Notes

ESSAY 1. THE ARGUMENTATIVE INDIAN

1. Arjuna is supposed to have ended with abject surrender: ‘I stand firm with my doubts dispelled. I shall act according to Thy word’ (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, The Bhagavadgita, New Delhi: HarperCollins, 1993, p. 381).

2. In collaboration with Swami Prabhavananda (Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1989).

3. Jawaharlal Nehru, who quotes Humboldt, does however point out that ‘every school of thought and philosophy … interprets [the Gītā] in its own way’ (The Discovery of India, Calcutta: The Signet Press, 1946; repr. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1981, pp. 108–9).

4. T. S. Eliot, ‘The Dry Salvages’, in Four Quartets (London: Faber & Faber, 1944), pp. 29–31.

5. For a good discussion of some other interesting arguments in the Mahābhārata, see Bimal Matilal, Moral Dilemmas in the Mahabharata (Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass, 1989). See also his collection of papers, edited by Jonardan Ganeri, The Collected Essays of Bimal Krishna Matilal, vol. ii:Ethics and Epics (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). Shashi Tharoor conveys well the excitements offered by the stories and substories in the Mahābhārata, in his adapted tale, The Great Indian Story (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990).

6. See Len Giovannitti and Fred Freed, The Decision to Drop the Bomb (London: Methuen, 1957).

7. See In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: USAEC Transcript of the Hearing before Personnel Security Board (Washington, DC: Government Publishing Office, 1954). See also the play, based on these hearings, by Heinar Kipphardt, In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, trans. Ruth Speirs (London: Methuen, 1967).

8. This extract and the others that follow, on the Gārgī–Yājñavalkya debate, are taken from Brihadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad, sections 3. 8. 1 to 3. 8. 12. They correspond to the English translations of this Upaniṣad published by Sri Ramkrishna Math (Madras, 1951), pp. 242–53, and by Advaita Ashrama (Calcutta, 1965), pp. 512–29, but the English versions given here include my slight emendations of these earlier translations, based on the original Sanskrit text.

9. See Antonia Fraser, Boadicea’s Chariot: The Warrior Queens (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988). For other biographies of the Rani, who – widowed at an early age – rose to be a major leader in the growing resistance to British rule and died valiantly on the battlefield, see Joyce Lebra-Chapman, The Rani of Jhansi: A Study of Female Heroism in India (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986), and Mahasweta Devi, The Queen of Jhansi, translated from Bengali by Mandira and Sagaree Sengupta (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2000).

10. Brihadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad, sections 2. 4. 2 and 2. 4. 3; in the Advaita Ashrama translation, pp. 352–4.

11. Draupadī was in fact married to all five Pāṇḍava brothers, of whom Yudhiṣṭhira was the eldest: this is one of the rare cases of polyandry in the epics.

12. Trans. Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Design and Rhetoric in a Sanskrit Court Epic (New York: State University of New York Press, 2003), pp. 191–4.

13. On these references and the discussion that follows, see Kshiti Mohan Sen, Hinduism (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1961, 2005), pp. 27–31.

14. The proposal to dilute democracy came from no less a statesman than Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. The firmness with which one of the poorest electorates in the world rejected the proposed move to authoritarianism had a salutary effect in discouraging other temptations in that direction. After being voted out of office, Indira Gandhi changed tack, strongly reasserted her earlier commitment to democracy, and regained the Prime Ministership in the general elections of 1980.

15. For a discussion of this general connection as well as illustrations from the histories of various parts of Asia and Africa, in addition to Europe, see my ‘Democracy and Its Global Roots’, New Republic, Nov. 2003.

16. See John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971). Indeed, Rawls saw ‘the exercise of public reason’ as the central feature of democracy: see his Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, ed. Erin Kelly (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001), p. 50. See also Juergen Habermas, Toward a Rational Society (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), and The Theory of Communicative Action (Boston: Beacon Press, 1987).

17. James M. Buchanan, ‘Social Choice, Democracy, and Free Markets’, Journal of Political Economy, 62 (1954), p. 120.

18. See my ‘Democracy and Its Global Roots’.

19. As explained in the Preface, I have taken the liberty of spelling Aśoka as Ashoka, since that name is more familiar to people outside India in that spelling.

20. Robert’s Rules of Order: Simplified and Applied, Webster’s New World (New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1999).

21. See Irfan Habib (ed.), Akbar and His India (Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), for a set of fine essays investigating the beliefs and policies of Akbar as well as the intellectual influences that led him to his heterodox position. Two of the essays in this volume (‘Secularism and Its Discontents’ and ‘India through Its Calendars’) include discussions of the intellectual significance of the interreligious interchanges in Akbar’s time. Shirin Moosvi’s book Episodes in the Life of Akbar: Contemporary Records and Reminiscences (New Delhi: National Book Trust, 1994), gives a vividly informative account of how Akbar arrived at social decisions through the use of reasoning.

22. Akbar was, obviously, not obliged, as the emperor, to follow what emerged in the discussions he arranged (they had only an advisory role), and he could have stopped the deliberations that occurred at his invitation whenever he chose. Since the freedom to present their respective viewpoints that the participants enjoyed in practice would have been conditional on Akbar’s acceptance, it would not count as ‘genuine freedom’ when assessed in the ‘republican’ perspective (as advanced by Philip Pettit, Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), or in terms of the ‘neo-Roman’ theory of freedom (as developed by Quentin Skinner,Liberty before Liberalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

23. On different concepts of secularism, see the collection of essays in Rajeev Bhargava (ed.), Secularism and Its Critics (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998).

24. On the histories involved, see Shalva Weil (ed.), India’s Jewish Heritage (Mumbai: Marg Publications, 2002), and the literature cited there.

25. There were also pre-Christian Greek settlements in north-west India from the second century BCE. On the early relations between India, Greece and Rome, see the lucidly illuminating essay by John Mitchener, ‘India, Greece and Rome: East–West Contacts in Classical Times’ (mimeographed, 2003), and also the large literature cited there.

26. These statements of Ashoka occur in Edict XII (on ‘toleration’) at Erragudi; I am using here the translation presented by Vincent A. Smith in Asoka: The Buddhist Emperor of India (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909), pp. 170–71, except for some very minor emendations based on the original Sanskrit text.

27. Translation in Vincent A. Smith, Akbar: The Great Mogul (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917), p. 257.

28. See Iqtidar Alam Khan, ‘Akbar’s Personality Traits and World Outlook: A Critical Reappraisal’, in Habib (ed.), Akbar and His India, p. 78.

29. Akbar’s principal adviser, Abul Fazl, was a great scholar in Sanskrit as well as Arabic and Persian. One of the generals in Akbar’s forces, Rahim (or Abdurrahim Khankhana), himself a Muslim, wrote rather beautiful poems that draw, inter alia, on Sanskrit literature and Hindu philosophy.

30. See Kshiti Mohan Sen, Medieval Mysticism of India, with a Foreword by Rabindranath Tagore (1930), and Hinduism (1961, 2005).

31. Edict XII, in Smith, Asoka, p. 171; italics added.

32. A. C. Bouquet, Comparative Religion (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 5th edn., 1956), p. 112. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the great commentator on Indian philosophy, went even further, and argued that ‘the chief mark of Indian philosophy in general is its concentration upon the spiritual’ (S. Radhakrishnan and S. A. Moore, in the introduction to their collection, A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957, p. xxiii). That point of view is disputed, with textual evidence, by Bimal Matilal (who was, as it happens, a successor of Radhakrishnan as Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford): Perception: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).

33. See Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, Lokayata: A Study of Ancient Indian Materialism (New Delhi: People’s Publishing House, 1959), and Indian Atheism (Calcutta: Manisha, 1959).

34. In a series of recent studies on ancient India in Bengali (including one on ‘doubt and atheism in the Vedic literature’, 2000), Sukumari Bhattacharji has substantially enriched our understanding of the nature and reach of this heterodoxy. Even Yājñavalkya, who was referred to earlier as being identified by the woman interlocutor, Gārgī, as the best-informed scholar on God, gives some evidence of entertaining serious doubts about the existence and role of God. Among Sukumari Bhattacharji’s earlier contributions, those in English include: The Indian Theogony (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970; London: Penguin, 2000); Literature in the Vedic Age, 2 vols. (Calcutta: K. P. Bagchi, 1984, 1986); and Classical Sanskrit Literature (Calcutta: Orient Longman, 1990).

35. D. N. Jha, Ancient India (New Delhi: Manohar, 1977, rev. edn. 1998), pp. 69–70.

36. The Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha or Review of Different Systems of Hindu Philosophy by Madhava Acharya, trans. E. B. Cowell and A. E. Gough (London: Trübner, 1882; repr. New Delhi: Cosmo Publications, 1976).

37. Ibid., p. 2.

38. Ibid., pp. 2–3.

39. Ibid., p. 10.

40. Arthaśāstra can be literally translated as: ‘the discipline of material prosperity’. For an English translation, see R. P. Kangle, Kautilya’s Arthasastra (Bombay: University of Bombay, 1970). Kauṭilya’s approach to politics as well as economics is governed by an overarchingly consequential priority. This is discussed, inter alia, in my Money and Value: On the Ethics and Economics of Finance, The First Baffi Lecture (Rome: Bank of Italy, 1991), repr. in Economics and Philosophy, 9 (1993).

41. On this, see my Inaugural Address to the Indian History Congress in January 2001: ‘History and the Enterprise of Knowledge’, distributed by the Congress; repr. in New Humanist, 116 (2 June 2001).

