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.
It seems alien in a world where resentment is not seen as imprisoning, freedom is freedom to hate.
The opposition needs to reopen a political debate on institutions, sign on to a charter for institutional reform
Liberal-bashing is fun: You can say that they are not liberal enough and target them for being liberal too
Delhi saga showcases poison of recrimination, institutional subversion, pettiness at highest levels
In the end, what he is doing may have more significance than who he is
PM Modi’s speech framed continuities, nuance in foreign policy. It needs full force of India’s example behind it
Message of Cobrapost sting: Media subservience to power, its contempt for the citizen.
Amid increasing communalisation in Assam, anxieties are deepening over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
A vigorously written, widely-researched and powerful defence of the Enlightenment
Cow, namaz, historical monuments, Jinnah — we are back to cultural issues in the prelude to Partition
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.