History as a Site of Struggle encapsulates the righteous indignations of a sensitive activist of a historian who is unhappy with the way politics has been drifting into the narrow alleys of obscurantist jingoism and sectarian hatred. Panikkar has been an eminent academic, but, as the editor rightly puts it, “he has spent as much time teaching outside classrooms as inside; as much labour writing for popular media as in academic journals”. The essays on offer in the anthology may, at times, sound repetitive since they were written at different times in response to different provocations. But the views expressed there have a conviction, which is both consistent and uncompromising. They are politically positioned and they are not expressed with a please-all grin. Panikkar is sure that secularism is good for the country and communalism bad and that a progressive nation cannot be built except on this foundational belief. But there are many in the country who think otherwise, by conviction or for convenience.
By B. Surendra Rao
Full review: http://www.frontline.in/books/choices-and-struggles/article5229004.ece