Being human, dialogically
DOI link for Being human, dialogically
Being human, dialogically book
In Chapter 7, Lynn Thomas analyses one of the ways in which the dialogical is used in Indian texts, and asks whether it is possible to forge a connection between this and the notion of a common humanity in human rights. She takes as her starting point a close textual analysis of one dialogue from the Mahābhārata: that between the Pāṇḍava king, Yudhiṣṭhira, and his ancestor Nahuṣa, cursed to take the form of a snake (3.197–206). By focusing on aspects of the dialogical in the account, Thomas seeks to unpack what it is that distinguishes a snake from a human being, and why the nature and manner of this particular dialogue is able to effect the snake’s transformation back to his former human state. After briefly outlining a number of other accounts that appear to suggest this transformative aspect of dialogue can be found across a broader range of Indian texts, the Chapter concludes by considering ways in which this feature of the Indian dialogical might engage with cross-cultural debates concerning human rights.