In four celebrated and controversial essays Meera Nanda connects religious fundamentalism with fascism and talks about the responsibility of intellectuals. She examines the link between Hindutva and reactionary modernism, argues for linking rationalism and science for the cause of social justice and provides a detailed critique of anti-rationalist and anti-secularist currents dominant in several academic and research circles in India.
Whereas the Hindu right is busy claiming the products of modern science and technology as a part of its own heritage, the postmodernist and postcolonial intellectuals have sought to insulate non-Western cultures from modern science, which they see as alien and oppressive. The essays in Breaking the Spell of Dharma simultaneously defend the enterprise of modern science and secularism and call for deploying scientific knowledge as a cultural weapon against the neo-traditionalist as well as reactionary modernist understanding of the world.
At a juncture when India is seeing an intensification of neo-liberal globalization and the rise of Hindu nationalism, this book serves as a timely warning.
This little book is a timely reminder to all those who believe in the necessity of intellectual and moral intervention in the present affairs of society and culture.
First published in 2002, this book has gone on to become a classic.
Three Essays Collective