Professor Romila Thapar is one of the most popular historians of India.
In a freewheeling conversation with Siddharth Varadarajan, the celebrated historian discusses the place of nationalism in contemporary Indian politics, the role of the media and of the public intellectual. #RomilaThapar #SiddharthVaradarajan #TheWire
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professor unless after thank you very much for agreeing to this interview the broad theme which is a question that has been animating a lot of people in India of course but also well wishes of India around around the world which is is critical thinking in India somehow under threat imposing this question I have in mind not just overt or covert pressures from the state or political figures of political authority but also in the sense public attitudes the growing case to my mind tendency for the public to acquiesce in the state's own intolerant attitude towards descent to the difference the middle classes the East resistant middle class buys into hero-worshipped culture personality excesses valorisation of the nation these are all very much part of present-day India and if you look at the election of Donald Trump if you look at political trends in Europe then clearly this may also be in some sense a global phenomenon even though the closing of the Indian mind if I would call it that has been going on for some time and I would say longer than the tenure of the spread in government you could trace it back at least they came along there is a sense in which these negative trends and accentuated were sharpened over the past two and half years if in 2015 we saw in the country we the weight over tolerance and intolerance which was really a critique on the part of artists writers cultural personalities of the Gumbel's own tolerance or toleration of violence and shamanism and its failure to act when minorities were being targeted and this all the way in which the government was very quickly even intellectuals wrote against the government auditor and then it was and so on and that is very sixteen the attack seems so shifted to the university you saw the events in the way they unfolded in Devon enero University I would say things are moved on we have a very toxic media environment where excessive jingoism seems to become the norm and broadly speaking you have a situation the executive branch of government is encroaching on or making inroads in virtually every countervailing institution that this country has the judiciary Parliament we've now seen even the central bank not to speak in the media etc in this kind of an environment where to my mind critical thinking in India is under threat how do you see the role of public intellectuals what should they be doing what is their role if any in dealing with this kind of situation well you raise the voice of issues before I get out to the public intellectual let me just say that I think you know I be disturbed like all of us have been disturbed by not just what has been happening in our country but the worldwide thing and the election of Trump was certainly a startling wake-up call as it were and I think it does raise a couple of questions which which need to be answered which is that why have we why are we losing the sense of critical inquiry that we always appreciated and and I mean it is through the idea of the critical inquiry is usually associated with the middle class people coming from the middle class and there is an element there of very conventional thinking largely but there is also an element of dissent and I think that one should really look at what is happening there as well and admittedly it's true that the dissent has not been as vocal as as one would a thought which does add to the notion that there is a decline and there is in fact a decline of critical inquiry but I think the two issues that it does bring up very strongly to my way of thinking one is the whole question of the in oceans and structures of democracy have we come to a point today where we have to rethink what those institutions and structures should be we've always based ourselves on things like elections representation how do you represent opinion and people and so on the articulation of people's ideas for whole question of majoritarianism and so on is this sufficient or do we have to go beyond this now and consider the fact that there seem to be all these people coming into power on really a minority votes I mean one third is hardly a majority vote and yet the process is apps that they have gone to pass even Trump's water is not such an overwhelming vital off the problem you know in avoid so I think that there is a need now for people to sit down and say write democracy means these basic institutions but how do we make them effective how do we make them more representative how do we allow people to participate much more and determine in a sense other than just giving a vote the one man one who would say I think has been now overplayed and I'm not suggesting that we take away the vote but how do we strengthen that how do we do something to make that work much more effective and encourage people to come out and vote because there's a lot of sitting back and saying I don't like the system I'm not interested I won't vote that's one set of questions we have to address and the other I think came to me very strongly that you know America was always laid presented as not just the democratic systems but also a highly educated society and by all accounts it is a highly educated society what went wrong with the education what is it about the content of Education that we need to now consider much more seriously than we've done before and this applies to to India equally much in fact much more even because of education in this country how many people ask the question of what are you actually teaching the child you're giving the child information you're expecting the child to repeat that information and all this business about objective questions and the certain the other is really the over cataclysmic style of you're given a determined question a predetermined question you're given a presumed answer that's what you pick now for me the essentials qualifier in any kind of educational system is teaching a child to think critically to ask questions we're not doing that in fact we have ministers who stand up and say you can't outs conditions hmm well I'm at the National