The Idea of India
Archive for December, 2008
Photo Project: The Idea of India

Rabindranath Tagore once argued that the “idea of India” itself militated against a culturally separatist view—”against the intense consciousness of the separateness of one’s own people from others.” This argument is the inspiration of a new photo project that I have already begun that explores India’s heritage of religious and cultural pluralism and syncretism. The project is a one-man civil society initiative to counter and correct the simplistic and reductive historical narratives that pit India’s religious communities against each other. By examining the real, lived experiences of the people of the region called the Indian Sub-continent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) I intend to highlight landscapes, sacred spaces, literature, poetry and even philosophies that reflect to the long history of mutual respect, tolerance and most importantly acceptance that have defined the historical and cultural experience of India’s many religious communities.