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

 Author: Amartya Sen

Genre: History

Who doesn’t know Amartya Sen. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his contribution to welfare economics, he teaches at Harvard and was formerly the Master of Trinity College at Cambridge. He has been visiting faculty at MIT, UCB, LSE and Cornell, apart from top Indian economics institutions like DSE, JNU, ISI etc. He was also awarded India’s highest honour, Bharat Ratna. Time magazine included him in its “100 most influential persons in the world” list.

A prolific writer, Sen wrote almost 30 books including The Idea of Justice, Rationality and Freedom, Identity and Violence, Poverty and Famine etc. The Argumentative Indian looks at the spiritual and intellectual heritage of India and argues that there has been a long tradition of questioning the truth of ideas through discussion and dialogue and that this discussion played a crucial role in the success of democracy and secularism. The sub-title of the book is ‘Writings on Indian Culture, History and Identity’ and has 4 major parts: Voice and Heterodoxy, Culture and Communications, Politics and Protest, and lastly Reason and Identity. All four sections have essays related to these issues, and in all there are 16 essays.