Thursday, December 08, 2005

Amartya Sen ...

... in conversation with Homi Bhabha.

    Sen spoke mainly about how he came to write The Argumentative Indian. He cited India's heterodox tradition of debate, and the rise of Hindutva as factors prompting him to investigate further his 'argumentative tradition'. He also said that he took issue with modernists and sub-alternists equally. The former because in their fear of falling into a Hindutva trap they shied away from examining cultural aspects of ancient and medieval history, and sub-altern history (which he described in a truly memorable phrase as 'Aristotle meets the Indian peasant') which he argued divorces any form of intellectual history from lived reality. He ended by saying that many have seen his book as trying to combat erroneous foreign perceptions of India and that this was not his goal.
Antara has a nice post with more details.


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