ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Our Past and Our Present

India's past has become an ideological battleground. The central issue in this battle is not the invoking of the past, but precisely how the past is brought into discussions about the present. Related to this basic inquiry is the subsidiary question: does the acknowledgement of the continuing relevance of the past imply that "the distant past must guide how one acts in the present"? The recognition of the relevance of the past must be distinguished from the case for being guided by the past in a choice-independent way. It is important to recognise that the significance of the past for us today involves selection and choice in which our contemporary concerns can have a reasonable role. It is also important to see that this connection between the present and our involvement with the past neither undermines the need to look for veracity and ascertained evidence nor removes the case for deliberately concentrating on those cases in which the lessons involved have particular relevance to our concerns today. The problem of selections from the past involves, in this sense, both epistemology and practical reason.

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