ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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On Parochial Tendencies

Pritam Singh, in his letter (EPW, 25 April 2009), has misunderstood my comments (EPW, 4 April 2009) on a word of caution against possible parochial tendencies in regional nationalism.

I have not compared the so-called “progress and enlightenment” of metropolitan and national spaces with the “backwardness and ignorance” of regions and provinces. I had quoted approvingly Tagore and M N Roy about the dangers of nationalism.I have also conceded that “there is more progressive potential in regional nationalism than in the centralised nationalism”. Still he accuses me of “privileging of the nation over the region and the centre over the states”. However, if regional nationalism does not respect diversities and aspirations of minorities and has unbridled power, it can be a source of local tyranny.

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