There is currently a global debate around the words “nation”, “national”, “nationality” and “nationalism”. Nationality is sometimes being cast in ethno-religious terms, while critics of many dispensations are called “anti-national”. In such an atmosphere, it is more important than ever to understand these terms in their full complexity. Many scholars have recognised that nationalism and nation-states were not timeless notions but emerged in a specific historical period in a particular part of the world. This session unravels these ideas, their origins, their evolution over time, and their specific manifestations in the Indian context.
Christophe Jaffrelot is an author, journalist and an academician. He is Director of research at CERI Sciences Po/ CNRS.