anti-national to us or if you if you have questions about black money reasons because you have black because you have Glanville you see now I mean this is an absurdity which I think needs to be torn apart because the whole purpose of education is to train people to ask questions and unless you do that unless you produce a citizenship that is questioning it's going to be very very difficult to have intelligent debates on the representation of people in a democracy I think that is very important and there again I mean you know it's all very well to say that America has very good schools and all the rest of it but what are they teaching are they in fact teaching this or does this critical inquiry element come in at the university level and even then for most of the majority of American citizens exists so so I do feel very strongly about that there are these institutions that we take for granted in a democratic system which maybe we need to look at now more critically and question the effect that they are having on the whole issue of the kind of governance that's coming our way now this is something yes that the educationists and other people need to think about very carefully and certainly the public intellectual plays an important role in this and when I say the public intellectual plays an important role what do i how do i define the public intellectual the public intellectual is a person who is in a profession first of all it's professional person it's a person who is respected in his or her profession it's not just anybody it's not just any journalist but it's the journalists who has a reputation of being good or you know a social scientists or a scientist for that matter it's somebody who is respected the person is respected the person is respected for the fact that the knowledge that he tries to convey to the public is reliable knowledge you know it's not fantasies of just getting up and spouting but he knows what he's talking about thirdly I think it's terribly important that a person like that must have a sense of ethics and that is something that we're rapidly losing both in the practice of politics in the practice of governance in the practice of Education and so on the bringing back of not saying this is good in this is bad and you have to be moral about this so moral about that but the sense of asking the question each time is this ethical or not which is a question that we have insist to ask early so I think that that is terribly important in the making of a public intellectual the relationship of with advocate intellectual to society is that the public intellectual must have a concern for civil society must have a concern for the rights the duties the rights the obligations citizens to a state and wherever this is not being brought to the fore helped to bring it before and finally very importantly the public intellectual is there to protect the rights and the obligations of the citizen and that protection I think is really fundamental especially in situations where people get by with all kinds of gimmick Riis people get by with all kinds of dishonest ease and it's terribly important that there be a scatter of public intellectuals visible audible saying sorry this is not the way to do it and to protect those rights if you're right in tracing some of the recent developments that people find so unfathomable in some ways to problems in the way the university systems function that would in a way suggest reason why for the current dispensation in India zeroing in on universities is so important and why universities that in some sense emerges the front line for official interference official action as well as the distance and what's been remarkable over the last say two and a half years beginning with the film students at the FTII and Pune and then you had the agitation of students of in the unity of has herbivores vemula's suicide and then in JNU other campuses is that students and faculty members don't seem to be taking this assault on their autonomy and their their right to think critically lying down do you think that whole gospel promise for the way the situation may evolves well I think after a point is logical we have had an element of two things we have had an element of suggesting that education means critical thinking certainly in universities like the JNU for example from day one we have said to students you've got to ask questions stop us and ask questions think about what you're reading and writing inquire into what you're reading and writing so that has been an element in some institutions what is interesting is that the institutions that are picked on our institutions that have had a trace of critical inquiry I mean they're not picking on any university and any institution they pick on those where people have learned to think slightly independently and in addition to that of course you've got the other feature which is certainly important and that is it in any kind of democratic system and I think up to a point we have been developing this in the past but there are certain institutions that can claim autonomy and universities are amongst those universities and research institutions of a higher level and they must not only claim it they must protect their autonomy and I think part of this problem has been precisely that people have seen that the autonomy of the university or the autonomy of the institution is being infringed in a very serious way and it's important to maintain this autonomy because you cannot have a democratic system in which the government controls absolutely everything you have to have some institutions that are beyond government control that are zones now many of us have been arguing I mean take take the case of something like textbooks many of us have been arguing the last decade or more that the agencies that produce textbooks should be a handled only by professionals be that they should be autonomous of government so agencies like the NC er T should be autonomous bodies manned by social scientists scientists and so on who supervised the writing of textbooks and it doesn't mean that every time the government changes the textbooks change remain to open up this is what happens now we've reduced it to an absolute joke no one takes them seriously I mean I get telephone calls from parents saying what do I tell my child who's sitting from the CBSE exam did awkward marriage over by or did he not and I mean