Ramachandra Guha kicked-off his session echoing Gandhi’s question: How will we sustain swaraj? The four pillars of Gandhi’s model of nationalism proved to be the answer to the question. Elaborating on the same, Guha talked about the fundamentals of democracy being religious and linguistic harmony, economic self-reliance, social equality and non-violence. With the nation in turmoil, and the recent declaration of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Guha states that now is when we must remember Gandhi’s legacy. As a chronicler of Gandhi’s life, Guha believes, like Gandhi, that patriotism begins at home. “You love your street, your village, your district, your state, your nation.” When patriotism is practised at multiple levels, and diversity is acknowledged, accepted and celebrated then we sustain swaraj, then we are a free and democratic nation.
Guha’s session captured the essence of Indian nationalism and expanded on the meaning of what it means to be a truly democratic nation.