Erasure of Religious Minorities in India: Demolishment of Monuments and the Renaming of Cities.

In this podcast, Mr. Pathak takes us on a tour of India’s history and sheds light on those aspects of history that have been ignored over the past decades. Mr. Vikas Pathak is a former journalist at the Hindu, Hindustan Times, Asiaville, etc, and the author of the book Contesting Nationalisms. His deep understanding of Indian history helped find reasonings for the current socio-political changes with regards to the recent renaming and demolishment of particular sites across India.

The current renaming and demolishment of structures in India stem from the partial reading of history where the narrative of ‘Mughal Emperors being the oppressors of India’ is attempted to be propagated. This narrative is used to disseminate Hindu ideologies and “liberate” India from its sour memories of the oppressive Muslim invaders. The podcast not only points out the flaws in this sort of propaganda but also provides logical arguments against it.

Furthermore, while demolishment, vandalism, and renaming is a trend India has seen over centuries, the implications of those have changed over time. In this podcast, Mr. Pathak makes a clear distinction between the events in history with the current events and points out how the values between eras have changed and a clear analysis can only be made when cultures, values, and beliefs of that particular era are taken into account.

The podcast concludes by drawing a unique relationship between demolishment and renaming and tourism. Being a part of the international arena, the paradox between the way India’s current leaders want to portray India and the world’s perception of India is a very interesting analogy to draw. The role of this paradox in demolishment and renaming is quite intriguing.

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