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In sixteen linked essays, Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen discusses India’s intellectual and political heritage and how its argumentative tradition is. When Amartya Sen titles a book The Argumentative Indian, the reader naturally assumes something by way of an autobiography. (Or, as a friend teased. The Argumentative Indian, by Amartya Sen. India’s faith in freedom. By Pavan K Varma; Friday 12 August 0 comments.

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The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity

All the essays revolve around one or all of the below points though the titles are different: The book addresses important questions pertaining to the Indian identity, for example the existence of India as a social and a political entity much earlier than the British endeavour to unite the different princely states under their umbrella.

Furthermore, since these visitors to India came back with tales of wonderful things they had seen in India, it was difficult to take an entirely Sino-centric view of world civilization. Three, the treatment of the topic is superficial. He is currently the Thomas W. To begin with, the title: I suspect that the book could be 70 pages in length without sacrificing on a single idea.

However, as Sen shows, Indian has a very long history of not just public debate but also religious diversity. Each chapter is stand-alone; you will undoubtedly pull the fantastic knowledge from the trove, but the cost is high: I feel as though I now lay some sort of personal claim on the Bamiyan statues.

Sen does not indulge in triumphalism about his country’s past; nor does he spare Western influences like James Mill’s History of British India that have oversimplified and distorted the Indian reality. He co I felt that Amratya Sen did not do justice to the book.


View all 3 comments. I went through a couple of the criticisms on Goodreads and otherwiseand arguumentative try to provide counter-arguments for them: The equidistance must take the form, then, of being altogether removed from each.

Amartya Sen doesn’t seem to think so. I’m in no way capable of judging how good an economist Amartya Sen is. He seems obsessed with Hindu “fundamentalism” and his native Bengali culture.

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Sen dwells on the untranslatability of Tagore’s work but argues that that was only part of the problem. I understand that Sen put them all together in one book, but if he had edited them to reduce redundancy, that would have made it easier to read. Except for the chapter on Indian calendars, I sailed smoothly through the manuscript.

It was the first essay – responsible for the name of the book – that I found most interesting. Certified BuyerNew Delhi. It was, simply put, an articulate promotion for the value of the history of acceptance of heterogeny in India as part of the author’s larger ideological framework and as a pointed criticism of the contemporary Hindutva movement, with beautiful threads of Indian history and culture woven in throughout.

I think this counter argument was mentioned but not given much weightage by Sen Read the ondian review at Aesthetic Blasphemy And do let me know what you think: Also, the cover is beautiful! Sen devotes a chapter each to the world-view of Tagore and Satyajit Ray. Skip to main content.

Views Read Edit View history. Aug 14, David Sasaki rated it liked it Recommends it for: Sen appears to be arguing for the former, advocating a view that each religion should be shielded from injury from others on reasonably held criteria this is discussed in terms of anti-blasphemy laws favouring ondian religion.


The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity by Amartya Sen

I was a little skeptical of whether I would find this interesting. He states that tradition of heterodoxy and arguing ,the inclusiveness or acceptance what he calls “Swikruti” made easy for Christians,jews parsees and other amatrya to settle and follow their own beliefs and customs.

You can only aspire to greatness if you shun mundane roles. I will not suggest this book to neophyte reader. According to some of these dimensions, we may well feel indain to some people living on the opposite side of the planet than to our neighbours. Also the essays in this compilation seem to have been formed over different time, occasions and narrative intentions, thus making some core substances slightly repetitive.

There is literally NO mention of Southern India in this book that is supposed to reflect the diversity of the country. Ray, whose debut film, Pather Panchali Song of the Amatrya Roadcelebrates its golden jubilee this year and endures still as an outstanding, poignant and relevant movie, was more than merely a film-maker. One of the most influential public thinkers of our times is strongly rooted in the country in which he grew up; he is deeply engaged with its concerns.

The book is somewhat rescued xen the second half: Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s essays on history, philosophy, art, politics, economics, culture, and identity do a lot to highlight this diversity.

Jun 30, Siri rated it really liked it Undian The history is basic. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.