12 May, 2021

‘Even Anti-Establishment Is A Coterie In Delhi’

Eminent intellectual Ramachandra Guha on his latest book - a collection of 16 essays covering a wide range of topics

Photograph by Narendra Bisht
‘Even Anti-Establishment Is A Coterie In Delhi’

A new book by Ramachandra Guha, one of India’s foremost public intellectuals, always causes a flutter both in academia and among his many fans. Democrats and Dissenters is a collection of 16 essays, some previously published and a few new ones, that have a wide arc, ranging from profiles of Dharmanand Kosambi and Andre Beteille to Kashmir and right-wing politics. Satish Padmanabhan met Guha in Delhi to discuss the book. Excerpts from the conversation.

Democrats and Dissenters is the work of a classic public intellectual, who is interested in everything around him and has a considered opinion on them. But is this an endangered tribe today, where most public discourse seems to taking place on Twitter and FaceBook?

Well, I think Twitter and FaceBook are also valuable medium for enlarging the scope of debate and discussion, but it will be a great pity if quick, off-the-cuff, unconsidered remarks pass of for debate and discussion because I think we live in a complex society in turbulent and changing...

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