Thursday, May 21, 2009

Percolation of Hindutva into the Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Postsecular Interrogations: AsiaSource Interview with Talal Asad
from Science, Culture and Integral Yoga™ by Debashish
Talal Asad is a Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York.

Asad's call is for a dialogic engagement, interrogating the biases, provincial limitations and arbitaray choices within post-Enlightenment modernity through the critiquing of its doxa and nomos by alternate cultural histories, while probing these pre-modern formations for pluralities of interpretation and internal resources of human emancipation.

He thus envisages a postsecular world, in which individuals and groups may co-exist not through the policing of the boundaries of a public sphere by the nation-state, but through the development of alternate social realities of human emancipation. Asad's views are germane to the present situation in India, with the rise of a majoritarian uniformalist Hindutva at the national level and the percolation of its ideological nomos into ashrams such as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The following interview with AsiaSource correspondent Nermeen Shaikh brings a number of his insights to the front.

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