Pratap Bhanu Mehta

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.

The drummer’s silence
Fri, Jul 03, 2015

Modi must heed the warning signs of his government’s diminishing credibility.

All of Indira’s Men and Women
Sat, Jun 27, 2015

A chilling account of how they ganged up to take democracy away from India.

Many little Emergencies
Fri, Jun 26, 2015

We now have a crackdown we don’t see. It’s less ominous, but equally insidious.

Lalit Modi row: PM Narendra Modi should speak up
Sat, Jun 20, 2015

A government is always one scandal away from losing political control. Narendra Modi should speak up.

At risk, in Delhi
Tue, Jun 16, 2015

AAP’s diminishing credibility undermines its promise to transform. BJP’s premature panic casts a shadow

Army’s Myanmar strike: Governments don’t sing about covert operations
Fri, Jun 12, 2015

Governments don’t sing about covert operations. Our strategic communication needs a lot more maturity.

Book Review: Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire
Sat, Jun 06, 2015

With the end of the Mughal Empire and the rise of British power, the 19th century Muslim intellectual had to reimagine his politics.

Higher abdication
Tue, Jun 02, 2015

IIT Madras episode shows up an academic leadership that signed the government’s dotted line.

K C Sivaramakrishnan: God’s own civil servant
Fri, May 29, 2015

KCS was the kind of bureaucrat, scholar who is indispensable to modern India’s foundations.

The elusive Modi
Tue, May 26, 2015

It is hard to take his measure. All the contradictions of India play out in his persona.

Work fatigue
Sat, May 23, 2015

The professions that defined middle class aspiration are now sites of a deepening discontent.

Whom do you trust?
Thu, May 14, 2015

Judiciary or the executive — that’s the key question. Perhaps the NJAC’s compositon, rules need tweaking.

Reactions to Salman Khan verdict: That ‘eat cake’ moment
Tue, May 12, 2015

Reactions to Salman Khan’s conviction reveal an elite that would literally bulldoze everything in its path.

On shakier ground
Sat, May 02, 2015

Modi government is caught in traps, some structural, some of its own making.

For Better or For Worse
Sat, Apr 25, 2015

A survey of our attitude to violence, and the far-reaching changes in the way in which its legitimacy is understood.

The new progressive
Wed, Apr 22, 2015

CPM must overcome defeatism, refresh itself to dominate debate.

How we failed Ambedkar
Wed, Apr 15, 2015

Facing up to him means confronting questions of our own complicity and guilt.

My outrage and yours
Tue, Apr 07, 2015

Even those who rush to indict terrorism at every turn seem to treat this incident with nonchalant indifference.

The postmodern leader
Tue, Mar 24, 2015

Cleverly, ruthlessly, Lee Kuan Yew ensured Singapore punched above its weight.

Reservations, questions
Fri, Mar 20, 2015

SC judgment points to new social justice frameworks struggling to take shape.

Losing the plots
Thu, Mar 12, 2015

NDA’s casual amendments do not address core issue of consent in land acquisition.

Two experiments
Wed, Mar 04, 2015

With the budget, BJP-PDP alliance, Modi may be charting a new course.

Me and my mandate
Wed, Feb 25, 2015

How Nitish, Rahul and Modi have overplayed their hand

Revolution Half-Done
Sat, Feb 21, 2015

The universe of ideas that once formed JNU is laid out in this new history.

Thus spake Modi
Thu, Feb 19, 2015

Now he must outmanoeuvre the politics of resentment and zealotry in his parivar.

A victory of possibilities
Wed, Feb 11, 2015

Delhi, BJP looked old. AAP wears imprimatur of a new revolution.

Book review: The Promised Land
Sat, Jan 31, 2015

The depth, texture and brilliance of Dhulipala’s argument are hard to convey in a short review.

Article of faith
Sat, Jan 31, 2015

Secularism is buffeted by domestic political dynamics as well as global currents.

Death and taxes
Thu, Jan 22, 2015

Why smart capitalists should demand an inheritance tax.

BJP and the AAPosition
Wed, Jan 14, 2015

A challenger in Delhi could pierce the complacency at the Centre.

Charlie Hebdo Attack
Charlie Hebdo attack: The Paris trap
Fri, Jan 09, 2015

Every response to the attack on ‘Charlie Hebdo’ seems to feed the perpetrators’ intent.

The Centre we need
Thu, Jan 01, 2015

Five key transitions the Modi government needs to make

Top of the Shelf
Sat, Dec 27, 2014

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam was philosophically acute, but politically deeply problematic.

OPINION: What Vajpayee would do
Fri, Dec 26, 2014

He would agree: Christmas mustn’t be encumbered by ‘Good Governance Day’ hubris.

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