India Uncut

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

So who are you, Amit?

I'll be darned if I can come up with a simple answer to that question. There's no point saying that I'm male, or an Indian, or a libertarian, because all of those are true but far less than the truth. I am, and I'm sure you are too, a mish-mish of influences and identities and beliefs, and that mish-mash keeps transforming itself every moment that we live through. How to put one word to it?

Yet we tend to do to identity what we do to the world in general. In trying to make sense of the complexity around us -- and it is necessary to do that, or we'd just die of bafflement and confused inactivity -- we simplify. Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence deals partly with this, as the excellent excerpt quoted by Jai Arjun Singh here illustrates. Jai's own thoughts are quite as illuminating, and I enjoyed this post of his as much as I did his post on Sachin Tendulkar a couple of days ago, on why he (Jai) is not patriotic. Non-patriotism is a quality I share with him -- for if I cannot fathom what India is, how can I love it? And why should I?
amit varma, 3:01 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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