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The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Amartya Sen

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8502010,560 (3.63)17
Member:eagleshack
Title:The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity
Authors:Amartya Sen
Info:Picador (2006), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Economics, Essays

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The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity by Amartya Sen (2005)

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» See also 17 mentions

English (17)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  All (20)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I'm afraid, all essays were botched and he had put pieces together. ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
I'm afraid, all essays were botched and he had put pieces together. ( )
  gottfried_leibniz | Apr 5, 2018 |
some interesting ideas, nothing really original...let us see...it is a collection of previous essays, and it feels like that. ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
Halfway thru this book and here are some thoughts. Hard to put a single description on this one, but here is a weak attempt. A very interesting collage of articles running the gamut and trying to encompass in it's vast swath the essence of Indian History including it's most enlightened citizens, Chanakya, Aryabhatta, Ashoka, Buddha, Gandhi, Tagore among others.

Some of the observations on attempts by western minds to grapple with India and Indian Thought. The early ones such as Alberuni, Hieun Tsan, Megasthenes got totally picled in Indian culture to an extent that they took back these learnings to enrich their own unique cultures. The spread of Buddhism in China is one good example.

The later ones especially the British were subject to some unique introspection. Their totally unwelcome presence is best described as swine at a garden party. Material wealth being their ultimate goal, legions of these minions of the flawed empire were sent to their prized colony to study the culture. This they did by dabbling in Sanskrit and as they got increasingly mesmerized by the complexities, depth and pithiness of this rich Indiana Jonesy journey, their parallel pursuits of subduing the local fiefdoms and exercisng their power through the barrel of the cannon continued. This is about the same time that they were being kicked out of the American Colonies.

This attempt at comprehension and the result was superficial at best and were not sincere, it's main goal being propaganda to win over the hearts and minds of the natives and not to truly gain a true understanding of the texts that were subject to academic scrutiny.

Once convinced that their grip over the subcontinent was complete, these subservient supplicants had the temerity to refute their earlier glowing accounts, maybe on express orders from high above. So here you have the earliest examples of stooping to conquer, a technique they would successfully deploy in their other colonies.

Later chapters include detailed analysis on myriad topics such as food distribution, population imbalance and even the nuclear arms race in the subcontinent.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
Halfway thru this book and here are some thoughts. Hard to put a single description on this one, but here is a weak attempt. A very interesting collage of articles running the gamut and trying to encompass in it's vast swath the essence of Indian History including it's most enlightened citizens, Chanakya, Aryabhatta, Ashoka, Buddha, Gandhi, Tagore among others.

Some of the observations on attempts by western minds to grapple with India and Indian Thought. The early ones such as Alberuni, Hieun Tsan, Megasthenes got totally picled in Indian culture to an extent that they took back these learnings to enrich their own unique cultures. The spread of Buddhism in China is one good example.

The later ones especially the British were subject to some unique introspection. Their totally unwelcome presence is best described as swine at a garden party. Material wealth being their ultimate goal, legions of these minions of the flawed empire were sent to their prized colony to study the culture. This they did by dabbling in Sanskrit and as they got increasingly mesmerized by the complexities, depth and pithiness of this rich Indiana Jonesy journey, their parallel pursuits of subduing the local fiefdoms and exercisng their power through the barrel of the cannon continued. This is about the same time that they were being kicked out of the American Colonies.

This attempt at comprehension and the result was superficial at best and were not sincere, it's main goal being propaganda to win over the hearts and minds of the natives and not to truly gain a true understanding of the texts that were subject to academic scrutiny.

Once convinced that their grip over the subcontinent was complete, these subservient supplicants had the temerity to refute their earlier glowing accounts, maybe on express orders from high above. So here you have the earliest examples of stooping to conquer, a technique they would successfully deploy in their other colonies.

Later chapters include detailed analysis on myriad topics such as food distribution, population imbalance and even the nuclear arms race in the subcontinent.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031242602X, Paperback)

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. The Argumentative Indian is "a bracing sweep through aspects of Indian history and culture, and a tempered analysis of the highly charged disputes surrounding these subjects--the nature of Hindu traditions, Indian identity, the country's huge social and economic disparities, and its current place in the world" (Sunil Khilnani, Financial Times, U.K.).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:31 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"In The Argumentative Indian, the Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen draws on a lifetime's study of his country's history and culture to suggest how we might understand India today in the light of its rich, long argumentative tradition." "Though Westerners may sometimes perceive it as a place of endless spirituality and mysticism, India has a long-standing tradition of skepticism and reasoning, and its contributions to mathematics, astronomy, linguistics, medicine and economics are imperishable evidence of this. In sixteen linked essays, Sen discusses aspects of this intellectual and political heritage, including philosophies of governance from Kautilya's and Ashoka's in the fourth and third centuries B.C.E. to Akbar's in the 1590s; the continuing relevance of India's relations with China more than a millennium ago; its old and well-organized calendars; the films of Satyajit Ray; and the debates between Gandhi and the visionary poet Rabindranath Tagore about India's past, present and future."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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