Wednesday, May 17, 2006


What is at stake is the definition of the truly ‘Indian’, as also the exaltation of ‘our’ culture. From this perspective, Indian culture is seen as best mirrored in the past: in our monumental architecture, our ancient scriptures, our performing arts, our textiles. The emphasis is clearly on a ‘high’ culture, which claimed unbroken continuity with the pre-colonial past. For different reasons, then, expressions are marked by embarrassed negotiation or unduly celebratory approaches to Indian culture. These approaches to culture may not be equipped to deal with the extraordinary transformations and political mobilizations that continually take place. Yet, these changes are ‘cultural’ changes, in the sense that culture refers to ways of life, and more than ever, ways of struggle.

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