The cause of the railway coach fire is still unknown, but while initially there were rumours that it had been set by Muslims, it is now speculated that kerosene oil stoves used by the pilgrims themselves were likely to blame. In her most recent book, Martha Nussbaum centres two important arguments around this particular episode: one relating to the resiliency of Indian democracy in the face of a crisis of religious minority accommodation, and the other suggesting that North American and European democracies might learn from India's experiences of accepting its pluralism and the complexities and tensions embedded in accommodating differences.
In a perceptive examination of the Indian case, she points out that Huntington's thesis of a clash of civilizations--Islam versus the west--does not hold. Instead, she argues that the clash is fundamentally at two levels: at the macro level of the nation and at the Author: Reeta Chowdhari Tremblay.
How to Write It
Led politically by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu right has sought the subordination of other religious groups and has directed particular vitriol against Muslims, who are cast as devils in need of purging.
The Hindu right seeks to return to a "pure" India, unsullied by alien polluters of other faiths, yet the BJP's defeat in recent elections demonstrates the power that India's pluralism continues to wield. The future, however, is far from secure, and Hindu extremism and exclusivity remain a troubling obstacle to harmony in South Asia.
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Nussbaum's long-standing professional relationship with India makes her an excellent guide to its recent history. Ultimately she argues that the greatest threat comes not from a clash between civilizations, as some believe, but from a clash within each of us, as we oscillate between self-protective aggression and the ability to live in the world with others. India's story is a cautionary political tale for all democratic states striving to act responsibly in an increasingly dangerous world.
Martha C. Among her many awards are the Berggruen Prize, the Don M.
The Clash Within : Martha Nussbaum :
Anthony Appiah Once more, Martha Nussbaum has applied her profound philosophical intelligence to a challenging question in the practical world. In thinking through the dangers raised by the Hindu right, she teaches us a great deal about the dangers of dogmatism everywhere. Anthony Appiah, Princeton University. Once more, Martha Nussbaum has applied her profound philosophical intelligence to a challenging question in the practical world. This is an extraordinarily interesting book on a very difficult subject.
Martha Nussbaum's commanding familiarity with culturally related political issues across the world, past and present, combines immensely fruitfully here with her involvement and understanding of India.