India prides itself in a rich tradition of diversity, dialogue and debate. Our democracy draws its sustenance from this tradition. Myths, texts and systems of faith and thought have been cherished, revisited and also challenged. They have often inspired imaginative versions through oral retellings and local adaptations. The dynamism of Indian culture has kept it open to influences and has stood the test of time.
In Words Matter, edited by eminent poet and scholar K. Satchidanandan, scholars and writers including Romila Thapar, Githa Hariharan, Pankaj Mishra, Salil Tripathi and Ananya Vajpeyi discuss these definitive values from various points of view. In their perceptive and insightful essays, the contributors argue that we must nurture critical thinking to fight all kinds of discrimination and insularity. It lies in our interest as a modern nation to preserve our cultural strength and help democracy flourish.