An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and Other Essays

Authors (s): Ramachandra Guha (Author)
Format: Softcover
ISBN-13: 9788178240015
Pages: x+267p., 23cm.
Pub. date: 01.01.2006, 3rd ed.
Publisher: Permanent Black
Language (s): English
Bagchee ID: BB7877
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Overview for An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and Other Essays

Inside every thinking Indian there is a Gandhian and a Marxist struggling for supremacy’, says Ramachandra Guha in the opening sentence of this wonderfully readable book of portraits and polemics. A substantial portion of this book expands on this salvo: it analyses Gandhians and pseudo-Gandhians, Marxists and anti-Marxists, Stalinists and democrats, scientists and historians, environmentalists and cricketers—in short, it examines and discusses all those who comprise the life of thinking Indians today. One section of the book, ‘The use and abuse of Gandhi’, is about Gandhi’s relations with Ambedkar, with the intelligentsia of Bengal, and with the west. It also profiles self-obsessed Gandhians such as Vinoba Bhave, green Gandhians such as J.C. Kumarappa, German Gandhians such as Herbert Fischer, and ‘editorial’ Gandhians such as K. Swaminathan. In the process, Guha illuminates little-known corners and aspects of Gandhi and Gandhiana. Another section, ‘Patriots’, looks at Nehru’s intellectual and personal legacy to India, it also reflects upon Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and the emergency. E.M.S. Namboodiripad sits unexpectedly with M.S. Subbulakshmi in this section. The Government of India’s cavalier and unscrupulous handout of the Great Indian Prize, Bharat Ratna, is exposed to full view. Karl Marx, Nirad Chaudhuri, Jayaprakash Narayanan, Khushwant Singh, E.P. Thompson, J.B.S. Haldane, Verrier Elwin, Philip Spratt and Mira Behn are some of the other unusual characters who people these pages. And finally, who can stop Ramachandra Guha writing the finest essays ever written on India’s ultimate heroes, its cricketers? Better pieces than the ones herein on C.K. Nayudu, Vijay Hazare and Bishan Bedi cannot be discovered. Maybe someone, someday, will write as well on Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar.
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