Where Are The Conservative Intellectuals in India, Caravan (March 2015) [Friday, March 20th, 2015]

There is a paradox at the heart of Indian public life today: that while the country has a right-wing party in power, right-wing intellectuals run thinly on the ground. This makes India an exception among the world’s established democracies. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany all have a long lineage of first-rate intellectuals [...]

 
 
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  Dams and the Damned, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 16th, 2012]

In September 2010, a large public meeting was held in Guwahati to discuss the impact of large hydroelectric projects in the North-east. In attendance was Jairam Ramesh, then the Minister of Environment and Forests in the Government of India. Ramesh heard that the people of Assam were worried that the hundred and more dams being [...]

 
 
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  RECONCILING GANDHI WITH AMBEDKAR, The Telegraph [Saturday, January 1st, 2011]

Books do not change lives, but books can change the way we look at the world. As a student of economics, I was a high modernist who believed in transforming rural communities through industrialization. Concern for the poor came with a heavy dose of condescension. Those who lived outside cities had to be improved and [...]

 
 
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  FAITH CYNICAL AND SUBLIME, The Telegraph [Saturday, September 25th, 2010]

In the spring of 1907, the London publisher John Murray published a book on Persian mystics by one F. Hadland Davis. The book appeared in a series called ‘The Wisdom of the East’, whose editors desired their publications to be ‘ambassadors of good-will and understanding between East and West, the old world of Thought, and [...]

 
 
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  BASTAR THEN AND NOW, The Hindu [Sunday, October 29th, 2006]

At about the time of the Battle of Britain, an Englishman of combatant age made a new home with his new wife in a then very remote, and very forested, princely state named Bastar. The man was Verrier Elwin, a brilliant Oxford scholar who had joined the Church and then left it, apprenticed himself to [...]

 
 
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  THE END OF THE BIOGRAPHER, The Hindu [Sunday, March 26th, 2006]

Many years ago, while doing research on the life of the anthropologist Verrier Elwin, I found myself in the library of the great old publishing house of John Murray, on Albemarle Street in central London. Elwin had once been a Murray author; and so had been some far more distinguished people. One such was the [...]

 
 
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  MAHADEV, The Hindu [Sunday, October 23rd, 2005]

A book I cherish greatly, and which I bought in the great Sunday book bazaar in Delhi’s Daryaganj—since closed by a philistine police force—is a 75th birthday tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Four hundred pages long, beautifully bound and printed (at the Karnatak Printing Press, Bombay—also probably by now a victim of history), it assembles essays [...]

 
 
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  THE PROSE OF POETS, The Hindu [Sunday, November 21st, 2004]

When Dom Moraes died earlier this year, most obituaries justly focused on the quality of his verse. With his fellow Mumbaikar Nissim Ezekiel, he made Indo-Anglian poetry respectable. He was a Goan Christian, Ezekiel a Bene Israel; both could only have been products of what—despite the endeavours of Bal Thackeray and his followers—remains a stubbornly [...]

 
 
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