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Prophets Facing Backwards : An Appreciation

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This appreciation of Meera Nanda's book ‘Prophets Facing Backwards' deals primarily with the contemporary socio‐political relevance of her work. This essay highlights the significance of the book in the study of the Hindu fundamentalist stance towards the natural sciences and its roots in the construction of the world view of neo‐Hinduism. It also situates the emergence of the post‐modernist critique of science in India, that has made ideological common cause with Hindu fundamentalim on the question of science, in the context of a long tradition of political debate about the relevance and significance of the role of science and technology for India's socio‐economic development. This essay also deals with some major lacunae in Nanda's reding of the ground realities of the intellectual space in Indian society today and the manner in which this is reflected in her analysis of Hindu fundamentalism and the sciences.

Keywords: Bharatiya Janata Party; Hindu fundamentalism; Hindutva; development; post‐modernism; science; secularism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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