Imagined Modernity

Sushumna Kannan on Pub culture and what it has to do with modernity:

I cannot forget how an Indian friend who had lived in Europe for many years, once said to me in great disapproval that “People here have no idea how to live. They stay out late at night on weekends and come in drowsily on Monday mornings to work and their entire week is one soggy tale because of this, with one thing upsetting the other”.

Zoom back in on India, and what we saw recently was a markedly different scene.

Let’s keep aside the Ram Sene and the call for ‘respecting the rule of law’. Both these groups have not exactly understood how to conduct a conversation with each other; they have not put in the intellectual labour required. But, what is, indeed, clear is that there is an ‘imagined modernity’ that everybody wants a share of or is responding to. And as scholar Mary E John rightly says, this ‘imagined modernity’ is more egalitarian than any modernity that is to be found anywhere at all.



Written by maald

February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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