you know history has been reduced to those kinds of questions now so I think it is extremely important with the autonomy of institutions be underlined and protected and this is one area in which public intellectuals do play an important role right in addition to the professionals now professionals as a group in this country tend to be partly because these institutions the government funded they tend to argue that if the funds are coming from government we have to listen to what government says but when you have change ability in government policy surely it is the right of the professionals to say this is the policy that we require and you know if there is to be a change it has come from professionals and not from a bureaucrat or a politician who has a whim or a fantasy that it should be done in a particular way here you're battling actually an older older legacy issue which is the over bureaucratization in some ways of Education where even to change or update the syllabus requires several committee meetings perhaps going various levels higher you know then then we measured faculty other games that yeah and you know the fact that this can be done much more simply is something that we demonstrated when we started the JNU it was it was a university that did not follow any other syllabus of any other university we talked about it we discussed it we debated it we worked it out very carefully and we made a bit of that and it worked I mean and that is one of the things that one is in in those of us who are in academia when things were really frightened of that autonomy to think and that autonomy to work out a syllabus in the curriculum and teach it that may go yes sometimes you've been zeroing in on the importance of asking questions this is the fundamental problem of our time and academia is one area where this has to take place but obviously the media is the other important you know sector of society where a questioning attitude has to be adopted and it's quite alarming to me as a journalist to see how the practice of journalism has shifted from a profession where in a Weibull took pride in being adversarial ya against those in authority to a situation where big media today prides itself in being the functions keeper of the state functions keeper of the nation egging the state on to battle in the more disturbing fashion against enemies be the external or internal how coupled are you by the way in which media culture in this country has evolved I don't know how much of our television news watcher you are but there's a lot says pretty horrid that's out there night after night oh I think one of the reasons why are ceased being a television news watcher or a television watcher as it were it's precisely because I find it absolutely indigestion I mean you sit there and look at what is being presented and and you say how can we do this you know it's a deliberate sort of in many cases and many channels it's the delivers misleading in other channels it's a refusal to ask questions again you know back to the to that I mean you have a crisis you have a crisis which involves for example the adivasi community whether it is the worship of their sacred mountain or whether it is the demand for a better life that is going on in central India and buses or how many news channels have actually gone to a divisive villages and asked the other RC people why they are supporting or opposing the nuptials however you get people from Delhi who are commenting on this all the time but go ask the people who are actually involved in it you don't do that I mean with the exception of one or two channels by and large there is a tendency to have quantification from certain predictable people on every issue and that is really not what is the media's role at least as I see it I mean there again little myself the role of the media is simply to entertain which I don't accept because I think that if the media is in fact the medium of communication then it has to do much more than that then it has to do things like having serious discussions and I don't buy this every time I talk to media people television people and say why don't you raise the level of your discussions and why don't you at least half an hour every evening have a really serious discussion by people who are professionally but to talk about the subject and they say we lose our viewership now I don't buy that at all so this old alibi that we are giving readers of yours what they want where are you I don't think so I think that you can change readerships demands by giving them something better I mean French television for example is a lovely case of where they started years ago they started a program adding half an hour or 40 minutes of book reviewing they take one book and they get three people to discuss that book and it became one of the most popular programs in front now France is not a highly extra highly educated country it's normal like any European country and I think the point of course is that you have a variety of people who are looking in you give them that variety of programs but somewhere you make sure that the quality of the variety on giving them is a little higher than just the lowest common denominator and that is where I think the the media doesn't really reach out it doesn't when there is a problem it doesn't reach out to the people who are concerned with that problem and ask questions about you know why they're concerned what their concern is what the problem is you can't generalize sitting it as a distance you have to go out and that going out is not enough like this the chieftain in official discourse you know if you wanted if you were confronted with an uncomfortable point of view in the past the obvious tactic would be to ignore it or to starve the department of funds or to ensure that future hiring took place in a different kind of way today the government all these people in authority seem to have successfully mobilized a section of the media to actually assist them in the attack on university autonomy the attack on on critical thinking the attack on just differences of opinion I mean bunch of kids shouting slogans or a professor videotaped giving a lecture clips of that being shown and public sentiment being cited that oh look at what our university is up to this is really something new and very very dangerous well I think it's it's the use of media now not to communicate and not not not not to