Divisive identities not the actual lived experience of people

Part two of a conversation with psychiatrist Sanjeev Jain on forgiveness in the Indian context. We discuss how things can change for a nation yet to come to terms with Partition and its aftermath

Highlights of the interview:

  • On the need for Indians to be constantly aware of the divisions they inflict on themselves
  • On how forgiveness intrinsically includes the notion of equality and without that guilt and forgiveness does not enter the picture
  • On whether fixed identities for people are needed at all
  • On how the colonial process drove a possible unified Indian cultural identity underground and how it was lost for good
  • How events such as the demolition of the Babri Masjid or the call for a separate Lingayat religion are staged political performances
  • On how the current boundaries in India are being drawn for nefarious purposes but are not the actual, lived experience of people
  • On how there is no Hindi word for ‘guilt’, and how the very concept does not exist in Indian languages
  • How in the Indian legal system people are not held “guilty” due to the lack of proof
  • On how where there are artificial boundaries (as in India), inequalities follow
  • On how Indians cannot keep blaming the British for their problems

Part One

Audio editing: Nidhi Nambiar

‘Laws are the raw materials of a democracy’
‘Shashi Tharoor is right in saying that BJP will change our secular fabric’ 
‘In the writing of history there is a profound North-Indian bias’
Editor’s Pick More