Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

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.

When You Say Nothing At All
Sat, Dec 20, 2014

The spectre of silence looms large over Pranab Mukherjee’s narrative on the events of the tumultuous Seventies.

Pakistan needs a new story
Sat, Dec 20, 2014

Fighting the Taliban will be a long haul. Better relations with India will make it easier

Movie without a script
Sat, Dec 13, 2014

In six months of NDA, the bad fight scenes are piling up.

I am Sanskrit
Mon, Dec 08, 2014

My tragedy is I have to fear my supporters more than my attackers.

The Loose Ends of History
Sat, Nov 29, 2014

Fukuyama is as erudite as ever, but his catchall analysis does not add to the literature of political sociology

Starting at minus one
Thu, Nov 27, 2014

Second-generation reforms are far away. First recognise the extent of regulatory rot.

Saarc without a backbone
Fri, Nov 21, 2014

At Kathmandu, Modi could seize the chance, sketch a new regional imagination.

The lost university
Sat, Nov 15, 2014

There is nothing more than bad faith in the Left and Congress’s crocodile tears over the decimation of higher education.

The Obama that is
Fri, Nov 07, 2014

How a charismatic leader was undone by the smaller mistakes.

Two deluded
Wed, Oct 29, 2014

Left is flailing. But India’s right also substitutes abstract logic for historical judgement.

Centre, state, Modi
Wed, Oct 22, 2014

Will the BJP’s dominance rework federal equations?

Criticism in the age of Narendra Modi
Thu, Oct 16, 2014

He honed in on the yearning to defeat defeatism. How do you lock horns with that?

Maximum mistrust
Fri, Oct 10, 2014

Our fascination with surveillance-based discipline stems from a culture of control.

A new bully pulpit
Sat, Oct 04, 2014

Modi intuits link between communication and change. There’s no other game in town.

Katherine Armstrong traverses a vast arc, but this is ice skating, not deep sea diving
Mon, Sep 29, 2014

Katherine Armstrong's Fields of Blood charts the complicated relationship between religion and violence across a wide arc of history.

War of blunt positions
Sat, Sep 27, 2014

Supreme Court itself has muddied constitutional interpretation beyond recognition.

Two lonely powers
Fri, Sep 19, 2014

The US and China are isolated in their own ways.

Past is political
Sat, Sep 06, 2014

A potent mix of nostalgia and unresolved hurt has come to drive world politics.

Not in a fit state
Fri, Aug 29, 2014

Recent economic logjam underlines need to remake the state for the 21st century.

Self made in India
Sat, Aug 16, 2014

The clear message was that our big problems are not market failure or state failure, but social failure.

Needed, PEST control
Tue, Aug 12, 2014

Because this government’s actions are brewing potential education sector troubles

Spectacle of dead ends
Thu, Aug 07, 2014

Gaza’s tragedy: All sides have given up on problem, are only trying to win argument.

Achhe din, like old times
Tue, Jul 29, 2014

Government has quickly descended into a mix of trifles, alibis and risk averseness.

Some judgement, please
Thu, Jul 24, 2014

Judicial appointments row, stoked by Katju revelations, is not about reform.

Reading Nietzsche in India
Sat, Jul 12, 2014

How a dialogue across continents shaped modern Indian thought.

Building half-bridges
Fri, Jul 11, 2014

Government doesn’t get it. Problem is not decision making, but state capacity.

Teaching in tongues
Wed, Jul 02, 2014

How our overheated language politics affects learning outcomes.

Higher indignity
Wed, Jun 25, 2014

Would any serious education system treat decisions like the FYUP with such whimsy?

An old disfigurement
Fri, Jun 20, 2014

On institutions, NDA repeats the footlooseness of UPA

Know your ministries
Mon, Jun 09, 2014

Clue: Each is designed to achieve the opposite of what its name implies

Seven sins of hubris
Thu, Jun 05, 2014

The UPA committed them. The new government should avoid them.

Minimum arbitrariness
Tue, May 27, 2014

If PM Modi is serious about minimum government, he could begin with civil liberties.

The real contest for India
Thu, May 22, 2014

A zone of individual freedom competes with a federation of communities.

Modi’s moment alone
Sat, May 17, 2014

The election that broke every known rule of Indian politics.

The other results
Tue, May 06, 2014

Why the college cut-off system needs to be rethought.

Election mud bath
Wed, Apr 30, 2014

Will it be cleansing, or deform politics for some time to come?