Dear India, Overcome Burdens of the Past, Says Pratap Bhanu Mehta

What we need is hunger for a new form of discovery, writes Pratap Bhanu Mehta in his Letter to India. 

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Hindi Female

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is an Indian academic. He is the president of the Centre for Policy Research, a New Delhi-based think tank. He was also a Professor at NYU Law School’s Global Faculty. He was previously Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard University; Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard, and for a brief period, Professor of Philosophy and of Law and Governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

This Republic Day, here’s what he thinks India should focus on.

Dear India,
Every democracy has had to contend with some original sin. Parliament still does not have elementary rules about the terms under which it will debate or not debate.

Early days of the Aam Aadmi Party movement did create political change, let’s not forget that. But the promise of those kinds of moments dissipates faster, in the sense, than we can hold on to them.

As in any fast-changing society, there is going to be a collision between the forces of orthodoxy and the forces of liberation. The worst thing we can do, is to communalise the discourse of liberty, discourse of rights.

What we need to do is, in a sense, build coalitions across communities where the forces of freedom that prize individuality, rather than scripts written for us by others, can triumph. You can go to literary festivals even in small towns now. What it suggests is to me is a hunger for a new form of discovery and all we need is to overcome the burdens of the past to give this hunger a free reign and satiation.

Yours Sincerely,

Pratap Bhanu Mehta  

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