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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. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen offers a brilliant corrective to the myths surrounding his homeland in The Argumentative Indian, says Soumya. Pankaj Mishra applauds Amartya Sen’s cosmopolitan view of India’s cultural and political history in The Argumentative Indian.

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But alas, the book is long, repetitive and well The idea of alienating Western values and ideas as being the exact opposite of ancient Indian values india culture is fallacious. Two, there are close to no statistics supporting most arguments except the essay tje the two sexes I suspect those were easier to procure. Indian Cultural Diversities and skeptical arguments.

Central to his notion of India, as the title suggests, is the long tradition of argument and public debate, of intellectual pluralism and generosity that informs India’s history. In sixteen linked essays, Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen discusses India’s intellectual and political heritage and how its argumentative tradition is vital for the success of its democracy and secular politics. Sen is critical of two interpretations of modern India – tge separatism and global isolation.

It appears that there is a clear bias against having a girl child in Indian states in the North and the West as compared to the states in the East and the South. Any sense of uniqueness or cohesion on the part of an author is pressed flat by the need to match the format in which the text originally appeared; New York Review of Books; New Republic; Financial Times; et al.

Review: The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen | Books | The Guardian

The first view argues that secularism demands that the state be equidistant from all religions afgumentative refusing to take sides and having a neutral attitude towards them. The exchange of ideas is made evident through records of various foreign scholars such as Alberuni who accompanied Muhammad of Ghazni to India and Chinese scholars like Yi Jing, who studied medicine at the Nalanda university. He also points out that some of the major contributions of India in the fields of language, mathematics, science, public health, etc.

For example, the Charvaka school of thought of atheism and a materialistic approach to life is hardly emphasized in the popularized “mystical India”. All the essays revolve around one or all of the below points though the titles are different: Sen should focus on Economics and leave history to historians. Amartya Sen is a citizen of India. This according to Sen has kept democracy and coexistence of different political ideologies in check, unlike many other countries where democracy has intermittently made cameo appearances.


Sen frequently mentions emperors like Ashoka and Akbar who has very “modern” ideas about religious tolerance. Fourth, his so-called secular attitude: Sen was born in Bengal, and remains, despite long stints in western academia, an Indian citizen.


Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. It’s one those books which makes you understand the complexity about culture and know not trivialize it. You see the same things, referenced again and again; compilation books are not only repetitive—how much text is wasted skimming the surface of the Gujurat Massacre ten separate times, rather than hitting it once with depth and vigor—but the tone is so disparate there is next to no authorial voice to guide you through the narrative.

Are these values unique ihdian Western culture or have they been excluded from shallow historical readings of other civilizations. Three, the treatment of the topic is superficial. Prolixity may not be alien to us in India, but brevity definitely seems to be an alien concept to Mr. I bought the book from Flipkart because I had read it earlier from a library and wanted it for myself.

Sometimes he beats around the bush intentionally not wanting to highlight a disputed or vague topic. The Argumentative Indian — a wen of 16 essays, many reworked and expanded from lectures and previously published articles — is an intellectual tour de force from an economist who can lay equal claim to the designations of sociologist, historian, political analyst and moral philosopher.

Let me confess that this is the only book by Mr. I was a little skeptical of whether I argumehtative find this interesting.

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To be fair, some parts of the book were really interesting e. After expressing a mild objection to Salaam Bombay! Whatever we think about the turn that later developments have taken, this shows that there is nothing intrinsically “western” about open societies. History of India, like every other part of world, does contain nightmarish elements, seh it also involves people of dissimilar convictions coexisting peacefully in creative activities of literature, music, painting, jurisprudence etc.


‘The Argumentative Indian’: Insight into Amartya Sen’s genius

The political flavor of the book is pestilential. We have been spoonfed a few things at such amargya young stage that we simply accept them hard facts and never question them.

Long celebrated as an economist with a compassionate face, Sen has published several articles and books exploring such philosophical and political concepts as democracy, development, freedom and reason. Obviously I’m biased as someone who spends a seh of his life studying this very tradition of argumentation, but I wholeheartedly agree that contemporary India and the rest of the world have a lot to learn from this history.

A second key point can best be summarized by the words of Sen himself: Sen’s arguments may be, it falls short in its completeness and its range. The Argumentative Indian is “a bracing sweep through aspects of Indian history and culture, and a tempered analysis of the highly charged disputes surro In sixteen linked essays, Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen discusses India’s intellectual and political heritage and nidian its argumentative tradition is vital maartya the success of its democracy and secular politics.

This book sets out to defend the secular, plural and liberal imperative against sectarian mostly Hindutva arguments based in history and specious reasoning.

‘The Argumentative Indian’: Insight into Amartya Sen’s genius | The News Minute

May 26, kapil rated it it was ok. Towards the end, the discourse veers towards, what else, mortality. The documentary is essentially a two-part interview conducted by the famed economist Kaushik Basu, conducted with a year gap between the two conversations.

The statistical argument of seeing India as a preeminent Hindu country colonial narrative tge, according to author is a conceptual confusion, for our religion is not our only identity, nor necessarily the identity to which we attach the greatest importance.

While talking about Indian democracy, for instance, he cautions: It’s amartua that I didn’t try, but I couldn’t. Hard to understand language and complex sentence constructions at some points in the book.

Published September 5th by Picador first published