communicate the reality but to propagate ideology this is the different use of the media altogether I mean I was very struck by the fact that last year when we had this outburst on intolerance and so on various TV channels asked me to do interviews and I did some and those were shown even though I I said things in a very direct fashion to channels important channels invited me we fixed the day in the time and then I was right up until the very sorry we're not given attention for him and I thought to myself that if for a simple interview of 10 minutes you have to take the mission from Joe Corbett I then Raimi where is the autonomy is the media right right exactly now this is something that's media has always had problems with this country and I've been a journalist after 20 years and have worked in media opposition's in a situation where we've had four or five maybe six times it says narsimha now they to governor watched by Google manone and then in the Lodi Dodi but climates today is really quite different in the sense that media proprietors are far more risk-averse far less willing to ask questions far less willing to have their people ask questions and far more willing to you know clamp down on you know whether it's an interview or a debate topic or an append there is a sense in which you know certain kinds of questions will not be tolerated and I think this is really what's what's alarming people you know you still have media freedom and academic freedom for all intents and purposes but if important areas of questions of inquiry are shut out and not aired that creates the problem you see the two reasons for that I mean that is happening it does create a problem one is you shut it out because you don't want anyone to have a dissenting opinion and you want everybody to agree to what is going on but you do that because you have a sense of insecurity you yourself are not confident and secure enough to say it doesn't matter we have a discussion some people would take an opposite point of view and some people won't but when you're frightened of that when you're frightened of opposition and dissent then you resort to this idea of shutting people up or not allowing people to speak on the media right now one of the aspects of present-day politics in India is that you have a ruling party the party isn't a party and it's parent organization to son for Iran and of course of host of affiliated bodies which give the RSS and the BJP plausible deniability because when they act and do things that are quite terrible the government or the ruling party can say well we have nothing to do with them but they all essentially sink to the same broad tune then that tune in illogical terms has been you know a Hindu nationalism in duchamp but what I'm afraid you won't use the Hindu theology and we've seen elements of that ideology coming into play over the last two and a half years but I get the sense that somewhere down the line not just the prime minister or the BJP or the RSS but the whole wide asan parivar has latched on to the idea of the nation and the nation on the threat as being a far more potent vehicle for their kind of politics we've we've seen of course in this in the campaign against JNU which is where in a ways this whole thing started where they accuse students having a key national in the basis of shouting slogans because there will be seditions then you had the soil controversy about how politicians and people must say Bharat Mata ki jai and if you don't then somehow you are being at the national and there's that of course the entire discourse over terrorism the so-called surgical strikes even the campaign against black money is all being cast in the language of nation cutting their hair the nation is in danger and if you don't stand with the government at this time that somehow you are being unpatriotic and most recently we've seen even the Supreme Court of India passages weren't making it mandatory for the national anthem to be played in movie halls and this prescribed in my new detail as the doors must be closed and flags must show the screen as a historian of course as a public intellectual but as installing you have a long view of these things where is this coming from why why is nation nationalism Bharath matha why is this required so much of salience today and is there some easy way in which critics of the government can deal with this kind of pressure because once you go around that whole nation under threat or jingoism it's a slippery slope and you know you have TV channels now I don't recall earlier referring to every dead soldiers a matter but you know every channel ourselves you know soldiers imatra so the whole language of public discourse has become very overtly nationalist which leaves me little worried as a journalist and so what is he was a historian but how do you look at how do you explain this new sail you found salience as a nation as well I think it hasn't become overtly nationalist it's become a work lee nationís of a particular type you know one of the problems is that me let me now be in storage and so to be a little academic on this nationalism is a stage in history it's not something that goes back to the vedic period or the book period or removal period or anything that kind it is a change that societies undergo when they when they start turning towards things like industrialization and capitalism and so on the middle class emerges as the most important body I mean this is just simple history but there it is and nationalism emerges as a way of restructuring the different communities into a new identity and value system and what is the identity the identity is the citizen you move from being a subject of a kingdom to being the Citizen of a nation and the nation is one category among the world series of states I mean you've had clans societies you've had kingdoms you had monarchies Empire so now you have a nation-state that the state is a nation what has happened in this process is a kind of Miss information or not in information but but that's a form of of disguising nationalism to mean the community that you wish to give priority to and this happened in the Indian case where who had an all-india nationalism that talked about the coming Indians in colonial times and you had a series of other nationalisms pre-eminently Islamic Muslim nationalism and Hindu nationalism they talked about the coming of the state of a religious