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Rethinking Pluralism, Secularism and Tolerance

Rethinking Pluralism, Secularism and Tolerance
Anxieties of Coexistence

First Edition
  • Neera Chandhoke - Former Professor, Political Science, University of Delhi

April 2019 | 244 pages | SAGE India
How can people who speak different languages, worship different gods and subscribe to different conceptions of the good live together with a degree of civility, dignity and mutual respect? It is not easy to find an answer to this troubled question, given recent political developments in many parts of the world. Today, the world is marked by extreme intolerance towards racial, sexual, religious and ethnic minorities and refugees. It is stamped with the disturbing consequences of religious strife. In these troubled times, Rethinking Pluralism, Secularism and Tolerance: Anxieties of Coexistence takes on the difficult task of finding an answer to the question by analyzing and reinterpreting the concepts of secularism, pluralism and tolerance in the context of contemporary India. 

Foreword by M. Hamid Ansari
Pluralism and Secularism
The Political Context: Communalism
Secularism: The Debate
Colonialism, Nationalism and the Making of Religious Identity
The Evolution of Minority Rights and Secularism in India
Equality and the Rights of Minorities
The Principle of Tolerance
Wrapping Up

“The attempt to explain the political context and the relevance of secularism deserves enormous appreciation… This book is one of the finest attempts to synthesize theoretical approaches and empirical evidence to explain the notion of secularism, the anxieties we face today in religious coexistence, and the threat that the Hindu Right poses to India’s social fabric and to the county’s political structure.”

The Telegraph, Kolkata, 23 Augusgt 2019
Key features
• The book explores how people who belong to different religious persuasions can live together with a certain degree of civility 

• It focuses on the history of the politicization of religion in India under colonial rule, and particularly under the impact of Indologists, colonial officials and missionaries. 

• It shows that the making of a distinctive brand of secularism in India was sharply differentiated from the European historical experience. 

• Written by a well-known academician, this thought-provoking work will influence the readers who are interested in questions of secularism and democracy in India. 

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ISBN: 9789353281984