Attempts being made to alter definition of nationalism: Romila Thapar

The historian was addressing students at the 14th nationalism class at JNU.

Written by Shikha Sharma | Delhi | Updated: March 7, 2016 1:01 pm
Kanhaiya, Kanhaiya JNU, Kanhaiya kumar, JNU, JNU row, delhi police, JNu campus, india news JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar moderates the session by Historian Romila Thapar and Professor Harbans Mukhia Sunday. (Ravi Kanojia)

Saying that efforts were being made to “obfuscate nationalism”, historian Romila Thapar Sunday said nationalism could not be the identity of one group and universities are “obvious places” for conducting “incisive debates on the nationalist enterprise”.

The historian was addressing students at the 14th nationalism class at JNU.

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“At the time of independence and soon after, we had no problem in defining nationalism. Today, efforts are being made to obfuscate the definition. It has to be remembered that nationalism is based on facts of history and not anyone’s fantasies,” said Thapar. She added, “Nationalism draws on identities of citizens, but it cannot be the identity of one group… We have accepted the Constitution and should be committed to making India a secular space.”

WATCH VIDEO: Romila Thapar And Harbans Mukhia At JNU Campus

“Nationalism has a lot to do with understanding your society and finding your identity as member in that society… History is essential to a national ideology, but it has to be a shared one. It cannot be a history based on one identity…” Stressing that colonial rulers were responsible for creating a narrative of a Hindu-Muslim nation, Thapar said, “Colonial scholarship talked about the Hindu and Muslim nation and how the two were permanently hostile to each other and required the British to keep the peace. Interpretation of history came to be based on the two-nation theory, and from this perspective Hindu-Muslim antagonism became a given.”

Professor Harbans Mukhia, who teaches medieval Indian history, also spoke of how colonial history looked at “essentialising” the identities of rulers and kingdoms to Hindus and Muslims, thereby providing “a distorted and false picture of Indian history”.

Activist Teesta Setalvad also addressed the students. She lauded the teachers at JNU and said if the administration in Hyderabad Central University had been as sensitive and supportive of students, perhaps Rohith Vemula “would have been here”.

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  1. C
    Chander Pal
    Mar 6, 2016 at 11:06 pm
    These are ultra leftists for whom yakoob, guru and ishrat are models and spokes person of the Naxalites
    Reply
    1. A
      Ankur
      Jul 20, 2017 at 12:18 am
      Discuss on what she has said. Counter her words and give logical arguments. Thereafter people here decide who is left, right, centre. You need not take it upon yourself this huge responsibility of declaring who is left, right and etcetera ....
      Reply
    2. I
      IML sood
      Mar 7, 2016 at 7:41 am
      Why IE is going into gutter like NDTV,HT,TOI and other bias media to open a front before Govt.and patriotic people.Mind this their existence depend upon such people not handful of anti national elements .One must recall Mr Swamy said a few days before the JNU is the den of anti national pigs and they have to be reined.See a few leftist supporting them who have never been true to this country.When Indian have woken up their is hope that these anti social elements will be wiped out with their supporters like Cong./CPM/CPI/JDU/AAP/NCP etc. wifi learn a lesson of their life.
      Reply
      1. M
        MyTake
        Mar 7, 2016 at 12:27 am
        If secularism can creep into consution what's wrong with nationalism? Shouldn't they be going together?
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          Mar 7, 2016 at 12:29 am
          These guys seems to be in a picnic!
          Reply
          1. N
            Ninad
            Mar 11, 2016 at 2:41 am
            What are her "facts of History". If we see the state of present day 21st century Afghanistan, stan and other middle east countries it is fairly clear to everybody as to how these people must have behaved when they invaded India. It clearly shows how a small minority with the sword dominated peace loving majority. Marxist - Maoist thought legitimize the concept of the sword dominating minority ruling the majority through human rights violations. Thapar is a engaging in deliberately twisting her "facts of History" .
            Reply
            1. G
              gandhi
              Mar 7, 2016 at 7:24 am
              RSS people celebrated hiji's killing and now they are killing the nation founded by him.. True nationalists have to fight such attempts.
              Reply
              1. G
                gandhi
                Mar 7, 2016 at 7:25 am
                We can not be misled by false claims of BJP. They have to come up with concrete proof and not doctored videos.
                Reply
                1. Q
                  qwekids
                  Mar 7, 2016 at 8:39 pm
                  if see is having problem that means we are on right track
                  Reply
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