Why no roads after Chola kings in Delhi, asks JNU Vice-Chancellor

The longest ruling dynasty in this country has been that of the Cholas.

Published: 21st May 2022 08:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2022 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

JNU vice-chancellor professor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India is a “civilisation state” and reducing it to “a civic nation bound by a Constitution disregards its history, ancient heritage, culture and civilization”, JNU Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit said at an international seminar on Friday.

“There are only two civilisation states — India and China. When China speaks about cultural nationalism, it is secular, but when India does, it becomes communal. These kinds of arguments don’t work in academics,” she said while speaking at the seminar, titled ‘Revisiting the ideas of India from Swaraj to New India’, organised at Delhi University as part of its centenary celebrations.

Talking about the need to bring in a new, Indic narrative, Pandit lamented that the current narrative was “making us loathe our history” and asserted that celebrating history beyond religion was important.“The current narrative has made us imagine our history with self-loathing, self-hatred and of a land conquered by the defeated.

One period is excessively glorified. I, who come from the South, feel even worse. The longest ruling dynasty in this country has been that of the Cholas. Any mention of the great kings of the Cholas or any roads on their names? Not one in Delhi...I feel we should revisit these ideas and look into the gaps.”

Referring to historian Edward Hallett Carr’s dictum that ‘facts are sacred, their interpretation may vary’, the JNU V-C said, “Unfortunately, independent India and the university I belong to overturned this dictum and made it — interpretations are sacred, facts can vary. This is very dangerous.”Talking about feminism in India, Pandit said, “Draupadi and Sita were the first feminists, long before the world even knew the concept.”


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