42. On this, see particularly Matilal, Perception.

43. Trans. Makhanlal Sen, Ramayana: From the Original Valmiki (Calcutta: Rupa, 1989), pp. 174–5.

44. Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha, trans. Cowell and Gough, p. 6.

45. Ibid.

46. Ibid. On the epistemological issues pursued here and in related texts, see also Matilal, Perception.

47. See Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, Lokayata, pp. 2–3; and Ramendranath Ghosh, in his Bengali essay on ‘Cārvāka Materialism’ in Dipak Bhattacharya, Moinul Hassan and Kumkum Ray (eds.), India and Indology: Professor Sukumari Bhattacharji Felicitation Volume (Kolkata [Calcutta]: National Book Agency, 2004), p. 242.

48. Repr. in B. H. G. Wormald, Francis Bacon: History, Politics and Science, 1561–1626 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 356–7.

49. Alberuni’s India, trans. E. C. Sachau, ed. A. T. Embree (New York: Norton, 1971), p. 111. Further discussion of this controversy can be found in my essay ‘History and the Enterprise of Knowledge’.

50. Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1994), p. 21.

51. In the presence of multiple and interdependent causation, which factor we decide to emphasize must depend on what features are being highlighted already. Facing a different act of balancing in the context of British history, Eric Hobsbawm discussed, half a century ago, why it was important for Marxist historians (he was writing as one) to bring out the role of ‘ideals, passions and movements’ (increasingly neglected by orthodox historians), rather than concentrating mainly on material conditions – the traditional focus of Marxist analysis: ‘In the pre-Namier days Marxists regarded it as one of their chief historical duties to draw attention to the material bases of politics.… But since bourgeois historians have adopted what is a particular form of vulgar materialism, Marxists have had to remind them that history is the struggle of men for ideas, as well as a reflection of their material environment’ (‘Where Are British Historians Going?’, Marxist Quarterly, 2 Jan. 1955, p. 22).

52. Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of Man (London: Unwin, 1931, 2nd edn., 1961), p. 105.

53. From Gitanjali. See also Essay 5.

ESSAY 2. INEQUALITY, INSTABILITY AND VOICE

1. See Louis Dumont, Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980). For critical assessment of Dumont’s reading of Indian stratification and related theses, see André Béteille, The Idea of Natural Inequality and Other Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983); Arjun Appadurai, ‘Is Homo Hierarchicus?’, American Anthropologist, 13 (1986); Dipankar Gupta (ed.), Social Stratification (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1991); Nicholas Dirks, ‘Castes of Mind’, Representations, 37 (1992), and Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).

2. See e.g. Charles Taylor, Philosophy and the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986); and Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth, Redistribution or Recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange (London: Verso Books, 2003). The underlying issues in the idea of recognition are also discussed by Emma Rothschild, ‘Dignity or Meanness’, Adam Smith Review, 1 (2004).

3. Ambedkar himself played an important part in the policy of affirmative actions in favour of disadvantaged social groups (the ‘scheduled castes’ and ‘scheduled tribes’) included in the constitution of the Indian Republic. But his own sense of growing social pessimism led him, eventually, to embrace the egalitarianism of Buddhism, in a powerfully evocative public ceremony of religious conversion. See The Essential Writings of B. R. Ambedkar, ed. Valerian Rodrigues (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002).

4. The connections are discussed in Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, Hunger and Public Action (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), and India: Development and Participation (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). Activist movements for women’s rights and equity, in different forms varying from self-help organizations to participation in public discussion through meetings and publications (Manushi, ed. Madhu Kishwar, a pioneering feminist journal), have had considerable success in changing the agenda of political and social change in India. An engaging account of some of the developments can be found in Radha Kumar’s elegant book, The History of Doing: An Illustrated Account of Movements for Women’s Rights and Feminism in India (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 2nd edn., 1997). The variety of issues in which the women’s movement have to be engaged include the relatively neglected field of ownership in general and land ownership in particular, on which see the classic study of Bina Agarwal, A Field of One’s Own (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). The social correlates of the new departures of the ‘invisible women’ are beautifully described by Anees Jung, Beyond the Courtyard: A Sequel of Unveiling India (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2003).

5. There are also important issues of governance, in particular what Mark Tully and Gillian Wright call the ‘peculiarly Indian form of bad governance’ (India in Slow Motion, London: Penguin Books, 2003, p. xv). However, the prospects of improving governance in India are linked, ultimately, with the vigour of its democratic practice, as Tully and Wright themselves note. On that connection, see also Drèze and Sen, India: Development and Participation, ch. 10.

6. For references to these and related points of view, see Essay 1, and also Kshiti Mohan Sen, Hinduism (1961, 2005).

7. Yi Jing, A Record of the Buddhist Religions as Practised in India and Malay Archipelago, trans. J. Takakusu (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1896), p. 136.

8. Indeed, even the pre-imperial travellers from Britain also tended to see India as a country. This clearly applies, for example, to that determined English tourist, Ralph Fitch, who roamed around India in the sixteenth century. See William Foster (ed.), Early Travels in India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1921).

9. E. M. Forster, ‘Nine Gems of Ujjain’, in Abinger Harvest (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1936, 1974), pp. 324–7.

10. Trans. from Barbara Stoler Miller, The Plays of Kalidasa (Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass, 1999), pp. 5–6.

11. The history of the partition has been the subject of considerable critical analysis. See particularly Ayesha Jalal, The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). See also Gyanendra Pandey’s analysis of the causation, intensity and lasting effects of the violence in the process of partition, Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

12. The role of civil society for the development of a South Asian community is illuminatingly discussed by Rehman Sobhan, Rediscovering a South Asian Community: Civil Society in Search of Its Future (Colombo: International Centre for Ethnic Studies, 1997).

ESSAY 3. INDIA: LARGE AND SMALL

1. Kshiti Mohan Sen, Hinduism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961), pp. 39–40.

2. The translation is from Makhanlal Sen, Ramayana: From the Original Valmiki (Calcutta: Rupa, 1989), p. 174, with minor emendations based on the original Sanskrit text.

3. On the nature and use of these claims, see Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India (London: Penguin Books, extended edn., 2003), pp. 150–52.

4. The contrast between that broad tradition and the narrowness of contemporary political Hinduism is brought out in several of the essays in Tapan Raychaudhuri’s wide-ranging anthology of essays on colonial and post-colonial India, Perceptions, Emotions, Sensibilities: Essays on India’s Colonial and Post-Colonial Experiences (New Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

5. In addition to the consolidating role that Indian nationalism played during the struggle for independence, it did also have other – including some less agreeable – social features. See, among other contributions, Bipan Chandra, Amales Tripathi and Barun De, Freedom Struggle (New Delhi: National Book Trust, 1972); Ayesha Jalal, The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); and Barun De, Nationalism as a Binding Force: The Dialectics of the Historical Course of Nationalism (Calcutta: Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, 1987).

6. The discussion here draws on an earlier essay, ‘What Is the Indian Nation?’, Taj Magazine (2003).

7. The book was originally published under the nom de plume ‘A Maratha’ (Hindutva, Nagpur: V. V. Kelkar, 1923). It was later republished under Savarkar’s own name in various editions, including Hindutva (Bombay: Veer Savarkar Prakashan, 6th edn., 1989).

8. Indeed, Savarkar himself had gone on trial – and been released on somewhat technical grounds – for alleged complicity in Gandhi’s murder. This history is discussed in some detail by A. G. Noorani, Savarkar and Hindutva (Delhi: Leftword Books, 2002). It is a sign of how the times have changed that a portrait of Veer Savarkar was installed in 2004 in the central hall of the Indian parliament, on the initiative of the coalition government (led by the BJP) then in office in New Delhi, even though many parliamentarians boycotted the event.

9. On different aspects of sectarian conflicts and challenges to secularism in India, see Veena Das (ed.), Mirrors of Violence (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990), including, among other essays, Ashis Nandy, ‘The Politics of Secularism and the Recovery of Religious Tolerance’; K. M. Panikkar (ed.), Communalism in India: History, Politics and Culture (New Delhi: Manohar, 1991); Upendra Baxi and Bhikhu Parekh (eds.), Crisis and Change in Contemporary India (New Delhi: Sage, 1995); Rafiq Zakaria, Widening Divide: An Insight into Hindu–Muslim Relations (London: Viking, 1995); Kaushik Basu and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (eds.), Unravelling the Nation: Sectarian Conflict and India’s Secular Identity (Delhi: Penguin, 1996); Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal (eds.), Nationalism, Democracy and Development: State and Politics in India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997); Achin Vanaik, The Furies of Indian Communalism (London: Verso, 1997); Rajeev Bhargava, Secularism and Its Critics (1998); Neera Chandoke,Beyond Secularism: The Rights of Religious Minorities (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); A. G. Noorani, The RSS and the BJP (Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 2001); Ashutosh Varshney, Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), among other contributions.

10. The failure of the ruling Congress government to prevent, and even to probe adequately, the riots following Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, in which a great many Sikhs lost their lives, has also seriously tarnished Congress’s political record.

11. Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996).

12. Alberuni’s India, trans. E. C. Sachau, ed. A. T. Embree (New York: Norton, 1971), p. 22.

13. Rabindranath Tagore, ‘The Message of Indian History’, Visva-Bharati Quarterly, 22 (1902), p. 105. Sunil Khilnani discusses the nature of this diagnosis in his insightful book The Idea of India (London: Penguin Books, extended edn. 2003), pp. 166–70.

