In the foreword to The Decline of Civilization, Romila Thapar argues that the current concept of civilisation is a partial understanding of a segment of the societies and cultures of the past, and thus a limited concept.
It is ironic that the demand to ban the book comes from those whose ideology was far from anti-colonial, or in sympathy with establishing a secular democratic nation, the kind of nation that Bhagat Singh was working towards.
There is by now little doubt that we are currently being governed by those that seem to have an anti-intellectual mind-set. This spells trouble for universities that are concerned with high standards of teaching and research.
A secular society and polity does not mean abandoning religion. It means the religious identity of an Indian has to give way to the primary identity of a citizen. And the state has to guarantee the rights that come with this identity, as the rights of citizenship.