These 'living' categories, he argues, enable the average Indian to connect the legendary and the historical, the sacred and the secular, the past and the present. In this book, Nandy deliberately blurs these seemingly opposite terms in order to reveal how they actually run into, and reshape, each other. He argues, further, that to revitalise democratic politics in India it is necessary to defy the post-Enlightenment worldview which seeks to make the subcontinent a tropical edition of the West. He analyses the present pathologies of Indian politics-the rise of religious nationalism, massive corruption, the dependence on technology and mega-bureaucracy-as the direct outcome of the ideological agenda and mythic structure of India's dominant, globalised, middle-class culture. He shows how this culture has flattened or annihilated the myriad voices and indigenous cosmopolitan traditions which ought to constitute the heart of Indian democracy.
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About the author

Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy is senior fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. He has written over fifteen books, including The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self under Colonialism (Oxford, 1983), Traditions, Tyranny, and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness (Oxford, 1987) and an ambiguous Journey to the City: The Village and Other Odd Ruins of the Self in the Indian Imagination (Oxford, 2001).

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Bibliographic information

Title Time Warps: The Insistent Politics of Silent and Evasive Pasts
Author Ashis Nandy
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Permanent Black
Language: English
isbn 9788178240206
length 244p.
Subjects History