Now It’s Come To Distances

Notes on Coronavirus and Shaheen Bagh, Association and Isolation

Soumyabrata Choudhury


Navayana, New Delhi, 2020

Language: English

232 pages

5.5 x 8.5”

Price INR 399.00
Book Club Price INR 340.00
INR 399.00
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In December 2019, Shaheen Bagh became the site of an intense opposition to the newly amended Citizenship Amendment Act. It renewed the ‘communal question’—who is considered a citizen? In March 2020, another shattering event—the coronavirus pandemic. The time of isolation was upon us. These events sparked the need to rethink fundamental questions: What is a constitution? Can social life also be an isolated one? Why were some abandoned to the streets while we remained indoors during the lockdown? Does the ‘new normal’ immunise us to all encounters: politics, love, art?

Through this turbulence, Soumyabrata Choudhury, philosopher and teacher at Jawaharlal Nehru University, was making notes and sharing them with students. Choudhury asks if there can be social distancing in a society to which one does not belong. This diary traces the challenge posed by an incandescent and immortal association like Shaheen Bagh in the face of a dictatorship of mortals that rose with the pandemic.

Soumyabrata Choudhury

Soumyabrata Choudhury is Associate Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has authored Theatre, Number, Event: Three Studies on the Relationship between Sovereignty, Power and Truth, and articles on ancient Greek liturgy, the staging of Ibsen, psychoanalysis, Nietzsche, Schiller and Hegel.