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Romila Thapar, who has been associated with Jawaharlal Nehru University for many years, speaks to writer Githa Hariharan on the idea of a university like JNU. The idea was to explore Indian society through inter-disciplinary studies and discussion.
At the Centre for Historical Studies with which Romila Thapar was associated, the past was not another country; the past shaped the present. Professor Thapar points out that though the Indian anti-colonial struggle was largely secular, we have now regressed: the battle in India now is between religious nationalism and secular nationalism.