What Does it Mean to be Anti-National? Shashi Tharoor with Faye D’Souza

What Does it Mean to be Anti-National? Shashi Tharoor with Faye D’Souza

We’re changing from a nationalism of shared duties and common sorrows to one of identity, says Faye D’Souza, enquiring about the nature of the transition that we’re seeing today in India.

“There is a delegitimisation of dissent,” concedes Shashi Tharoor, “if you don’t agree, you’re anti-national.” Whether one has a claim on it is conflated with the extent to which one supports the government and conforms to its idea of how they should be as a person. While intellectual critics on the other side of the fence deride Shashi Tharoor for “writing as if India was only born in 1947,” he firmly holds his ground on the view that the time-honoured civilisational traditions of Ancient India are those of inclusivity, social justice, religious tolerance and acceptance of differences. All in all, a desire to forge a society that allows people to flourish, regardless of their caste, creed or language is the quality that characterises the country.

The ruling sentiments in present-day India, however, dangerously lean towards an “exclusionary, aggressive, communal nationalism” based on a “narrow, distorted view of India’s cultural identity,” says the politician. Watch more of this session to get an intelligent grip on what it might mean to be Indian with Shashi Tharoor and Faye D’Souza.