Politics for a New India is a modest attempt to set forth the Bharatiya way of studying the critical issues of social sciences. For obvious reasons, it has been attempted to move away from the western domination by exposing the system of Euro supremacist control and academic imperialism. By negating unrelenting dependence, this book is a compilation of essays by scholars and experts on wide array of crucial topics from terrorism to women rights to education to Uniform civil code. These essays on various subjects spread through its chapters which cautions against blind imitation to save the social sciences in general and political science in particular from possible biases. Exploring an alternative discourse in political science, this diversifies the outlook amenable to the historical and cultural context of India.
The central theme of the book edited by Prakash Singh is to enlighten ignorant minds without disgracing the existing notions. The book respects the existing discourses while putting the arguments against it. Throughout the book, the focus is to challenge the orientist and occidental perspective, and the concept of Breaking India which supersedes the native thoughts and ideas.
The work undertaken here is a modest attempt to seek identity for Indian ways of study. It may be treated with precaution as indigenization of Indian political studies with the highest level of objectivity and freedom from ideological and western domination relying on the analysis of world views drawn from our own intellectual tradition, as well as the ontological, epistemological, and ethical assumptions underlying political issues. It also takes into its ambit of inquiry of all those problems which have not been adequately paid attention to but are legitimately needed.
In its opening chapter, ‘Revisiting Secularism, Nationalism and Intolerance: Interpreting through Dharma and Advaita’, writer has attempted to prove that the notions ideas , concepts and theories of the west have been falsely replicated in the Indian context at the cost of our own rich cultural heritage and intellectual tradition. Its interesting to read in details about the proper understanding and realization of dharma and advaita would remove many misunderstandings in the field of Indian politics. Dharma in the Indian tradition is not religion. Religion is a narrow term, while dharma espouses a wider meaning. In the essay titled ‘ Mapping Global Experience of Secularism: An Indian perspective’, writer explains the notions and practises in the west have different meanings and applications which , replicated in the Indian scene, would be totally erroneous and misleading. The argument is well placed when the writer states in terms of historicity that secularism has entered into the western ‘modernity’ discourse as a distinct concept which envisages the exclusion of religion from statecraft.
The third chapter examines RSS ideology and praxis in the maintenance of social harmony. It gives the cardinal view of the RSS that the link running across nationalism , patriotism, togetherness and social sensitivity is the individual. In its subsequent chapter, Kerala Model of development: A myth of Exceptionalism and the Reality, exposes the baised claims of the success of so called Kerala model of development . The chapter has attempted to explore how the so called Kerala way of achieving socio economic development found passionate advocacy on the international front from left leaning scholars and attempted to obtain legitimacy for it by highlighting and popularizing the positives at the same time camouflaging the negatives and urged that the experience of Kerala be followed , giving it the tag of exceptional with regard to the development of develop countries.
The feminists are fighting for a different level of rights for women in different religions countries and ethnicities argues the writer in the chapter, ‘Jurisprudence of women’s rights: Christianity , Islam and Hinduism. Female is treated differently in different religions as per their religious faith and understanding of their religious texts. This creates an uneven pattern of fight for rights for women at the global level. In this chapter feminist Jurisprudence has been analysed according to the social and religious structure of different religions.
In ‘Glorification of Terrorism: Challenges, responses and pathways’ has attempted to delineate the phenomenon by surveying the strategy being utilized in anti-terror operation all across the world. A uniform civil code is the need of the hour in India. The urgency for implementing the code and the controversy surrounding it for more than seven decades has been examined by the writer in ‘Uniform Civil Code: A constitutional exploration’. It is a burning need for Indian polity which is secular in nature as UCC would provide clarity which arises out of simplicity. The authors argue that in a situation where different religions have made the legal system a maze by creating rights generally in favour of the male, thereby creating a situation conducive to exploitation of the female in some ways depending upon the religion they practise , UCC becomes essential for uniformly ensuring the equality and dignity of all individuals. The chapter also underlines the political controversy and its incapacitating role which is damaging to India’s secular character.
All in all this book will surely succeed in providing a possible solution to the perplexities of young minds. This modest attempt hopefully will live up to the expectation of creating a fairly new understanding on the issues which are crucial for shaping new India.
Book Review – Politics for a New India : A Nationalistic Perspective
Edited By – Shri Prakash Singh
Page – 302