The Truths And Lies Of Nationalism – Partha Chatterjee


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This book is intended for a general readership and is utterly free of academic jargon. It is meant to be read by anyone wanting to understand what “nationalism” and “democracy” mean in the Indian context. It is essential reading for everyone worried about India’s future.

Partha Chatterjee has translated and edited a manuscript of mysterious origin which presents a completely new way of telling the history of Indian nationalism. Resolutely criticising the doctrines of Hindutva as well as pluralist secularism, the book examines ongoing debates over Indian civilisation. Making new connections, it provides a detailed and original account of how the present borders of India were defined by British colonial policy, the Partition of 1947, and the integration of the princely states as well as the French and Portuguese territories.

What is emphasised is not so much a state machinery inherited from colonial times but the moral foundation of a new republic based on the solidarity of different but equal formations of the people. After a trenchant analysis of current conflicts over religion, caste, class, gender, language, and region in India, the book proposes a new politics of revitalised federalism.


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