Reconciling Difference_Front Cover

February 6, 2021

When the British Imperialists left the Indian subcontinent in 1947, they left
behind a legacy of governance based on communal and ethnic polarization.
Since then, India has been engulfed by religious and ethnic violence—from
the Partition to the more recent Gujarat riots of 2002 and Delhi riots of
2020.This trajectory is in direct opposition to the ideals of‘justice, liberty,
equality and fraternity’ enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Our increasingly
polarized society is now faced with the question:Will India follow the ethnic
nationalist route that seems to be becoming a global phenomenon?
Reconciling Difference is the attempt of a concerned citizen and scholar to
understand the nature of hate and violence prevalent in India, and find
practical ways to restore peace and harmony. In his analysis, Rudolf C.
Heredia urges citizens to seek frameworks beyond retributive justice. He
suggests returning to the Gandhian ideas of ahimsa—non-violence and
compassion—in order to repair the fraying fabric of our society.And recalls
Nehru’s ideas of a pluralist and inclusive India, as well as Ambedkar’s idea of
the republic in order to restore the country’s damaged polity. Finally, drawing
inspiration from theTruth and Justice Commission set up in post-Apartheid
South Africa, he urges consistent and reflective dialogues between polarized
citizens in order to heal past wounds of collective violence.
Thoughtful, dialogic and painstakingly researched, Reconciling Difference is a
book every citizen interested in preserving the secular and democratic ideals
of India must read.

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