Souradeep Roy in conversation with Kiran Nagarkar
Souradeep Roy of the Indian Cultural Forum interviewed Kiran Nagarkar, whose most recent novel The Extras has been published by HarperCollins India. Nagarkar discusses the conflation of mythology with science. In this context, he makes a distinction between the present government and previous ones who, despite their conservative policies, did not interfere with either the notion of science, or with scientific institutions. Misinformation and “unofficial” censorship by people like Dinanath Batra will naturally thrive when the Prime Minister makes statements about mythical figures providing evidence of advanced science and technology in ancient India. Nagarkar rues the rapid erosion of reason and quality in our educational institutions. He pleads for change — for an effort to ”aspire for the sky and its openness”. Only in such an open culture can we do justice to our legacies, such as the hundreds of retellings of the Ramayana in different Indian languages.