14. Dinesh Chandra Sen, History of Bengali Language and Literature (Delhi: Gian Publishing House, 1986), pp. 10–12.

15. The sense of astonishment and disapproval about BJP’s use of its official position to radically rewrite Indian history on its own lines, often in direct conflict with well-known features of India’s past, also had a political impact against the BJP, in alienating many Indian intellectuals, who were previously sitting on the fence. There is a lesson here also for the other political parties not to deploy temporal political strength in messing with the history that children have to read. See also Ramachandra Guha’s argument that the left had also earlier used their own official position to give a particular direction to the study of Indian history (‘The Absent Liberal: An Essay on Politics and Intellectual Life’, Economic and Political Weekly, 15 Dec. 2001). Even though that diagnosis of events has been contested, Guha’s demand for efforts to pursue objectivity and to avoid partisan bias in producing textbooks and other official accounts of history is surely important.

16. One of the first acts of the reconstituted Indian Council of Historical Research was to put into cold storage a history of India’s struggle for independence (called ‘Towards Freedom’) that had been commissioned earlier on – before its reorganization – by the ICHR itself. The decision was apparently connected with the expectation – probably correct enough – that the authors of the study, two distinguished historians (K. M. Panikkar and Sumit Sarkar), were likely to go into the divisive role of Hindu political activists during India’s struggle for national independence.

17. Hindusthan Times, 5 Oct. 2002.

18. ‘Inventing History’, Hindu, 14 Oct. 2002.

19. Chitra Srinivas, a history teacher in a school in New Delhi, who was asked to comment on the textbooks but whose advice (like those of many other history teachers) was comprehensively neglected, commented later that the aim of the textbooks seemed to be the generating of the feeling ‘that our freedom struggle was basically a religious struggle against Christian missionaries and Muslim communalists’. Srinivas, who comes from a Hindu background herself, lamented: ‘The problem is I love India and admire its multicultural society too much.… I am unable to accept distortions in the writing of India’s history that will go against the very spirit of her existence’ (‘Whither Teaching of History?’, in Saffronised and Substandard, New Delhi: SAHMAT, 2002, pp. 69–71).

20. See Mortimer Wheeler, Indus Civilization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953); John Mitchener, Studies in the Indus Valley Inscriptions (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1978); B. B. Lal and S. P. Gupta (eds.), Frontiers of the Indus Civilization (New Delhi: Books & Books and Indian Archaeological Society, 1984); Bridget and Raymond Allchin, Origins of a Civilization: The Prehistory and Early Archaeology of South Asia (New Delhi: Viking, 1997); D. N. Jha, Ancient India: In Historical Outline (New Delhi: Manohar, 1998).

21. Aside from these specific misattributions of scientific history, there is a general methodological problem, which Meera Nanda has discussed in her highly engaging book, Prophets Facing Backward: Postmodern Critiques and Hindu Nationalism in India (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003). Nanda argues that at the heart of the Hindutva ideology lies ‘a postmodernist assumption: that each society has its own norms of reasonableness, logic, rules of evidence, and conception of truth’. She presents a forceful critique both of that assumption and of the use she argues the Hindutva movement makes of that assumption.

22. For example, the Social Science textbook made by NCERT for Class VI attributed Āryabhaṭa’s fifth-century clarifications about the diurnal motion of the earth – as opposed to the sun going round the earth – to the Vedic period, thousands of years earlier. See the extract in Saffronised and Substandard, p. 31.

23. Natwar Jha and N. S. Rajaram, The Deciphered Indus Script (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 2000).

24. ‘Horseplay in Harappa’, Frontline, 17 (13 Oct. 2000).

25. See R. E. Latham (ed.), The Travels of Marco Polo (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1958), pp. 250–51.

26. As Aijaz Ahmad has argued, commenting on the violence of the historical process that led to the partition of India, ‘neither the high-caste Hindu nor the genteel and propertied Muslim, neither the fatefully communal forms of our modernity nor the exclusivist practices of our anti-colonial reform movements’ were entirely free of cultivating the ‘savageries of the politics of identity’ (Lineages of the Present: Ideology and Politics in Contemporary South Asia, London: Verso, 2000, pp. xi–xii).

27. From a letter to C. F. Andrews, dated 13 March 1921, published in Letters to a Friend (London: Allen & Unwin, 1928). See also Essay 5.

ESSAY 4. THE DIASPORA AND THE WORLD

1. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 71.

2. Trans. Vincent A. Smith, Akbar: The Great Mogul (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917), p. 257.

3. See M. Athar Ali, ‘The Perception of India in Akbar and Abu’l Fazl’, in Irfan Habib (ed.), Akbar and His India (Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 220, and also my essay, ‘The Reach of Reason: East and West’, New York Review of Books, 47 (20 July 2000), included in this volume as Essay 13.

4. Other features of the many-sided colonial impact on ideas and emotions in India have been studied by a number of distinguished historians in India. See e.g. Tapan Raychaudhuri, Perceptions, Emotions, Sensibilities: Essays on India’s Colonial and Post-Colonial Experiences (New Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), and Sumit Sarkar, A Critique of Colonial India (Calcutta: Papyrus Publishing House, 2000). The important subject of the origins of nationality in the subcontinent during British rule is investigated in C. A. Bayly, Origins of Nationality in South Asia: Patriotism and Ethical Government in the Making of Modern India (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

5. T. B. Macaulay, ‘Indian Education: Minute of the 2nd February, 1835’, repr. in G. M. Young (ed.), Macaulay: Prose and Poetry (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1952), p. 722.

6. The gripping story that William Dalrymple tells in his masterly novel White Mughals (London: Flamingo, 2002) about love in eighteenth-century India, when a third of the British in India were living with Indian women, is a distinctly early empire phenomenon. As the Raj solidified over the following century, with its theories of distance between the British and Indian peoples (a line of thinking of which James Mill was a principal theorist), the mainstream of social relations radically changed, even though there were many individual cases of close personal ties stretching over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

7. Ranajit Guha, Dominance without Hegemony (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997).

8. Max Müller, Sacred Books of the East, 50 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879–1910).

9. James Mill, The History of British India (London, 1817; repr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975), pp. 223–4.

10. Quoted ibid., Introduction by John Clive, p. viii.

11. As Romila Thapar has noted, James Mill’s reading of India, which gained ground rapidly and by the middle of the nineteenth century became almost ‘axiomatic’ in England to ‘the understanding of Indian society and politics’, ‘suited the imperial requirements’ rather well (see her Interpreting Early India, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1982, pp. 5–6, 33–4).

12. Alberuni’s India, trans. E. C. Sachau, ed. A. T. Embree (New York: Norton, 1971), pp. 276–7.

13. Mill, The History of British India, pp. 225–6.

14. Ibid., p. 247.

15. On the importance of ‘third-person perspectives’ in the development of ‘identities’ in the presence of asymmetries of power, see Akeel Bilgrami, ‘What Is a Muslim?’, in Anthony Appiah and Henry L. Louis Gates (eds.), Identities (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1995). See also Ayesha Jalal, Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam since 1850 (London: Routledge, 2000).

16. Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 6.

17. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India (Calcutta: Signet Press, 1946; centenary edn., Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989).

18. See The Essential Writings of B. R. Ambedkar, ed. Valerian Rodrigues (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002), particularly essay 32 (‘Basic Features of the Indian Constitution’).

19. An interesting comparison can be made between the ideas of two of the stalwarts of political thinking in ancient India, viz. Kauṭilya and Ashoka. The continuing relevance of their respective viewpoints and the contrasts between them have been engagingly examined by Bruce Rich, To Uphold the World: The Message of Ashoka and Kautilya for the 21st Century (forthcoming).

20. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697, trans. W. G. Aston (Tokyo: Tuttle, 1972), pp. 128–33.

21. Nakamura Hajime, ‘Basic Features of the Legal, Political, and Economic Thought of Japan’, in Charles A. Moore (ed.), The Japanese Mind: Essentials of Japanese Philosophy and Culture (Tokyo: Tuttle, 1973), p. 144.

22. In fact, the Diamond Sutra was translated into Chinese many times – perhaps even a dozen times. But it is Kumārajīva’s translation of this Sanskrit document in 402 CE that was printed in what became the first dated printed book in the world. On this, see Essay 8 below.

23. The scroll was found in 1907 by the archaeologist Sir Marc Auriel Stein in one of the ‘Caves of the Thousand Buddhas’ in north-west China. The given date of printing translates, in the Gregorian calendar, as 11 May 868.

24. See Thomas McEvilley, The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies (New York: Allworth Press, 2002), pp. 368–70. In general, McEvilley provides an admirably illuminating account of Greek–Indian interactions in the ancient world.

25. Alberuni’s India, p. 20. The Arabic word then used for Hindu or Indian was the same, and I have replaced Sachau’s choice of the English word ‘Hindu’ in this passage by ‘Indian’, since the reference is to the inhabitants of the country.

ESSAY 5. TAGORE AND HIS INDIA

1. Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of Man (London: Unwin, 1931, 2nd edn., 1961), p. 105. The extensive interactions between Hindu and Muslim parts of Indian culture (in religious beliefs, civic codes, painting, sculpture, literature, music and astronomy) have been discussed by Kshiti Mohan Sen in Bharate Hindu Mushalmaner Jukto Sadhana (in Bengali) (Calcutta: Visva-Bharati, 1949: extended edn., 1990) and Hinduism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961, 2005).

