'Make America Great Again'. Can a slogan like this - which took Donald Trump to the White House - be the basis of a flourishing society? Alternatively, at a time when war has returned to Europe, must we look beyond borders and embrace a global community? This tug-o-war between the primacy of nationalism and internationalism, seems to deepen the divisions within society. Vichaar Manthan will explore de novo political ideas in the pursuit of a more sustainable society.
Nationalism vs Internationalism - is there a middle way?
Nationalism is a dirty word in Western academic discourse. After two devastating European wars which plunged the world into chaos and misery, a rules-based international order was consciously built in which no single country could afford to ‘go it alone’. But after 60 years of internationalism, nationalism is back on the rise throughout the world. Why is this? Does internationalism alienate and nationalism root us? Does nationalism ultimately lead to tribalism? Is there a middle-way where people can be nationalistic without the bigotry associated with older forms of European nationalism?
Navigating Hindu Nationalism
Nationalism is on the rise the world over. Too often in our public discourse, however, nationalism is caricatured, and its nuances ignored. Struggles over Brexit and Scottish independence demonstrate one type of nationalism, whilst the rise of strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping demonstrate a completely different form. Somewhere along this spectrum is India’s form of nationalism, often labelled ‘Hindu nationalism’. For its naysayers, Hindu nationalism is simply another form of bigotry and an attempt to create a majoritarian state; for its believers, it is a genuine attempt to create a society that feels rooted to its land whilst accommodating plurality in its body politic. Join us as we explore the nuances of nationalism in this Fireside conversation.
“Hindutva simply means ‘Hindu-ness’; it is about being Hindu, nothing more!” Western narratives about Hindutva deny this and are far more cynical. On the whole, Western commentators and their Indian counterparts see Hindutva as an assertive nationalist force that will create divisive majoritarianism in India. With the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party, its position at the heart of government and its overwhelming electoral mandate, interest grows in deciphering Hindutva with greater nuance. Can the West work with Hindutva? What does it really mean for India and Hindus the world over? Join us to find out more.