In sixteen linked essays, Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen discusses India’s intellectual and political heritage and how its argumentative tradition is. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen offers a brilliant corrective to the myths surrounding his homeland in The Argumentative Indian, says Soumya. Pankaj Mishra applauds Amartya Sen’s cosmopolitan view of India’s cultural and political history in The Argumentative Indian.
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‘The Argumentative Indian’: Insight into Amartya Sen’s genius
And then Sen flogs the proponents of Hindutava who, he says, are threatening that very swikriti of non-Hindus, particularly the Muslims. There is only one problem with his rich and instructive book: In itself, it might seem like an unremarkable fact, but it actually is not: This is a ‘capacious view of a broad and generous Hinduism, which contrasts sharply with the narrow and bellicose versions that are currently on offer, led particularly by parts of the Hindutva movement’.
Third will be repetition: As the Bush-voting American middle class most recently proved, argumentativd, religious fundamentalism and a belief in free markets are not only fully compatible but can feed off each other. He believes, and his essay on Argunentative and China displays this most vividly, that “it is through global movements of ideas, people, goods and technology that different regions of the world have tended, in general, to benefit from progress and development occurring in other regions”.
Then, there is also an fresh take on the issue of ‘ identity’. Assimilating a wide range of subjects including history, philosophy, religion and politics, I consistently experienced a certain level of coherence in Sen’s thoughts. Sen’s tone is heartwarmingly celebratory in two essays, which talk about two figures who are exemplars of the heterodoxy that reflects the best of the Indian tradition.
The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity
Books by Amartya Sen. Sen underestimate the importance of India in spreading its own culture and scientific contributions to foreign lands in general and China in particular discussed heavily in Chapter 8: Miracle, because the film’s architect and director Suman Ghosh whose feature film “Nobel Chor” fictionalising the real-life theft of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel prize had to fight a long and hard battle with the Indian censor board to stop some hard-hitting comments on India’s politics from being cut.
Ved Prakash Certified Buyer 6 Nov, Sometimes I worry that in aggressively promoting discussion, I am promoting a particularly Western way of interacting with the world around us. The second section seeks to restore the reputation of Rabindranath Tagore as an intellectual polymath, combining spiritual and political ideas, and incian India’s relationship to other cultures, including the West and China, especially the peaceful and intellectually rewarding cross-fertilising relationship between the two great Asian cultures.
Naipaul sees India as damaged by Muslim invaders and emasculated further by an otherworldly and hierarchical Hinduism – a wounded civilisation that has only recently been revived by contact with western political philosophy and industrialism.
In countries such as France and Belgium, we currently tend towards the second interpretation, leading for instance to the prohibition of the personal display of religious symbols such as headscarves in state institutions.
There is also some in-depth and warm chapters on Tagore and satyajit raj.
Sen analyses and questions the need for the Indian nuclear tests at Pokhran in and the tensions it has created in South-East Asia. View all 3 comments. Sen points out that such debates were often supported by monarchs like the Mughal Emperor Akbar and Emperor Ashoka.
And at other times he is in such a hurry running after his departing train of thought leaving the reader stranded in middle of an intense conversation. Sen might as well be the most articulate man in the world, and each essay here is a masterclass in clear and structured presentation of an argument.
His prose is benignly professorial, always measured, and occasionally rises to dry irony, such as when he writes about James Mill, who, in his history of India, managed to describe the deceitful and perfidious character of Hindus without knowing any Indian language or having visited India. The Argumentative Indian has brought together a selection of writings from Sen that outline the need to understand contemporary India in the light of its long argumentative tradition.
Sen does not say much about how the argumentative tradition is faring in India in the age of globalisation. Though the book is a heavy read, after the first 50 pages or so you get the hang of the language and the author’s thought process and it becomes highly compelling.
While Gandhi was all about nationalism, Tagore believed in freedom of thought: Buddhism is a faith that understands impermanence.
Those Buddhas amartha frescos were destroyed eleven months later. Aug 05, Tanvika rated it really liked it Shelves: Aug 12, Ethan rated it really liked it.
A collection of essays can work but this one just didn’t. Sen refutes the facile Western description of India as a ‘mainly Hindu country’ with the same rigorous scholarship aen he demolishes the isolationist, circumscribed view of Hindutva held dear by the Hindu right that ruled India between and It should be noted that his liberal attitude towards other faiths did not lead him to renounce Islam And it’s not just India: I get that Sen is Bengali, and that Bengali culture obviously impacts the pan-Indian psyche, but it den the end all be all.
Sen I have had the opportunity of reading.
Essentially, what Sen argues is that, as humans, we are multi-faceted. It would be missing the point of the book, if it were to be read with an intention of getting a comprehensive view of Indian history.
The Argumentative Indian – Wikipedia
I think this counter argument was mentioned but not given much weightage by Sen Read the entire review at Aesthetic Blasphemy And do let me know what you think: So, while these reserves are an insurance against famines, the poor are still not helped. Even when women begin to work outside, they are expected to do the household work too. However, when Sen wrote his book, one of his main concerns was the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, and the idea that the Indian nationality and Hinduism are really identical or should be.
While talking about Indian democracy, for instance, he cautions: