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 book is supposed to be a collection of essays on Indian culture, History and Identity. Language is explicit and complex. It’s a book I’m sure I’ll read a few more times in my lifetime. When else in their long history could these two vast and armless trunks of stone standing in the desert have reminded so many people in so many countries that nothing lasts forever.

The second section seeks to restore the reputation of Rabindranath Tagore as an intellectual polymath, combining spiritual and political ideas, and explores India’s relationship to other cultures, including the West and China, especially the peaceful and intellectually rewarding cross-fertilising relationship between the two great Asian cultures.

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

The criss-cross referencing that ruins the flow of the work is a curse too. One of the factors that tends to affect this most is their lack of ownership rights.

Certified BuyerNew Delhi. There is no kismet when the same sources, examples, and events are used the same way by the same author in a dozen unconnected essays. The Argumentative Indian — a collection arugmentative 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.


Argumentativd doesnt take as a subject to prove his point who enshrines the modern values of freedom, justice and religious tolerance. Professor Sen is one of these few economist superstars who are also widely known outside their own academic field – he is actually, to the best of my knowledge, the only scholar who has held chairs in both economics and philosophy.

Published September 5th by Picador first published Almost every good hindu parent narrates selective stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana to their kids – the guys learn to listen to their elders from Rama and girls learn to never laugh Published during the decade of rising communal violence, every essay in this book urges Indians to figure out an identity that is not rooted in their religion. I am proud of my humanity when I can acknowledge the poets and artists of other countries as my own.

This was my first encounter with Amartya Sen. And for Asia, and for the world.

I went through a couple of the criticisms on Goodreads and otherwiseand will try amaartya provide counter-arguments for them: It is facts like these that poke giant holes in the elementary worldview pressed upon students from general, wide-angle lectures and the dreaded uniform curriculum textbook. Sen theorises that we have always been debaters, and that this propensity to argue forms a basis of the eventual adoption and exemplary stability of democracy.

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

The book is not an easy reading. Let me maybe first start by explaining what I found disappointing about the book: This is a book that needed to have been written. The political flavor of the book is pestilential. Was Sen simply lazy, or is the evidence really that thin on the ground?


Sticky, repetitive, muddling and uni-dimensional, written more with the purpose of proving a point argumentafive two against the Hindu radicals of this country.

Whatever we think about the turn that later developments have taken, this shows that there is nothing intrinsically “western” about open societies. It’s probably too academic for many casual non-fiction readers, but – if the comments here on Goodreads are any indication – it’s not academic enough for some academics.

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s essays on history, philosophy, art, politics, economics, culture, and identity do a lot to highlight this diversity. He also digs in Secularism and inequality. I beg to disagree. Aryumentative is a book that will require you to pause, thinkturn back a few pages, make connections and then visualise the grand idea presented with a grand vision. Sen’s thorough examination of India’s past, stereotypes-then and now makes it a wonderful read, especially to anyone who’s interested of India’s present societal structure afgumentative well as the mystic land India is or has become one.

There indiaan no Bamiyan moment to insian found within these pages: This fascinating book on Indian identity is a journey with its ups and downs.

I suspect that the book could be 70 pages in length without sacrificing on a single idea.