guy you had Pakistan on the one hand and you have the Hindu Rashtra in the 1930s being defined and the difference is that a general Nash nationalism of a nation brings all the communities together and gives them a new identity as a citizen and the new identity is the Equality of everybody equal rights to social justice in the law equal rights to resources distribution and so on human rights are guaranteed in the and the goals of being a citizen but what happens in the case of varieties of nationalism is whether it's religious or caste or linguistic that particular group is to be given priority and so in the Hindu Rashtra you have as has been amply written about extensively you have the Hindu citizen being a notch higher because he has the territory of British India as his patrimony and as Pune Musab occurs yes that is really what the whole it immediately some favored RSS thesis is based on now there is therefore a contradiction here a tension between what many of us understand as nationalism as such and what they understand by nationalism which is Hindu Dash's the it's not the same thing at all and in a democratic setup where you're talking about the representation of everybody every citizen you cannot say some citizens are not Chavez and you cannot give more priority to some citizens everybody has to be absolutely equal now what do you do then in order to get round this question of defining nationalism as the ideology of the city which means equal rights we laws the serving of laws nor the rest of it and slightly edging in either a religious or linguistic or costume you do it through slogans so when you look at the slogans that they're giving you the slogans are all slogans that really deal with the superiority of the Hindu they're not slogans that deal with the citizen as such you know the the a religion of citizens they're going to get the concept they to give that concept and and this creates a further problem this kind of nationalism is suggestive of another problem in democracy which is in a sense democracy's dependent on being secular you cannot have a democracy where you have predetermine majorities of whatever kind in a democracy an issue comes up and the majority goes from every comes from every part of society and takes a decision and the next issue that comes up has a totally different constituent of majority it doesn't have the same thing right therefore how do you kind of ensure without saying that you are a Hindu state how do you ensure that in fact these little indicator words are going to give an identity to the citizen would you do it entirely by doing this and and in a sense I think that this whole vigilante activity as it is called which is activity that is meant to create terror in the alley by people who are formerly outside the state but who are fully implicit to implicate you like yourself and they're doing precisely this they're bringing in this element into the definition of what is the nationhood but of course it did build on you know when the when the BJP or the RSS talks of they they embraced in a formal sense the idea they say we need genuine secularism they criticized as being pseudo secular and what they do is that they they question the democratic states need – in a way act in the sense of sections which may be linguistic or religious minorities who are disadvantaged in some way they would decry that as a piece of interns per second or when they latch on to those sorts of protections which are very granular roles in any in a philosophical sense but they would hold that as somehow subverting the concept of equal citizenship but in fact is it's not the great thing is that your own concept of the nation is not supporting equal citizen merit Foley and and your programs are not supporting equal citizenship least of your programs are supporting equal citizenship one would say yes it's alright but you can't allow a situation where some people are more vulnerable than others and yet talk about equal citizenship and this also guys in a little bit with our definition of secularism where we keep on talking about the coexistence of religion and I've been trying to argue that it's more than that in the sense it is not just the coexistence it's the equal rights of every religion to human rights to the constitutional laws etc etc and secondly it is that there are certain areas of social functioning where you don't allow religious organizations to pour the shots right that they have to be secular they have to be you know through secular institutions and should not be governed by any religious organization I mean in a sense education also is is one of those issues which is going to come up as if we go on becoming more and more genuinely secular this issue will come up in a big wave if the rise of the concept of citizens and citizenship is central along with the whole discourse or the need for equal rights equal claims and resources is central to the idea of the nation the wait historically evolved this ironic that in today's – rationalist times you know you have valorisation valorisation of the nation happening beside will attempts to convert the citizen back into being a subject in some sense yeah you will stand up yeah you will surrender your money right if you don't do this if you don't do what we say then somehow you are against the nation so in the language of nation and nationalism the city over the strip diversity you see again that seems to me to be there's an element of insecurity there where you have to tell the citizens that you will do such-and-such to prove that you're a good national news ever absent papers saying these are your fundamental duty duties they don't do it for right no that's it that they don't talk about right and and they don't concede that the citizen has the right to say I'm sorry but I would like the issue of Kashmir of bus fare of the our d'Ivoire sees or whatever it may be the ballots here the burning of churches there whatever it is our issue I would like a discuss publicly the media should be taking up these discussions and saying the different points of view and so on there's nothing anti-national about having discussions on these issue but but again if it senses insecurity then you start saying you have to do this and you have to do this you have to do that some liberals and electrons respond to the excessive nationalism of our times by the way rejecting the idea of the nation do