2. Rabindranath’s father Debendranath had in fact joined a reformist religious group, the Brahmo Samaj, which rejected many contemporary Hindu practices as aberrations from the ancient Hindu texts.

3. Selected Letters of Rabindranath Tagore, ed. Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). This essay draws on my Foreword to this collection. For important background material on Rabindranath Tagore and his reception in the West, see also the editors’ Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man(New York: St Martin’s Press, 1995), and Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology (New York: Picador, 1997).

4. See Romain Rolland and Gandhi Correspondence, with a Foreword by Jawaharlal Nehru (New Delhi: Government of India, 1976), pp. 12–13.

5. On Dartington Hall, the school, and the Elmhirsts, see Michael Young, The Elmhirsts of Dartington: The Creation of an Utopian Community (London: Routledge, 1982).

6. Yasunari Kawabata, The Existence and Discovery of Beauty, trans. V. H. Viglielmo (Tokyo: Mainichi Newspapers, 1969), pp. 56–7.

7. W. B. Yeats, Introduction, in Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali (London: Macmillan, 1913).

8. The importance of ambiguity and incomplete description in Tagore’s poetry provides some insight into the striking thesis of William Radice (one of the major English translators of Tagore) that ‘his blend of poetry and prose is all the more truthful for being incomplete’ (Introduction to his Rabindranath Tagore: Selected Short Stories,Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991, p. 28).

9. Reported in Amita Sen, Anando Sharbokaje (in Bengali) (Calcutta: Tagore Research Institute, 2nd edn., 1996), p. 132.

10. B. R. Nanda, Mahatma Gandhi (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1958; paperback, 1989), p. 149.

11. The economic issues are discussed in my Choice of Techniques (Oxford: Blackwell, 1960), appendix D.

12. Mohandas Gandhi, quoted by Krishna Kripalani, Tagore: A Life (New Delhi: Orient Longman, 1961, 2nd edn., 1971), pp. 171–2.

13. For fuller accounts of the events, see Dutta and Robinson, Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man, ch. 25, and Ketaki Kushari Dyson, In Your Blossoming Flower-Garden: Rabindranath Tagore and Victoria Ocampo (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1988).

14. Published in English translation in Rabindranath Tagore: A Centenary Volume, 1861–1961 (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1961), with an Introduction by Jawaharlal Nehru.

15. English trans. from Kripalani, Tagore: A Life, p. 185.

16. ‘Einstein and Tagore Plumb the Truth’, New York Times Magazine, 10 Aug. 1930; repr. in Dutta and Robinson, Selected Letters of Rabindranath Tagore.

17. Hilary Putnam, The Many Faces of Realism (La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1987). On related issues, see also Thomas Nagel, The View from Nowhere (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

18. Isaiah Berlin, ‘Rabindranath Tagore and the Consciousness of Nationality’, in his The Sense of Reality: Studies in Ideas and Their History (Boston: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997), p. 265.

19. E. P. Thompson, Introduction to Tagore’s Nationalism (London, Macmillan, 1991), p. 10.

20. For a lucid and informative analysis of the role of Subhas Chandra Bose and his brother Sarat in Indian politics, see Leonard A. Gordon, Brothers against the Raj: A Biography of Indian Nationalists Sarat and Subhas Chandra Bose (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).

21. Kawabata made considerable use of Tagore’s ideas, and even built on Tagore’s thesis that it ‘is easier for a stranger to know what it is in [Japan] which is truly valuable for all mankind’ (The Existence and Discovery of Beauty, pp. 55–8).

22. Tagore, Letters from Russia, trans. from Bengali by Sasadhar Sinha (Calcutta: Visva-Bharati, 1960), p. 108.

23. See Satyajit Ray, Our Films Their Films (Calcutta: Disha Book/Orient Longman, 3rd edn., 1993). I have tried to discuss these issues in my Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture, included in this book as Essay 6. See also Andrew Robinson, Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (London: André Deutsch, 1989).

24. Guardian, 1 Aug. 1991.

25. Shashi Tharoor, India: From Midnight to the Millennium (New York: Arcade Publishing), p. 1.

26. On this and related issues, see Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), particularly ch. 6, and also Drèze and Sen (eds.), Indian Development: Selected Regional Perspectives (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996).

27. Edward Thompson, Rabindranath Tagore: Poet and Dramatist (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1926).

28. Quoted in Tharoor, India, p. 9.

ESSAY 6. OUR CULTURE, THEIR CULTURE

1. Satyajit Ray, Our Films Their Films (Calcutta: Disha Book/Orient Longman, 3rd edn., 1993), p. 154.

2. An insightful analysis of the different processes involved in cultural interactions and their consequences can be found in Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994).

3. See particularly Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).

4. See W. S. Wong, ‘The Real World of Human Rights’, mimeographed, Vienna, 1993.

5. Repr. in Our Films Their Films, pp. 42–3.

6. Ibid., p. 12.

7. Ibid., p. 160.

8. Ibid., p. 5.

9. Ray, My Years with Apu: A Memoir (New Delhi: Viking, 1994), p. 4.

10. In addition to Satyajit Ray’s own autobiographical accounts in Our Films Their Films and My Years with Apu, his involvement in ideas and arts from many different places is discussed in some detail in Andrew Robinson’s Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (London: André Deutsch, 1989).

11. Ray, Our Films Their Films, p. 9.

12. Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments, p. 5.

13. The ‘last summer’ referred to here was the summer of 1995, preceding the Ray Lecture given in December 1995. In the original version of this Satyajit Ray Lecture, I also discussed the transmigration of mathematical ideas and terms from and to India, often going full circle. That discussion has been dropped in this reprint, since similar points have been made in other essays in this volume (see e.g. pp. 178–9).

14. Isaiah Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. xl.

15. Orlando Patterson, Freedom, vol. i: Freedom in the Making of Western Culture (New York: Basic Books, 1991).

16. I have discussed this issue in ‘Is Coercion a Part of Asian Values?’, presented at a conference in Hakone, Japan, in June 1995. A later version of this paper was given as a Morgenthau Memorial Lecture at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, on 1 May 1997, published by the Council as a pamphlet, and also as an essay, ‘Human Rights and Asian Values’, New Republic, 14 and 21 July 1997.

ESSAY 7. INDIAN TRADITIONS AND THE WESTERN IMAGINATION

1. Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Random House, 1978; Vintage Books, 1979), p. 5; italics added.

2. Ibid., p. 5.

3. In the earlier article, ‘India and the West’, on which this essay draws, the third category was called ‘investigative’ rather than ‘curatorial’; the latter is more specific and I believe somewhat more appropriate.

4. See Alberuni’s India, trans. E. C. Sachau, ed. A. T. Embree (New York: Norton, 1971).

5. See Wilhelm Halbfass, India and Europe: An Essay in Understanding (New York: State University of New York Press, 1988), ch. 2.

6. Alberuni’s India, p. 246. The same Arabic word was commonly used for ‘Hindu’ and ‘Indian’ in Alberuni’s time. While the English translator had chosen to use ‘Hindus’ here, I have replaced it with ‘Indians’ in view of the context (to wit, Alberuni’s observations on the inhabitants of India). This is an issue of some interest in the context of the main theme of this essay, since the language used here in the English translation to refer to the inhabitants of India implicitly imposes a circumscribed ascription.

7. Ibid., p. 20.

8. William Jones, ‘Objects of Enquiry During My Residence in Asia’, in The Collected Works of Sir William Jones, 13 vols. (London: J. Stockdale, 1807; repr. New York: New York University Press, 1993).

9. I have discussed the ‘positional’ nature of objectivity, depending on the placing of the observer and analyst vis-à-vis the objects being studied, in ‘Positional Objectivity’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 22 (1993), and ‘On Interpreting India’s Past’, in Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal (eds.), Nationalism, Democracy and Development: State and Politics in India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997).

10. Quoted in Eric Stokes, The English Utilitarians and India (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), p. 250.

11. James Mill, The History of British India (London, 1817; repr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975), pp. 225–6.

12. Ibid., p. 248.

13. Ibid., p. 247.

14. Alberuni’s India, pp. 174–5.

15. For a modern account of the complex history of this mathematical development, see Georges Ifrah, From One to Zero (New York: Viking, 1985).

16. Mill, The History of British India, pp. 219–20.

17. Mill found in Jones’s beliefs about early Indian mathematics and astronomy ‘evidence of the fond credulity with which the state of society among the Hindus was for a time regarded’, and he felt particularly amused that Jones had made these attributions ‘with an air of belief’ (Mill, The History of British India, pp. 223–4). On the substantive side, Mill amalgamates the distinct claims regarding (1) the principle of attraction, (2) the daily rotation of the earth, and (3) the movement of the earth around the sun. Āryabhaṭa’s and Brahmagupta’s concern was mainly with the first two, on which specific assertions were made, unlike the third.

18. Mill, The History of British India, pp. 223–4.

19. Alberuni’s India, pp. 276–7.

20. Ibid., p. 277.

21. See Harold Isaacs, Scratches on Our Minds (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1958); repr. as Images of Asia: American Views of India and China (New York: Capricorn Books, 1958). See also the discussion of this issue in the Introduction in Sulochana Glazer and Nathan Glazer (eds.), Conflicting Images: India and the United States (Glen Dale, Md.: Riverdale, 1990).

