about the author
 
ramchandraguha
Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bangalore. He has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and been the Indo-American Community Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
In the academic year 2011-2 he served as the Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.

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 ABOUT The Website
This website presents a selection of Ramachandra Guha’s essays and columns. The writings are placed into five categories:
History
History reproduces columns that analyse interesting or important events and controveries of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Politics And Current Affairs
Politics and Current Affairs reproduces writings on secularism, modernity democracy, diversity, and other contentious themes in contemporary India.
Biography
Biography presents word-portraits of a range of fascinating or forgotten individuals in India and beyond.
Culture
Culture presents reflections on such non-serious but non-trivial matters as music, literature and travel.
Longer Essays
Longer Essays features a selection of Guha’s more reflective and extended articles (5,000 words or more) on history and politics.  Drawing on writings of the past decade-and-a-half, this website of Ramachandra Guha’s writings will be continuously updated to include his columns as they appear. Through these rich and varied essays, Guha seeks to capture the modern history of what he terms the ‘most interesting country in the world’.
 
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A Forgotten Precursor To The Rushdie Affair
The Telegraph 14th October 2017
In the winter of 1988-9, there occurred what became known as the ‘Rushdie Affair’. Salman Rushdie had just published his novel The Satanic Verses, which orthodox Muslims denounced as having defamed the image of Prophet Muhammad. In Iran, the fundamentalist cleric Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa on the writer’s life. In the country of Rushdie’s birth, India, the book was banned by the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. In the country of Rushdie’s domicile, the United Kingdom, the book was burnt in several cities, and the threats to the novelist’s life were so serious that he had to spend several years in hiding, protected by the British police READ MORE.....

When JRD Tata Called For a Strong Opposition
Hindustan Times 25th September 2017
On 15th May 1961, the politician C. Rajagopalachari wrote to the industrialist J. R. D. Tata, asking him to support the newly formed Swatantra Party. A patriot of impeccable pedigree, ‘Rajaji’ had started Swatantra to provide effective opposition to the ruling Congress party, which he saw as insensitive to economic and political realities, and dominated by a single individual (Jawaharlal Nehru). Rajaji knew the House of Tatas had long funded the Congress, but, as he now told J. R. D. Tata, ‘even if you help the ruling party with funds for its political and electioneering activities, it would also be just and proper for you to help a party that seeks to build an efficient check on its errors’. Rajaji told JRD that were the Tatas to fund Swatantra in addition to Congress, it would be a patriotic duty, for ‘no democracy governs well in the absence of a strong opposition…’. READ MORE.....

Anti-Intellectualism In American And Indian Life
The Telegraph 16th September 2017
Books set in other countries and published at other times can sometimes be strikingly relevant to India today. This is certainly the case with Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, published in 1963. I first read this book as a doctoral student thirty years ago, and re-read it recently. READ MORE.....

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