Four Faultlines of the Indian Republic
India is an ancient civilization but a new nation. As a political experiment it is very much a work in progress. This lecture provided a brief political history of India since Independence before discussing four key challenges facing the Republic in 2019; these are (1) inter-religious disharmony; (2) environmental abuse; (3) institutional decay; (4) the cult of personality.
Dr. Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bengaluru. His books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002), which was chosen by The Guardian as one of the ten best books on cricket ever written. India after Gandhi (Macmillan/Ecco Press, 2007; revised edition, 2017) was chosen as a book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and as a book of the decade in the Times of London and The Hindu. Dr. Guha’s most recent work is a two volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi. The first volume, Gandhi Before India (Knopf, 2014), was chosen as a notable book of the year by the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. The second volume, Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World (Knopf, 2018, was chosen as a notable book of the year by the New York Times and The Economist. Dr. Guha’s awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society prize, the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for excellence in social science research, the Ramnath Goenka Prize for excellence in journalism, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Fukuoka Prize for contributions to Asian studies.