Thursday, February 6, 2020

Invitation: State of the Nation Dialogue - Whither India?

State of the Nation Dialogue : Whither India?
29 Feb-1 March 2020
Vidya Ashram, Sarnath, Varanasi


Vidya Ashram proposes to organize a dialogue on The Present State of the Nation and its Future on 29th Feb - 1st March 2020 at Varanasi. You are invited to this dialogue. Please come and contribute with your ideas and experiences. You may come with persons of your choice. Please find time and resources to come. The Ashram will arrange for everybody's food and stay. We shall sit at the Sarnath premises of Vidya Ashram in Varanasi. The dialogue will start at 11 in the morning on 29th.  

The struggles against CAA, NRC and NPR have grown beyond all expectations and nobody knows what is in store in the coming days. Much more is bound to happen before we meet for this dialogue. The nation is at cross-roads, projected as being caught in the struggle between the forces of secularism and Hindutva, also being seen through the binaries of left-right, liberal-fascist, democratic-autocratic etc. This is a trap, since these two sides largely have similar views on knowledge, development and economics, making it difficult to address larger and deeper issues, which are at the base of present struggles. The struggles on the university campuses and also in the open spaces have brought fresh claims of ownership of the nation to the fore. This ought to be expected to bring into the idea of nation new thoughts and in building of the nation new strategies. This is a radically new situation.

The persistent, courageous and unprecedented Dharna’s in public places by Muslim women and widespread opposition by students, artists and social activists, seen in a single frame, appear to be writing a preface to not just a new idea of the nation but demanding civilizational take on a new politics of change.

The proposed dialogue is expected to break free of existing binaries. People - ordinary people, with their knowledge and world - need to occupy a place of importance in any debate that seeks to have answers or at least lay bare the fundamental issues. Knowledge Politics and Ontological Politics are the names being given to such efforts.

Vidya Ashram, Sarnath, Varanasi

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