Conversations, certitude and disagreements

The Daily Guardian

I have written 26 pieces thus far under this column, which is slightly over the halfway mark for the number of pieces I have committed to. Now is a good time to pause for a bit, think and share a few general and generic thoughts. In the process of writing under this column, I have realised that writing on diverse topics, especially on subjects which are way outside one’s professional comfort zone, is a very different ballgame even if one fundamentally enjoys and has an aptitude for diverse reading. While I would say with measured confidence that constitutional law falls within my areas of core competence, approaching it from a civilizational perspective by applying the lens of decoloniality has required me to read up on subjects and frameworks in which I am not formally trained. In an age of super-specialization, that’s a risk I have consciously assumed in the hope that it actually helps me understand these subjects with a fresh pair of eyes and a mind that is willing to be informed as opposed to seeking confirmation of pre-existing biases, of which I am sure I have quite a few, both of the conscious and unconscious varieties, like any other person.

Apart from my own research, I have benefitted immensely from the meaningful, eye-opening and thought-provoking conversations I have had with some brilliant individuals, some of whom are scholars and scholars-in-the-making. They have helped me wade my way through the literature and have also exposed me to several layers of nuance. Thanks to this experience, I am convinced more than ever before that notwithstanding the pandemic and its devastating impact on the survival of humanities departments across the world, there has perhaps never been a more critical period in human history which has direly needed meaningful and dedicated investment in the humanities.

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