/Tag: Verrier Elwin

Where Are The Conservative Intellectuals in India


Caravan (March 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 on [...]

Dams and the Damned


The Telegraph

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 planned [...]

RECONCILING GANDHI WITH AMBEDKAR


The Telegraph

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 uplifted [...]

FAITH CYNICAL AND SUBLIME


The Telegraph

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 the [...]

BASTAR THEN AND NOW


The Hindu

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 Gandhi [...]

THE END OF THE BIOGRAPHER


The Hindu

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 poet [...]

By |2011-11-30T19:30:24+00:00March 26th, 2006|Categories: Biography|Tags: , |

MAHADEV


The Hindu

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 by [...]

By |2011-11-16T11:20:56+00:00October 23rd, 2005|Categories: Biography|Tags: , , , , |

THE PROSE OF POETS


The Hindu

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 cosmopolitan [...]