22. Lloyd I. Rudolph, ‘Gandhi in the Mind of America’, in Glazer and Glazer (eds.), Conflicting Images, p. 166.

23. Ashis Nandy, Traditions, Tyranny, and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 8.

24. On this, see Glazer and Glazer (eds.), Conflicting Images. The influence of magisterial readings on American imaging of India has been somewhat countered in recent years by the political interest in Gandhi’s life and ideas, a variety of sensitive writings on India (from Erik Erikson to John Kenneth Galbraith), and the Western success of several Indian novelists in English. Since the early 1990s, when this essay was written, the success of Indian science and technology, especially in informational fields, has added another dimension to the re-evaluation of India in American discussions.

25. Quoted in John Drew, India and the Romantic Imagination (Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 95.

26. J. G. Herder, Auch eine Philosophie der Geschichte, in Samtliche Werke; trans. Halbfass, India and Europe, p. 70.

27. Trans. Halbfass, India and Europe, pp. 74–5. Halbfass provides an extensive study of these European interpretations of Indian thought and the reactions and counter-reactions to them.

28. A. Schopenhauer, Parerga und Paralipomena; trans. Halbfass, India and Europe, p. 112.

29. See John H. Muirhead, Coleridge as a Philosopher (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1930), pp. 283–4, and Drew, India and the Romantic Imagination, ch. 6.

30. The nature of exoticist reading has typically had a strongly ‘Hindu’ character. This was, in some ways, present even in William Jones’s curatorial investigations (though he was himself a scholar in Arabic and Persian as well), but he was to some extent redressing the relative neglect of Sanskrit classics in the previous periods (even though the version of the Upaniṣads that Jones first read was the Persian translation prepared by the Moghal prince Dara Shikoh, Emperor Akbar’s great-grandson). The European Romantics, on the other hand, tended to identify India with variants of Hindu religious thought.

31. William Davis, The Rich (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1982), p. 99.

32. On this issue, see Bimal Matilal, Perceptions: An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986). See also Ronald Inden, Imagining India (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990).

33. On this issue in general, and on the hold of ‘a predominantly third-person perspective’ in self-perception, see Akeel Bilgrami, ‘What Is a Muslim? Fundamental Commitment and Cultural Identity’, Critical Inquiry, 18 (4) (1992).

34. Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India (Calcutta: Signet Press, 1946; centenary edn., Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 158.

35. While the constitution of independent India has been self-consciously secular, the tendency to see India as a land of the Hindus remains quite strong. The confrontation between ‘secularists’ and ‘communitarians’ has been an important feature of contemporary India, and the identification of Indian culture in mainly Hindu terms plays a part in this. While it is certainly possible to be both secular and communitarian (as Rajeev Bhargava has noted in ‘Giving Secularism Its Due’, Economic and Political Weekly, 9 July 1994), the contemporary divisions in India tend to make the religious and communal identities largely work against India’s secular commitments (as Bhargava also notes). I have tried to scrutinize these issues in my paper ‘Secularism and Its Discontents’, in Kaushik Basu and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (eds.), Unravelling the Nation: Sectarian Conflict and India’s Secular Identity (Delhi: Penguin, 1996); Essay 14 in this volume. See also the other papers in that collection, and the essays included in Bose and Jalal (eds.),Nationalism, Democracy and Development.

36. Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 6.

37. The most effective move in that direction came under the leadership of Ranajit Guha; see his introductory essay in Subaltern Studies I: Writings on South Asian History and Society, ed. Ranajit Guha (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1982). See also the collection of ‘subaltern’ essays ed. Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak,Selected Subaltern Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).

38. Alberuni’s India, p. 32.

39. I have tried to discuss this general issue in ‘Description as Choice’, Oxford Economic Papers, 32 (1980), repr. in Choice, Welfare and Measurement (Oxford: Blackwell; Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1982; repr. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997), and in ‘Positional Objectivity’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 22 (1993).

40. This contrast is discussed in my joint paper with Martha Nussbaum, ‘Internal Criticism and Indian Rationalist Traditions’, in Michael Krausz (ed.), Relativism: Interpretation and Confrontation (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989).

41. For example, the fourteenth-century book Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha (‘Collection of All Philosophies’) by Mādhava Ācārya (himself a good Vaishnavite Hindu) devotes the first chapter of the book to a serious presentation of the arguments of the atheistic schools.

42. Trans. H. P. Shastri, The Ramayana of Valmiki (London: Shanti Sadan, 1959), p. 389.

43. Ifrah, From One to Zero, p. 434.

44. Voltaire, Les Œuvres complètes, vol. 124; translated by Halbfass, India and Europe, p. 59.

ESSAY 8. CHINA AND INDIA

1. The exact question that Yi Jing asked was: ‘Is there anyone, in the five parts of India, who does not admire China?’ See J. Takakusu’s translation of Yi Jing’s book A Record of the Buddhist Religions as Practised in India and Malay Archipelago (Oxford, 1896), p. 136. Yi Jing’s name (as in Pinyin – now standard) is also spelt as I-tsing and I-Ching, among other earlier renderings.

2. Faxian’s name has also been spelt in English as Fa-Hsien and Fa-hien, and Xuanzang’s name as Hiuan-tsang and Yuang Chwang (among other variants). Many of the documents cited in this essay use these earlier spellings, rather than the Pinyin versions used here.

3. See Prabodh C. Bagchi, India and China: A Thousand Years of Cultural Relations (Calcutta: Saraswat Library, revised edn., 1981), p. 7. Zhang Qian is spelt as Chang Ch’ien in this and some other earlier works.

4. Tansen Sen, Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600–1400 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003), p. 184.

5. In his well-researched study Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade, Tansen Sen shows that the size and continuity of Sino-Indian trade relations are often underestimated. For example, in contrast with the common presumption that the trade between the two countries died out in the second millennium, Sen argues that Sino-Indian exchanges were very extensive between the eleventh and the fourteenth centuries. Also, Sen provides evidence to conclude that Buddhism, too, continued to flourish simultaneously in Song dynasty China and in eastern India in the early part of the second millennium.

6. See Bagchi, India and China, especially pp. 197–8; Lokesh Chandra, ‘India and China: Beyond and the Within’, ignca.nic.in/ks_41023.htm.

7. The weakening of the hold of Buddhism in China is sometimes assigned to the ninth century, under the persecution of Buddhists by the Tang emperor Wuzong. These persecutions were important, but, as is argued by Tansen Sen (in Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade), Buddhism had plenty of life left in China in the centuries to follow. However, by then the form of Buddhism in China was turning more indigenous and less dependent on Indian Buddhism.

8. This book (see n. 1 above) was followed by another monograph containing detailed accounts of Yi Jing’s reflections, Records of the High Monks Who Went Out to Seek for the Books of the Law in the Tang Time.

9. There is a translation by James Legge, The Travels of Fa-Hien or Record of Buddhist Kingdoms (New York: Dover, 1965; Patna: Eastern Book House, 1993). There is a useful extract from this book in Mark A. Kishlansky (ed.), Sources of World History, vol. i (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), pp. 154–8.

10. See Samuel Beal, Life of Hieun Tsang (London: Kegan Paul, 1914), and Sally Hovey Wriggins, Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim on the Silk Road (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1996). There are also two perceptive recent books that draw on Xuanzang’s travels and their continuing significance today: Richard Bernstein, Ultimate Journey: Retracing the Path of an Ancient Buddhist Monk Who Crossed Asia in Search of Enlightenment (New York: Knopf, 2001), and Sun Shuyun, Ten Thousand Miles without a Cloud (London: HarperCollins, 2003).

11. Among other things, Xuanzang noted King Harṣa’s strong praise of the Chinese Tang ruler, Tang Taizong. In his book Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade, Tansen Sen has questioned the authenticity of Xuanzang’s report, on the grounds, among others, that Harṣa’s description of Taizong as a ‘saintly lord’ seems clearly inaccurate (he had gained the throne by murdering his brothers); Sen argues that Xuanzang, who knew and had the support of the Tang ruler, may have deliberately doctored the account. We have to judge, of course, whether it is more plausible that the Chinese scholar Xuanzang, with a great reputation for accuracy and authenticity, just heard wrong (rather than fabricating a story), or that the Indian emperor was simply misinformed about the Chinese monarch, at some considerable distance from him.

12. See Bagchi, India and China, p. 250.

13. Through Arthur Waley’s English translation of it (Monkey, London: Allen & Unwin, 1942), the story achieved considerable popularity in Europe and America as well. Waley’s translation, however, is incomplete. A complete translation can be found in Anthony Yu, The Journey to the West, 4 vols. (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1977–83).

14. Charles O. Hucker, China’s Imperial Past: An Introduction to Chinese History and Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975), p. 216.

15. Leon Hurvitz and Tsai Heng-Ting, ‘The Introduction of Buddhism’, in Wm. Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom (eds.), Sources of Chinese Tradition, vol. i (New York: Columbia University Press, 2nd edn., 1999), pp. 425–6.

16. Ibid., p. 425; the translators could not identify which ‘commentary’ is quoted here at the beginning of the passage.

17. Chinese Buddhist scholars did, however, eventually succeed (by about the eighth century) in making China something of a second ‘homeland’ of Buddhism, complete with stories of prior sightings of Buddha in Chinese territory as well as prominent displays of Buddhist relics brought from India. On this see Tansen Sen, Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade.

18. This striking feature was noted in The Descriptive Catalogue of the Imperial Library (1795) in the entry on Faxian’s book, Record of Buddhist Kingdoms. The commentator, well versed in the Chinese perspective, saw in this nothing more than an attempt to glorify Buddhism: ‘In this book we find India regarded as the Middle Kingdom, and China as a frontier country. This is because the ecclesiastics wish to do honour to their religion and is braggart-fiction which is not worth discussing.’