you think in this country the public intellectual how does one begin lecture negotiate our way around this whole question is it is is the language of this course of the nation still relevant and an essential part of of public discussion or is it the category that perhaps no longer enjoys the kind of salience that it once did well I think that the fact that there is a debate going on on what is meant by the nation and a national and nationalism means that the nation hasn't ready got firmly embedded this discussion will go on but because it is a Oracle see as I see it I also see that there are some parts of the world where they have moved beyond the nation European Union with one I mean when you consider the relationship between France and Germany and how deeply nationalism is in there and here is tied into territory I mean and I think this is partly the result of cartography in the abilities draw maps and boundary lines and so on and the boundary line becomes absolutely the firm divider all of this I think is something which is part of a historical phase and if it can be changed in as it was changed in Europe though wooden sword the Navy coming back to the idea of the nation again but at least for a period of time they weren't one can think of a possibility of a future fifty years down the line when national boundaries may not be so important who knows historian – no don't make predictions but there is an openness about the future it's not that that historically let me say that the ideal affiliation is not something that will go from now to eternity so it will undergo some changes but what those changes will be one doesn't know one of the things which alarms me personally and I'm sure a lot of other people who watch what has happened in India or Europe or the u.s. is a growing tendency among you know large sections of I would say the middle class for want of a better term to buy into the culture you know cult of leadership to be seduced by sloganeering of one kind vacuous logan's of one kind of the other wild and completely crazy proposals that politicians make as a means of addressing you know perhaps not even real problems which is why I feel that the pressure critical thinking and the pressure on the public intellectual comes not just from the state and those who echo its concerns directly but also from the shifting terrain in among the public what explains this is this product of political culture education what explains the public willingness to go along with a certain kind of retrogressive narratives well it's sometimes explained by the uncertainty and the insecurities of the times we're living in now I don't know whether this is particular to our times or whether it was the case earlier if I look back in my own lifetime certainly one had the feeling I was a child in the 30s and in school in the 40s one had the feeling that life is secure it was determined and yet at the same time the national movement was going on so as one grew a little older and became aware of the world around one man realized that there was an extreme tension going on which somehow one didn't feel so much now I think one of the things that happened is that we have really in especially in the late 20th century gone through tremendous revolutions of change apart from actual revolutions both the Russian and the Chinese in the aftermath of those which have demonstrated that what was desired didn't actually happen creating uncertainty there and others like the technological revolutions now I mean some of us were reasonably intelligent and able to handle technology and so on are still very uncertain about how we're going to handle this because it's going so fast and you know I'm constantly ringing up my grandnephew and saying can you tell me how I do this guys's way because it's beyond me now that's very exciting if you can handle that technology but on the other and if you feel uncertain about this it creates a certain insecurity will I be able to manage or not everybody says now you have to switch the netbanking and I'm sitting there saying how does one do knit that I can will someone please teach me there's that then you have been living as an isolated nation you're very proud of your independence and your autonomy and so on of which your economic growth in the 60s and the 70s was a very major part as indeed was the crisis of the 90s when you switched you switched into a market economy where you're mixing and battling and being friends with all kinds of people and you're really little uncertain because your own economic future is not any longer independent it's tied into the future of others which adds to a further kind of uncertainties and I think in all of this it's very comforting to feel that there's somebody up there who's looking after you who you feel well if I express my loyalty and faith in this first proposal got off slightly slightly like the tendency towards religion you put your faith in something else and you do it in all honesty and you do it with absolute you know clarity that that is where you want to put your faith may be an element of that that you know when the uncertainty goes or lessons or becomes different people will begin to become much more autonomous because a baker even back at the 40s that one against the tendency to have the cult of hero worship he of course meant Guardian gender yeah but that's something that could equally apply to modern day India well that that is certainly something that nationalism does bring the culture hero worship everywhere in the world where you had strong national movements you have that hero worship because in a sense it's the hero that sort of leads you all that takes you into places and makes a different human being out of you citizen out of you and that kind of thing and of course we have always thought history from the point of view of the euro it's only now recently that it's begun to change and people are talking about the parson in an indifferent term so that's always been there and there's always been this sense of the utopia India was great in the time of Ashoka and up were and that kind of thing who knows what the reality was whereas we can't go back into the bus but nevertheless there is that face and so you know even today feel this is there is a strong person who's handling governance then you put your faith in that person right or that most remember that thank you so much for this conversation