Author: Ramachandra Guha
‘I am a person of moderate views’, writes Ramachandra Guha, ‘these sometimes expressed in extreme fashion’. In this wide-ranging and wonderfully readable collection of essays, Guha defends the liberal centre against the dogmas of left and right, and does so with style, depth, and polemical verve. The book begins with a brilliant overview of the major threats to the Indian Republic. Other essays turn a critical eye on Hindutva, the Communist left, and the dynasty-obsessed Congress party. Guha then explores the contemporary relevance of Gandhi’s religious pluralism, and analyzes the fall in Jawaharlal Nehru’s reputation after his death.
The essays in Part 11 of this book focus on writers and scholars. Guha explains why bilingual intellectuals, once so dominant in India, are now thin on the ground. He presents sensitive portraits of a magazine editor, a bookshop owner, a great publishing house and a famous historical archive.
Whether writing about politics or culture, whether profiling individuals or analyzing social trends, Ramachandra Guha displays a masterly touch, confirming his standing as India’s most admired historian and public intellectual.
Penguin Books India
15 Nov 2012
Indian Subcontinent only
Non-Fiction, Current Affairs, History