ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Ideology and Afghanistan

or France or Germany or Sweden in their tracks. They have accepted the burden of a certain shared destiny with the rest of Europe, but, since destiny is an abstraction, and you cannot go to bed with an abstraction, they have continued with their daily perambulations. In case they have felt it necessary, they have not minded engaging in gory wars with those other nations of Europe with whom they were supposed to share the etegance of a common heritage. Such rudeness is unheard of in the Indian environment. Material property can be parcelled, thai is in fact one of the first lessons of the feudal primer; an abstraction cannot however be compartmentalised. The concept of a nation is an abstraction, and therefore, to the Indian mind, it is inviolable, it is akin to the undivided Hindu family, its tenancy rights cannot be doled out in parcels. Events in the heartland, which operates within a framework of the Middle Ages, may ex asperate x, y or z. But exasperation by itself is the catharsis, you are not supposed to proceed beyond, that would be unparliamentary, that would be breaching the grammar of the national ethos. In folk language, this is known as tolerance and accommodation. If, therefore, the heartland decides to stay stuck with the sixteenth century, no contrary votes are going to be cast.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users


(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top