The Paradox: Nationalism and Pluralism

By Rudolf C. Heredia

Abstract: The paradox of nationalist pluralism is resolved only with an inclusivenationalism and a tolerant pluralism. Nationalism is a powerful unifier and motivator,pluralism demands tolerance and understanding of difference. Our Constitution affirmsliberty, equality fraternity for all citizens, while protecting minorities’ rights andaffirmative action for the marginalised, the poor and discriminated.Our cultural diversity and religious pluralism could be an example to a broken andviolent world. Unfortunately, authoritarian ethno-nationalism favours uniformity andsingle party dominance. It took two World Wars before the European nations were ready

for the European Union. It is still a work in progress, but yet an example for The Unionof India.
I. Introduction: Method and Context
1. The Approach

The way we conceptualise a situation already sets the parameters for our response,which will inevitably reflect the limitations and leads, the confusion or the clarity inour thinking. Hence the more incisive our understanding, the more decisive can be ourresponse.

In this presentation, we will take a hermeneutist rather than a deconstructionist-stance. We will exercise our “sociological suspicion”, but we will try at the same time toindulge in the “art of listening” to the various voices that speak from different perspectives.But if we want to set the meaning of their text in a meaningful context, then we must alsoattempt to uncover the pre-judgements that pre-set their ‘horizon of understanding’, as well as the pre-options that predispose their responses.

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