"The relevance of myths is the stuff history is made of. Karen Armstrong, in one of her lesser-known works has spoken at length of the importance of myths through human history. Even Marxist historians like the legendary D.D. Kosambi in his book, Myth and Reality talk of collective memories of a people. Eric Hobsbawm goes as far as to talk of how the evolution of modern nation states wouldn’t have been possible but for collective myths that people held onto, which led to national identities being formed."
"The debate so far, has been focused on where the state must not tread. But in a multi-cultural society, with as many beliefs, it is also important to establish when the state must not shy away from playing the role of a neutral umpire. The secular Indian state has consciously allowed its citizens to keep their faith, practice and propagate it too, but not when it interferes with someone else’s freedom."
In other news, Times Select (by the New York Times) is now free. So we can all read what the likes of Paul Krugman and Roger Cohen have to say.
Also, Paul Krugman has just started blogging at the NYT website. Whether or not one agrees with him, he's always an interesting writer, because he is amazingly direct and coherent in his arguments. He is pretty persuasive as well, its only a little after I've finished reading what he's written that I can find points of departure for myself.