19. Alberuni’s India, trans. E. C. Sachau, ed. A. T. Embree (New York: Norton, 1971), p. 19.

20. In Legge’s translation (1965), p. 58.

21. Quoted in Joseph Needham, Science and Civilization in China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1956), vol. i, pp. 209–10.

22. Jean-Claude Martzloff, A History of Chinese Mathematics, with a Foreword by Jacques Gernet and Jean Dhrombres (Berlin and London: Springer, 1997), p. 90.

23. Needham, Science and Civilization in China, vol. iii (1959), pp. 146–8.

24. Martzloff, A History of Chinese Mathematics, p. 91.

25. John Kieschnick, The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), p. 166.

26. Needham, Science and Civilization in China, vol. ii (1956), p. 427.

27. Needham also points to the possibility that some Chinese ideas that appear to have been influenced by Indian Buddhism might have been ‘really Taoist’ (vol. iii, p. 427).

28. See Bagchi, India and China, pp. 249–51.

29. See Howard Eves, An Introduction to the History of Mathematics (New York: College Publishing House, 1990), p. 237: and Martzloff, A History of Chinese Mathematics, p. 100.

30. Kaiyvan Zhanjing, in Pinyin, is often referred to as Khai-Yuan Chan Ching in earlier spelling.

31. See Needham, Science and Civilization in China, vol. iii (1959), p. 202; also pp. 12 and 37. Note that Needham’s spelling of the Chinese version of Gautama’s name, ‘Chhütan’, corresponds to ‘Qutan’ in Pinyin, and he was referred to in that spelling earlier as ‘Qutan Xida’. Yang Jingfeng is spelt as Ching-Feng in Needham’s description. A general account of Indian calendrical systems is presented in my ‘India through Its Calendars’, Little Magazine, 1 (2000); Essay 15 below.

32. Kieschnick, The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture, pp. 199–214.

33. Yi Jing, A Record of the Buddhist Religions as Practised in India and Malay Archipelago, trans. Takakusu, p. 169.

34. Kieschnick, The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture, p. 164.

35. Wm. Theodore de Bary, ‘Neo-Confucian Education’, in de Bary and Bloom (eds.), Sources of Chinese Tradition, vol. i, p. 820.

36. From the translation of Legge, The Travels of Fa-Hien or Record of Buddhist Kingdoms (1993), p. 79.

37. Trans. Bagchi, India and China, p. 134.

ESSAY 9. TRYST WITH DESTINY

1. I have discussed this issue in ‘Democracy and Secularism in India’, in Kaushik Basu, India’s Emerging Economy: Problems and Prospects in the 1990s and Beyond (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), which contains a number of fine essays providing helpful assessments from different perspectives.

2. A collection of wide-ranging investigations of continuing social inequalities in India and the policy issues they raise can be found in Ramachandra Guha and Jonathan P. Parry (eds.), Institutions and Inequalities: Essays in Honour of André Béteille (New Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

3. On these and related assessments, see Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, India: Development and Participation (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

4. For the economic case for the reforms introduced by Manmohan Singh, see the essays included in Isher Judge Ahluwalia and I. M. D. Little (eds.), India’s Economic Reforms and Development: Essays for Manmohan Singh (New Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

5. A perceptive – and upbeat – diagnosis of India’s achievements and prospects in the global economic route can be found in Gurcharan Das’s forceful book, India Unbound (London: Viking/Penguin Books, 2000). See also his later study, The Elephant Paradigm: India Wrestles with Change (London: Penguin Books, 2002). A less buoyant assessment of the process of economic reform in India, China and Russia can be found in Prem Shankar Jha, The Perilous Road to the Market (London: Pluto Press, 2002).

6. On this, see Drèze and Sen, India: Development and Participation. See also Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze, ‘Poverty and Inequality in India: A Reexamination’, Economic and Political Weekly, 7 Sept. 2002. See also the large literature on Indian poverty that is cited in these writings.

ESSAY 10. CLASS IN INDIA

1. In the Nehru Lecture on which this essay is based, I not only paid tribute to Nehru as a maker of modern India, but also celebrated the intellectual contributions of a visionary thinker. For example, Nehru’s attempts at radically re-examining the history of India and of the world in his two remarkable collections (The Discovery of IndiaandGlimpses of World History) were innovative as well as inspirational, and the underlying visions deserve more systematic attention than they have tended to get.

2. On the interdependences between different sources of adversity, see also Stuart Corbridge and John Harriss, Reinventing India (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000), and Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, India: Development and Participation (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

3. See my Inequality Reexamined (Oxford: Clarendon Press, and Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992); and jointly with Jean Drèze, India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), and India: Development and Participation.

4. Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, Hunger and Public Action (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989).

5. See Peter Svedberg, Poverty and Undernutrition: Theory, Measurement and Policy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000; Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002). See also S. R. Osmani, ‘Hunger in South Asia: A Study in Contradiction’, and Peter Svedberg, ‘Hunger in India: Facts and Challenges’, Little Magazine, Dec. 2001.

6. See Nevin Scrimshaw, ‘The Lasting Damage of Early Malnutrition’, World Food Programme, mimeographed, 31 May 1997.

7. See Siddiq Osmani and Amartya Sen, ‘The Hidden Penalties of Gender Inequality: Fetal Origins of Ill-Health’, Economics and Human Biology, 1 (2003).

8. I have discussed this issue, jointly with Jean Drèze, in India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity, and also in its follow-up study, India: Development and Participation.

9. See particularly the PROBE report: Public Report on Basic Education in India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999).

ESSAY 11. WOMEN AND MEN

1. I have addressed this issue in ‘Many Faces of Gender Inequality’, New Republic, 17 Sept. 2001, and Frontline, Nov. 2001.

2. The nature and significance of this distinction have been discussed in my ‘Well-being, Agency and Freedom: The Dewey Lecture 1984’, Journal of Philosophy, 83 (Apr. 1985), and Inequality Reexamined (Oxford: Clarendon Press, and Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992). Related empirical issues are discussed in myDevelopment as Freedom (New York: Knopf, and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

3. The discussion that follows draws on my earlier essay, ‘Many Faces of Gender Inequality’.

4. ‘India and Africa: What Do We Have to Learn from Each Other?’, in Kenneth Arrow (ed.), The Balance between Industry and Agriculture in Economic Development (London: Macmillan, 1988).

5. The numbers as well as the causal influences that tend to produce ‘missing women’ were presented in my ‘More Than a Hundred Million Women Are Missing’, New York Review of Books, Christmas Number 1990, and in ‘Missing Women’, British Medical Journal, 304 (Mar. 1992). In the debate that followed, some commentators missed the fact that I had used the sub-Saharan African ratio as the standard, rather than the much higher European or North American ratio (which would have given far larger estimates of ‘missing women’). The misunderstanding led to the mistaken argument that I was comparing developing countries like China and India with advanced Western ones (in Europe and North America), which have high longevity and a different demographic history; see e.g. Ansley Coale, ‘Excess Female Mortality and the Balances of the Sexes in the Population: An Estimate of the Number of “Missing Females”’. Population and Development Review, 17 (1991). In fact, however, my estimates of ‘missing women’ were based on contrasts within the so-called Third World, in particular using the sub-Saharan African ratio as the basis for estimating the numbers missing in Asia and North Africa.

6. See Stephan Klasen, ‘“Missing Women” Reconsidered’, World Development, 22 (1994), and his joint paper with Claudia Wink, ‘Missing Women: Revisiting the Debate’, Journal of Feminist Economics, 9 (July/Nov. 2003).

7. Note, however, that the Chinese and Korean figures cover children between 0 and 4, whereas the Indian figures relate to children between 0 and 6. However, even after adjustment for age coverage, the relative positions remain much the same.

8. A tiny exception, within the north and west of India, is the small territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, with less than a quarter of a million people altogether.

9. On this see Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, India: Development and Participation (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), ch. 7, esp. pp. 232–5 and 257–66.

10. There is, as identified in n. 8, the tiny exception of the minute territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

11. There is also a possible political connection, in that the incidence of sex-specific abortion is, in general, significantly higher in those regions of the country in which religion-based politics has a strong hold (for example, Rajasthan, Gujarat or Jammu and Kashmir, in contrast with, say, Assam or West Bengal or Kerala). On the numerical association, see Drèze and Sen, India: Development and Participation, sect. 7.5, pp. 257–62, and my essay ‘“Missing Women” Revisited’, British Medical Journal, 327 (6 Dec. 2003). This association requires much further scrutiny before it can be concluded that the two phenomena are indeed causally linked directly, or perhaps indirectly through the influence of some third variable.

12. See e.g. Irawati Karve, Kinship Organization in India (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1965); Pranab Bardhan, ‘On Life and Death Questions’, Economic and Political Weekly, Special Number, 9 (1974); David Sopher (ed.), An Exploration of India: Geographical Perspectives on Society and Culture (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1980); Barbara Miller, The Endangered Sex (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981); Tim Dyson and Mick Moore, ‘On Kinship Structure, Female Autonomy, and Demographic Behaviour in India’, Population and Development Review, 9 (1983); Monica Das Gupta, ‘Selective Discrimination against Female Children in Rural Punjab’,Population and Development Review, 13 (1987); Alaka M. Basu, Culture, the Status of Women and Demographic Behaviour (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992); and Satish Balram Agnihotri, Sex Ratio Patterns in the Indian Population (New Delhi: Sage, 2000).

