Business Standard

Reckoning with a divided India

No matter who wins the Assembly elections, the idea of India has already lost


Illustration: Binay Sinha

Vir Sanghvi
Does anyone still remember “the idea of India”? The phrase was popularised by the scholar, political scientist and historian, Sunil Khilnani, who wrote an influential book about it in 1997, but the concepts it embodied had been around for much longer.

The best single-para summary of the idea of India that I have come across appeared in an article by Shashi Tharoor. The idea of India, he said, was “the idea of an ever-ever-land emerging from an ancient civilization, united by a shared history, restrained by pluralist democracy. Indian democracy imposes no narrow conformities on its citizens. The whole point of
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Feb 24 2022 | 11:26 PM IST

Explore News

To read the full story, subscribe to BS Premium now, at just Rs 249/ month.

Key stories on are available only to BS Premium subscribers.

Register to