Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is vice-chancellor of Ashoka University. He was earlier 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.

Articles By Pratap Bhanu Mehta

End of anti-corruption?

Its politics is confined to a slash and burn exercise, only useful for knocking down opponents

The Lies That Bind book review: The Crisis of Identity

That which defines is also that which reduces, writes Kwake Anthony Appiah in a deeply perceptive analysis of the problematics of selfhood

A darkening horizon

As the liberal order declines, a polarised world full of majoritarian, intellectually insecure angst looms.

The Sabarimala aftermath

Court authority is imperilled, parties have rallied behind orthodoxy, there is political fishing in troubled waters

The battle after Dussehra

Vijayadashmi is melancholic because the real and deep evil will surface only now, after the political triumph over Ravana has been achieved

It really was the economy, stupid!

A deep dive into the 2008 global financial crisis, this book brings into sharp focus the international interconnections that sank the world economy

Liberty without statism

Supreme Court upheld individual freedom, dignity, equality in Sabarimala case. But statism has its own dangers.

Verdict as first word

The Supreme Court judgment does not provide a consistent framework to ascertain future legitimate uses of Aadhaar.

The second coming

Global cooperation is a vital element in managing global economic interdependence. But global cooperation is exactly what has been domestically de-legitimised in almost all democracies.

On liberty

Tomorrow’s India needs a new Charter of Freedom. Does Congress have the courage to sign on to it?

Where’s the Remote?

Democracy was supposed to give power to the people. Instead, it has conferred sweeping powers on the executive

Sinister homo sapiens

All Indian parties have construed Maoism as a threat and all of them, from the Congress to the Trinamool Congress, have been draconian in their own way. But what is different this time in not just that there are operations or arrests.

A blasphemous law

Using state power to enforce the sacred, Punjab’s sacrilege law defiles the sacred, messes with the secular.

Vajpayee: The man of heart

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was living testament to the fact that liberality of temperament has the power to transcend ideologies.

At Red Fort, PM Modi’s hope and fear

PM Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech mirrored both his offer of the fantasy of hope and refusal to acknowledge the republic of fear

The nuances of 35A

There is a powerful argument for not abrogating the Article. But we must also think beyond the binaries on it.

State and Capital

Modi government has added an insidious dimension to the nexus. It is hidden in plain sight

Mandela’s forgiveness

It seems alien in a world where resentment is not seen as imprisoning, freedom is freedom to hate.

Common minimum resolve

The opposition needs to reopen a political debate on institutions, sign on to a charter for institutional reform

Blame it on the liberals

Liberal-bashing is fun: You can say that they are not liberal enough and target them for being liberal too