The Intolerant Indian: Why We Must Rediscover a Liberal Space

The Intolerant Indian: Why We Must Rediscover a Liberal Space

Indian policemen try to restrain a Hindu activist (C) after he shattered the windows of a bus during a clash between Hindu and Muslim activists in New Delhi on Dec. 6, 2007. (Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images)

Sixty-three years after independence, the issue of national identity is still not settled in India. After the trauma of Partition, religious conflagrations such as the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, and the Gujarat riots of 2002 have left deep scars on the psyche of the nation. They have led to a fundamental debate over what kind of a nation India should be. Must it uphold a particular culture? Or must it celebrate diversity?

In his newly-released book, The Intolerant Indian: Why We Must Rediscover a Liberal Space, Gautam Adhikari tackles the issue of national identity head-on and demonstrates how extremist religious ideologies have overshadowed the idea of a liberal, tolerant society that India's founding fathers had envisioned. This timely, thought-provoking book is a plea to build and sustain a truly liberal society. The questions it poses have an important bearing on the future of India.  

Gautam Adhikari is a journalist, writer and television commentator. He has been executive editor, editorial page editor, foreign correspondent, and editorial adviser of The Times of India and dean of the Times School of Journalism. Currently a FICCI-EWC Fellow at the East West Center in Washington, DC, Adhikari has been resident fellow and adjunct lecturer in public policy at the Shorenstein Center for Press/Politics at Harvard University (1987-89), and AT&T Scholar (1994) and J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Fellow (1997-98) at George Washington University.  In conversation with Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, Foreign Affairs Advisor, Patton Boggs LLP; former US Ambassador to India; former US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

Policy programs at the Asia Society are generously supported by the Nicholas Platt Endowment for Public Policy.

SHOP AsiaStore for related book

Can't make it to this program? Tune in to the free live webcast on AsiaSociety.org/Live from 6:30 - 8:00 pm EST.

Event Details

2 June 2011
6:30pm - 8:00pm

725 Park Avenue, New York, NY

$10 Asia Society Members; $12 seniors and students; $15 non-members