Chapter

Dying to Remember

Dipankar Gupta

in LEARNING TO FORGET

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195674330
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081820 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195674330.003.0009
Dying to Remember

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Nation-states sponsor a species of ‘dying for a cause’ activism that is directly legitimized by memory. The cry for martyrdom emerges from a sharp hiatus in intersubjectivity. The exceptional martyr is one who dies at the hands of someone who is much more powerful in the temporal sense. The true martyr dies an altruistic death. The martyr dies with full knowledge of the gravitas of impending death. The fight for territory, or the claiming of territory, for the purposes of nation-statehood puts an entirely different complexion to the popular appreciation of martyrdom in contemporary times. It can be stated that the health of a state depends on the extent to which political imperatives within it encourage or discourage an awareness of the past, and of traditional loyalties.

Keywords: nation-states; martyrdom; intersubjectivity; memory; territory; nation-statehood

Chapter.  7092 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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