Nagpur is the cartographer’s centre of India. It is also the Jaffa of the east, being famous for its oranges. Since the summer of 2014, orange ceased to be just a fruit for Nagpur, and how! Its sister colour saffron became the ideological centre too, one that was not open to dialogue or authentic historicity.
However, my real india journey took me 25 kos(75 km) further west to a place that the economist JC Kumarappa called the “de facto capital of India”, where history tells us how informed and civil debate and dialogue was integral to the conception modern India. It is here, in a remote village, that rigorous praxes in Indian economic, pedagogical and cultural self determination took place under Gandhi in the 1930s and 40s. Famously, in response to Tagore’s question to him on internationalism, he is known to have written in Young India, “I don’t want the doors and windows of my house to be walled in. I want the cultures of all lands to blow through it. But I refuse to be blown off my feet.”