02 March, 2021

‘Ideology Has Been The Greatest Killer’

Psychology dominated the show from 1940s to '80s. Now, there is a clear decline, says political psychologist Ashis Nandy.

Photograph by Vijay Pandey
‘Ideology Has Been The Greatest Killer’

At 80, Ashis Nandy goes to office, his beloved CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies), thrice a week. He doesn’t take a salary and does not have a pension after he ret­ired from the Centre some 15 years ago. But he likes to interact with the young minds there. The Nandys’ living room is more like a study, bookshelves on all sides, papers and files strewn all over the tables, and a dozen smoking pipes here and there. “Let me light my chillum,” he says. What tobacco is it? “I like Dunhill and Davidoff. I used to like a Trichinopoly brand and get it through a close friend, but he died and I cannot get it any­more. Even these are hard to get as I am cutting down on my international travel,” he says and settles down for a chat. Exc­erpts from the conversation with Satish Padmanabhan.

Your mother was the first Indian vice-principal of La Martiniere for Girls in Calcutta. It must have been a very academic milieu for you, right from childhood?

I read that...

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