August 27, 2009 12:18:51 am
Cambridge University,according to former BBC journalist Sir Mark Tully,is like Amartya Sens argumentative Indian,where people understand the certainty of uncertainty. He was holding forth at the release of Alan Macfarlanes book Reflections on Cambridge at the British Council Library,an event that marked 800 years of the famous British university.
Macfarlane,who was born in Assam,is professor of anthropological science at Cambridge University and Life Fellow,Kings College,Cambridge. Reflections on Cambridge (Social Science Press,Rs 450) is an attempt at combining historical and anthropological accounts to explore the culture,customs and politics of the university.
As professor at the university for nearly 40 years,Macfarlane set forth on a personal yet dispassionate attempt to understand how the university developed and changed,and how it continues to influence those who pass through its gates. The book delves into the history and architecture as well as the charm and the ghosts of Cambridge.
Though Macfarlane was not present for the launch in Delhi,plenty of old boys from the university turned up,reminiscing with Tully as he recounted anecdotes from his days at Cambridge. Among the things that have changed from my time is that they have security cameras and admit women. I wouldnt like the first one,but I certainly would have liked the latter, said Tully.
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