Reducing India to civic nation bound by Constitution disregards its history, civilisation: JNU VC

Transforming India into a civil state bound by a constitution is ignoring its ancient history, heritage, culture and civilization, University of New Jersey Vice-Chancellor Santishri Dhilbodi Pandit said here on Friday.

Speaking at an international symposium at Delhi University, Pandit noted that India is a “civilized country” and that the celebration of history outside religion is “very important”.

“The transformation of India into a civil state bound by a constitution that ignores its history and the culture of its ancient heritage and civilization. I would like to position India as a civilized state. There are only two civilized states that have a tradition with modernity, a world with the region, and they are constantly changing. These two states are India and China.”

She was speaking in plenary on the second day of a three-day symposium entitled – Rethinking India’s Ideas from ‘Swaraj’ to the ‘New India’.

The Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University said that the universities are not competitors but rather collaborators. Speaking about the challenges of distorted history, Pandit said history is his “story”, but her story “has to come too”.

Referring to the words of British historian E.H. Carr, Pandit said, “Facts are sacred and interpretations can vary.” “The interpretation is sacred and the facts can vary, and this varies,” she added.

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