Reducing India to a civic nation bound by a Constitution disregards its history, ancient heritage, culture and civilisation, JNU Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit said here on Friday. Speaking at an international seminar at Delhi University, Pandit noted that India is a “civilisation state” and celebrating history beyond religion is “very important”.
“Reducing India to a civic nation bound by a Constitution disregards its history, ancient heritage culture and civilisation. I would place India as a civilisation State. There are only two civilisation States that had a tradition with modernity, a realm with the region, and change with continuity. Those two states are India and China,” she said. She was speaking at the plenary session on the second day of a three-day seminar titled — Revisiting the ideas of India from ‘Swaraj’ to ‘New India’.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor said universities are not competitors but collaborators. Speaking about the challenges of a distorted history, Pandit said history is ‘his’ story, but ‘her’ story “also has to come”.
Referring to British historian EH Carr’s dictum, “Facts are sacred and interpretation can vary,” Pandit said, “Unfortunately, independent India, and to a certain extent the university I belonged to, overturned this dictum.” “Interpretation is sacred and facts can vary, and this varies,” she added.