The idea of India as sacred geography is central to the nationalist outlook. And there couldn’t be a better exponent of a conservative idea of nationalism than Swapan Dasgupta. A prolific columnist and an advocate of ‘civilised debate’ in the polarised political climate of present-day India, he weighs in on every issue, big and small, that threatens to detach Indian nationhood from its historical and cultural context. Never one to mince words or run from an argument, the former journalist was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha, where he will hopefully bat for moderation, as he has done from his perch in the media box.
“India is innately conservative. It is a travesty that these natural impulses are being painted as illegitimate by the high priests of intellectual discourse”