13. See William St Clair, The Godwins and the Shelleys (New York: Norton, 1989), pp. 504–8.

14. See Bina Agarwal, A Field of One’s Own (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

15. World Health Organization, Handbook of Human Nutrition Requirement (Geneva: WHO, 1974).

16. See the empirical literature cited in my Development as Freedom. Among later contributions, see particularly Gita Sen, Asha George and Pireska Östlin (eds.), Engendering International Health: The Challenge of Equity (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002).

17. I have tried to discuss the importance of freedom of thought for rationality as well as freedom in general in the Introduction to my Rationality and Freedom (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002).

18. Gender divisions within the family are sometimes studied formally as ‘bargaining problems’, taking off from Nash’s classic framework, but introducing critically important variations in its exact formulation. The literature includes, among other contributions, Marilyn Manser and Murray Brown, ‘Marriage and Household Decision Making: A Bargaining Analysis’, International Economic Review, 21 (1980); M. B. McElroy and M. J. Horney, ‘Nash Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of Theory of Demand’, International Economic Review, 22 (1981); Shelly Lundberg and Robert Pollak, ‘Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage’, American Economic Review, 84 (1994).

19. Attempts to discuss the causal influences and the implicit ethics underlying the treatment of cooperative conflicts within the family can be found in my Resources, Values and Development (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), chs. 5 and 16, and ‘Gender and Cooperative Conflict’, in Irene Tinker (ed.), Persistent Inequalities(New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). See also Nancy Folbre, ‘Hearts and Spades: Paradigms of Household Economics’, World Development, 14 (1986); J. Brannen and G. Wilson (eds.), Give and Take in Families (London: Allen & Unwin, 1987); and Marianne A. Ferber and Julie A. Nelson (eds.), Beyond Economic Man(Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1993), among other contributions.

20. See the discussion and the large literature cited in my joint books with Jean Drèze, India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), and India: Development and Participation.

21. Mamta Murthi, Anne-Catherine Guio and Jean Drèze, ‘Mortality, Fertility and Gender Bias in India: A District Level Analysis’, Population and Development Review, 21 (1995), and also in Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, Indian Development: Selected Regional Perspectives (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). See also Jean Drèze and Mamta Murthi, ‘Fertility, Education and Development: Evidence from India’, Population and Development Review, 27 (2001).

22. See, among other important contributions, J. C. Caldwell, ‘Routes to Low Mortality in Poor Countries’, Population and Development Review, 12 (1986); and J. R. Behrman and B. L. Wolfe, ‘How Does Mother’s Schooling Affect Family Health, Nutrition, Medical Care Usage, and Household Sanitation?’, Journal of Econometrics, 36 (1987).

23. See the papers of Mamta Murthi and Jean Drèze cited earlier, and also Drèze and Sen, India: Development and Participation.

24. On this see Drèze and Sen, India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity, and India: Development and Participation.

25. This pioneering research has been led by Professor David Barker of Southampton University. See D. J. P. Barker, ‘Intrauterine Growth Retardation and Adult Disease,’ Current Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 3 (1993); ‘Fetal Origins of Coronary Heart Disease’, British Medical Journal, 311 (1995); Mothers, Babies and Diseases in Later Life(London: Churchill Livingstone, 1998). See also P. D. Gluckman, K. M. Godfrey, J. E. Harding, J. A. Owens, and J. S. Robinson, ‘Fetal Nutrition and Cardiovascular Disease in Adult Life’, Lancet, 341 (1995).

26. On this, see Siddiq Osmani and Amartya Sen, ‘The Hidden Penalties of Gender Inequality: Fetal Origins of Ill-Health’, Economics and Human Biology, 1 (2003).

ESSAY 12. INDIA AND THE BOMB

1. Times of India, 28 June 1998.

2. On this, see George Perkovich, India’s Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999). See also T. Jayaraman, ‘Science, Politics and the Indian Bomb: Some Preliminary Considerations’, mimeographed, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, CIT Campus, Chennai, 2000.

3. Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik, New Nukes: India, Pakistan and Global Nuclear Disarmament (Oxford: Signal Books, 2000), p. 1.

4. For a graphic account of this episode and the chain of events related to it, see Robert Jungk, Brighter Than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of Atomic Scientists (New York: Penguin Books, 1960).

5. Kenzaburo Oe, Hiroshima Notes, trans. David L. Swain and Toshi Yonezawa (New York: Grove Press, 1996), p. 182.

6. Pankaj Mishra, ‘A New, Nuclear India?’ in Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein (eds.), India: A Mosaic (New York: New York Review of Books, 2000), p. 230. The essay is dated 28 May 1998.

7. Amitav Ghosh, ‘Countdown: Why Can’t Every Country Have the Bomb?’, New Yorker, 26 Oct. and 2 Nov. 1998. See also his later book, Countdown (Delhi: Ravi Dayal, 1999), which further develops some of his arguments.

8. N. Ram, Riding the Nuclear Tiger (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 1999), p. 106. See also his Preface to Silvers and Epstein (eds.), India: A Mosaic.

9. See Ghosh, Countdown.

10. Arundhati Roy, ‘The End of Imagination’, Frontline, 27 July 1998; repr. in The Cost of Living (New York: Modern Library, 1999). See also her Introduction to Silvers and Epstein (eds.), India: A Mosaic.

11. Arundhati Roy, ‘Introduction: The End of Imagination’, in Bidwai and Vanaik, New Nukes, p. xx.

12. Ghosh, ‘Countdown’, pp. 190 and 197.

13. C. Rammanohar Reddy, ‘Estimating the Cost of Nuclear Weaponization in India’, mimeographed, Hindu, Chennai, 1999.

14. Bidwai and Vanaik, New Nukes, pp. xiii, xv.

15. Eric Arnett, ‘Nuclear Tests by India and Pakistan’, in SIPRI Yearbook 1999 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 377.

16. Even though it is not clear whether Fernandes knew about the dates of the impending tests, he would certainly have seen – and in part been in charge of – the connection between Indian defence postures and its international pronouncements.

17. ‘Nuclear Anxiety: India’s Letter to Clinton on the Nuclear Testing’, New York Times, 13 May 1998, p. 4.

18. Mark W. Frazier, ‘China–India Relations since Pokhran II: Assessing Sources of Conflict and Cooperation’, Access Asia Review, National Bureau of Asian Research, 3 (July 2000), p. 10.

19. UNDP, Human Development Report 1994 (New York: United Nations, 1994), pp. 54–5, and table 3.6.

ESSAY 13. THE REACH OF REASON

1. Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (London: Jonathan Cape, 1999; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 7. Glover, a leading light in Oxford philosophy for many decades, is also the author of Responsibility (London: Routledge, and New York: Humanities Press, 1970) and Causing Death and Saving Lives (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977), among other works of note. He is now the Director of Medical Law and Ethics at King’s College, London.

2. Trans. Vincent A. Smith, Akbar: The Great Mogul (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917), p. 257.

3. See Irfan Habib (ed.), Akbar and His India (Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), for a set of fine essays investigating the beliefs and policies of Akbar as well as the intellectual influences that led him to his heterodox position.

4. The last century, however, was subjected to a searching scrutiny by Eric Hobsbawm, a few years before the century and the millennium came to an end, in The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1916–1991 (London: M. Joseph, and New York: Vintage, 1994). See also Garry Wills, ‘A Reader’s Guide to the Century’, New York Review of Books, 15 July 1999.

5. An eminent example can be found in John Gray, Enlightenment’s Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age (London: Routledge, 1995). See also the perceptive review of this work by Charles Griswold, Political Theory, 27 (1999), pp. 274–81.

6. Kenzaburo Oe, Japan, the Ambiguous, and Myself (Tokyo and New York: Kodansha, 1995), pp. 118–19.

7. An important collection of perspectives on this is presented in Rajaram Krishnan, Jonathan M. Harris and Neva R. Goodwin (eds.), A Survey of Ecological Economics (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1995). A far-reaching critique of the relationship between institutions and reasoned behaviour can be found in Andreas Papandreou, Externality and Institutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).

8. I have discussed this question in my On Ethics and Economics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1987), ch. 1.

9. On this, see Emma Rothschild, Economic Sentiments (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001).

10. David Hume, Enquiries concerning Human Understanding and concerning the Principles of Morals, ed. L. E. Selby-Bigge (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962), p. 172.

11. Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 102.

12. On the role of reasoning in the development of attitudes and feelings, see particularly T. M. Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999).

13. Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (London: T. Cadell, 1790; repr. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), pp. 319–20.

14. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 318.

15. Clifford Geertz, ‘Culture War’, New York Review of Books, 30 Nov. 1995. This is a review of Marshall Sahlins, How ‘Natives’ Think About Captain Cook, for Example (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), and Gananath Obeyesekere, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).

16. Gertrude Himmelfarb, ‘The Illusions of Cosmopolitanism’, in Martha Nussbaum with Respondents, For Love of Country (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996), pp. 74–5.

17. See Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations, p. 69.

18. On this and related issues, see my Development as Freedom (New York: Knopf, and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), ch. 10, and the references cited there.

19. See my Human Rights and Asian Values (New York: Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, 1997); a shortened version came out in New Republic, 14 and 21 July 1997.

20. See Basil Davidson, F. K. Buah and J. F. Ade Ajayi, A History of West Africa 1000–1800 (Harlow: Longman, new rev. edn., 1977), pp. 286–7.

