"To put people in a faith school is to pre-classify people into categories at a time when they can't even think for themselves. They are told that they have a very clear identity, which swamps all other identities. They are Muslims or Sikhs or Hindus and that is all you are going to get. Now of course, later on, they might be able to overcome that narrowness, but it is much harder to overcome if it has been drilled into you that that is what you are." It is not that he is hostile to religion, he says; it is simply a question of context. Gandhi was very much a religious man and a religious Hindu, he reminds me, but when it came to politics he was thoroughly secular.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Sen on religion and politics
Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen is interviewed in the Guardian on his forthcoming book, "Identity and Violence":