Pratap Bhanu Mehta is President, Centre Policy Research, New Delhi, one of India's top think tanks. Before he started engaging with contemporary affairs, he taught political theory at Harvard, and briefly at JNU. He has written extensively on intellectual history, political theory, law, India's social transformation and world affairs. He is the recipient of the Infosys Prize, the Adisheshiah Prize and the Amartya Sen Prize. He has been singularly blessed with wonderful colleagues and is grateful that all the institutions he has been associated with, value their independence fiercely. He misses having students, since nothing better expresses the idea of a good life than a good seminar. He believes the purpose of writing is to provoke thinking not to provide instruction. Although politics and the contemporary world excites him, the high point of the day for him remains "retiring with the ancients," to use Machiavelli's phrase. There is nothing like retiring with old books, that have more of the world in them than we often recognize.
We can endure neither Court’s loss of legitimacy nor all the attempts being made to overcome it
Tridip Suhrud amps up Gandhi's original text by resuscitating some of its lost nuances and offering invaluable contextual pointers
In Kathua and Unnao, just blaming politicians is another way of exonerating ourselves
While identities matter, when they are carelessly ascribed, they become inimical to freedom.
Increasing alienation between the North and South in political discourse is fuelled by deep cultural anxieties
Cambridge Analytica fracas reopens the big questions about the organisation of the information order
It is morally obtuse and analytically misleading to see farmers’ long march as a demand for handouts
As it turns 50, ‘Raag Darbari’ continues to tell the story of our politics, its crisis of meaning, with humour.
BJP thought it had a huge rhetorical advantage on corruption but after Nirav Modi, it looks like this issue will be a draw
The vigour of PM Narendra Modi’s travels can barely disguise the fact that in terms of India’s security objectives, he is looking very weak indeed.
Trying to be all things to all people, budget seeks to bluff its way on fundamental tensions in the economy
Pressures of a different Dalit imagination are colliding against strategies of containment of an old politics
The charge against Chief Justice Dipak Misra is serious. But do we have justiciable evidence?
Let’s reclaim a realism about nature and self that our frenzied pursuit of enmities and ends is obscuring.
Reading philosophy, history and violence in 2017
Verdict is a reminder that state incapacity may be a bigger issue than active political malfeasance
If democracy is more secure with an effective opposition, BJP victory sends sobering signals
PM’s Gujarat campaign shows the politics of hope has been replaced entirely by the politics of fear
Events of December 6, 1992 assaulted both secularism and Hinduism. Consequences are still to play out fully
It is its treatment of Ahmadis. It needs to overcome that anxiety to liberate itself on several fronts
Papa CJ started stand-up comedy in 2004 after his visit to the annual Fringe festival in Edinburgh. Since then, amongst various places, he has performed at the Sydney Opera House and also at gun-point in South Africa, he quips.