21. See M. Athar Ali, ‘The Perception of India in Akbar and Abu’l Fazl’, in Habib, Akbar and His India, p. 220.

22. See Pushpa Prasad, ‘Akbar and the Jains’, in Habib, Akbar and His India, pp. 97–8. The one missing group seems to be the Buddhists (though one of the early translations included them in the account by misrendering the name of a Jain sect as that of Buddhist monks). Perhaps by then Buddhists were hard to find around Delhi or Agra.

23. See Iqtidar Alam Khan, ‘Akbar’s Personality Traits and World Outlook: A Critical Reappraisal’, in Habib, Akbar and His India, p. 96.

24. See also Martha Nussbaum, Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997).

25. Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn., 1998), p. 150.

26. I discuss this issue in Reason before Identity: The Romanes Lecture for 1998 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

27. New Delhi: National Book Trust, 1994.

28. Alberuni’s India, trans. E. C. Sachau, ed. A. T. Embree (New York: Norton, 1971), p. 20. See also Essay 7.

ESSAY 14. SECULARISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS

1. See e.g. T. N. Madan, ‘Coping with Ethnic Diversity: A South Asian Perspective’, in Stuart Plattner (ed.), Prospects for Plural Societies (Washington, DC: American Ethnological Society, 1984), and ‘Secularism in Its Place’, Journal of Asian Studies, 46 (1987); and Ashis Nandy, ‘An Anti-Secular Manifesto’, Seminar, 314 (1985), and ‘The Politics of Secularism and the Recovery of Religious Tolerance’, Alternatives, 13 (1988).

2. See Ashutosh Varshney’s helpful characterizations of different claims associated with ‘Hindu nationalism’, in his ‘Contested Meanings: Indian National Unity, Hindu Nationalism, and the Politics of Anxiety’, Daedalus, 122 (1993), pp. 230–31; see also Ashis Nandy, ‘The Ramjanmabhumi Movement and the Fear of Self’, mimeographed paper, presented at the Harvard Center for International Affairs, April 1992.

3. Nandy, ‘The Politics of Secularism and the Recovery of Religious Tolerance’, pp. 188, 192. See also Madan, ‘Secularism in Its Place’.

4. On the history of this aspect of Indian laws, see John H. Mansfield, ‘The Personal Laws or a Uniform Civil Code?’, in Robert Baird (ed.), Religion and Law in Independent India (Delhi: Manohar, 1993), which also provides a balanced review of the pros and cons of the case for submerging different personal laws in India in a ‘uniform civil code’. See also Tahir Mahmood, Muslim Personal Law, Role of the State in the Indian Subcontinent (New Delhi: Vikas Pub. House, 1977; 2nd edn., Nagpur, 1983).

5. Constitution of India, Article 37.

6. This was done by the Supreme Court by giving priority – over the provisions of Islamic law for divorce settlements – to ‘section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure’, which requires a person of adequate means to protect from destitution and vagrancy their relations (including spouse, minor children, handicapped adult children and aged parents). For critical analyses of the rather complex considerations involved in the Shah Bano case, see Asghar Ali Engineer, The Shah Bano Controversy (Delhi: Ajanta Publishers, 1987), and Veena Das, Critical Events (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992), ch. IV. Also see Mansfield in Baird (ed.), Religion and Law in Independent India.

7. Mansfield in Baird (ed.), p. 140.

8. The Supreme Court had also taken this opportunity of commenting on the disadvantaged position of women in India (not just among the Muslims, but also among the Hindus), and had called for more justice in this field. The Shah Bano case did, in fact, get much attention from women’s political groups as well.

9. In fact, Azad was among the ‘traditionalist’ Muslims, as opposed to the ‘reformers’ (for example from the Aligarh school). On the intricacies of Azad’s religious and political attitudes, see Ayesha Jalal, ‘Exploding Communalism: The Politics of Muslim Identity in South Asia’, in Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal (eds.), Nationalism, Democracy and Development: Reappraising South Asian States and Politics in India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997). Jalal also discusses the much broader question of a general misfit between (1) the reformism–traditionalism division among Muslims in pre-partition India, and (2) the division between Muslims who favoured an undivided India and those who wanted a separate Pakistan. In particular, quite often the Muslim traditionalists opted for staying on in India (as Azad himself did), especially after the Khilafat movement.

10. In his perceptive paper, ‘Hindu/Muslim/Indian’ (Public Culture, 5 (1), Fall 1992), Faisal Devji begins with this (and another) quotation from Ambedkar, and goes on to scrutinize critically the relation between different identities (raising issues that are much broader than those addressed in this essay).

11. See also Nur Yalman, ‘On Secularism and Its Critics: Notes on Turkey, India and Iran’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 25 (1991). See also Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn, ‘Three Models of the Secular Constitution’, mimeographed, Williams College, 1995, and the literature cited there.

12. Whether or not Indian Muslims do this in any significant numbers, I ought to confess that this non-Muslim author has often done just that, either when the Pakistani team plays as well as it frequently does, or when a Pakistani win would make the test series (or the one-day series) more interesting.

13. Alberuni’s India, trans. E. C. Sachau, ed. A. T. Embree (New York: Norton, 1971), p. 22.

14. Ibid., p. 20.

15. See One Hundred Poems of Kabir, trans. Rabindranath Tagore (London: Macmillan, 1915), verse LXIX. See also Kshiti Mohan Sen, Hinduism (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1961, 2005), chs. 18 and 19, and his collection of Kabir’s poems and his Bengali commentary in Kabir (Calcutta: Visva-Bharati, 1910, 1911), reissued with an Introduction by Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (Calcutta: Ananda Publishers, 1995).

ESSAY 15. INDIA THROUGH ITS CALENDARS

1. See The Oxford Companion to the Year, ed. Bonnie Blackburn and Leofranc Holford-Strevens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 664.

2. See M. N. Saha and N. C. Lahiri, History of the Calendar (New Delhi: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1992).

3. Ibid., pp. 252–3; also S. N. Sen and K. S. Shukla, History of Astronomy in India (New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy, 1985), p. 298.

4. Marquis Pierre-Simon de Laplace, as quoted in W. Brennand, Hindu Astronomy (London, 1896), p. 31.

5. On this, see O. P. Jaggi, Indian Astronomy and Mathematics (Delhi: Atma Ram, 1986), ch. 1.

6. E. M. Forster, ‘Nine Gems of Ujjain’, in Abinger Harvest (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1936, 1974), pp. 324–7.

7. See Irfan Habib (ed.), Akbar and His India (Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).

ESSAY 16. THE INDIAN IDENTITY

1. Quoted in Lady Betty Balfour, The History of Lord Lytton’s Indian Administration 1876 to 1880 (London, 1899), p. 477.

2. F. R. Harris, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata: A Chronicle of His Life (London: Blackie, 2nd edn., 1958), p. vii.

3. R. M. Lala, The Creation of Wealth (Bombay: IBH, 1981), p. 6.

4. Ibid., p. 47.

5. Lovat Fraser, Iron and Steel in India: A Chapter from the Life of Jamsetji N. Tata (Bombay: The Times Press, 1919), p. 3.

6. See S. B. Saul, Studies in British Overseas Trade 1870–1914 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1960), p. 199. The shifting trade pattern and its implications were investigated by the so-called Chamberlain Inquiry of 1895, Trade of the British Empire and Foreign Competition, C. 8449 of 1897.

7. Fraser, Iron and Steel in India, pp. 52–3.

8. Comparisons with alternative causal explanations are discussed in my paper, ‘The Commodity Pattern of British Enterprise in Early Indian Industrialization 1854–1914’, in the Proceedings of the Second International Conference of Economic History (Paris, 1965). I have examined the general relevance of values and commitments in behavioural choices in On Ethics and Economics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1987), and, more technically, in ‘Maximization and the Act of Choice’, Econometrica, 65 (1997), included in my Rationality and Freedom (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002).

9. Fraser, Iron and Steel in India, p. 1.

10. Perin wrote that when Jamsetji came to interview him, this ‘stranger in a strange garb’ asked: ‘Will you come to India with me?’ ‘“Well,” I said, “yes, I’d go.” And I did’ (quoted in Lala, The Creation of Wealth, p. 20).

11. There is, furthermore, a significant distinction between import substitution and endogenous domestic expansion. In a joint paper with K. N. Raj, ‘Alternative Patterns of Growth under Conditions of Stagnant Export Earnings’ (Oxford Economic Papers, 13, 1961), I was concerned with the latter, whereas it has sometimes been interpreted, quite mistakenly, as a defence of import substitution against export promotion – an issue that was not even addressed in the paper. The so-called Raj–Sen model considered neither import substitution nor export promotion, and concentrated instead on alternative patterns of endogenous development, focusing in particular on issues of growth theory and the implications of stock–flow relationships.

12. Harris, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, p. 118.

13. From a letter to C. F. Andrews, dated 13 March 1921, published in Rabindranath Tagore, Letters to a Friend, with essays by C. F. Andrews (London: Allen & Unwin, 1928).

14. See Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn., 1998), pp. 150–52.

15. Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of Man (London: Unwin, 1931; 2nd edn., 1961), p. 105.

16. This is how the issue was presented by its distinguished chairman, Lord Parekh, in ‘A Britain We All Belong To’, Guardian, 11 Oct. 2000. See, however, the much richer analysis of social identity presented by Bhikhu Parekh himself in Re-thinking Multi-culturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000).

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