Debating India: Essays on Indian Political Discourse

Hardcover | November 8, 2015

byBhikhu Parekh

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India has had a long tradition of public debate going back to around 1000 BCE. But surprisingly, the knowledge of its existence has largely remained confined to a small field of critics or specialists. Debating India traces the origins and development of the Indian tradition of public debate and the various forms it took at different times in Indian history. It examines some of the major debates that occurred during the independence struggle and the ways in which they structured the conceptual andmoral parameters of the Indian political imagination. The debates involved Gandhi, Tagore, Nehru, Ambedkar, and Hindu militants, and centred on the kind of country India was and should aspire to be. Gandhis non-violent struggle claims to provide an answer to deep differences of views and conflicts of interest. Presenting riveting accounts, such as of Einsteins views on Gandhis philosophy of Ahimsa or of GandhiTagore debates, and through an imaginary dialogue between Gandhi and Osama bin Laden,Parekh critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of Gandhian philosophy. In the process, the book points to a richer and politically more realistic approach to public debate than are currently on offer.

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India has had a long tradition of public debate going back to around 1000 BCE. But surprisingly, the knowledge of its existence has largely remained confined to a small field of critics or specialists. Debating India traces the origins and development of the Indian tradition of public debate and the various forms it took at different t...

Bhikhu Parekh is Emeritus Professor, University of Hull and University of Westminster, UK, and a member of the House of Lords. He is the recipient of the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Philosophy, BBCs Special Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Padma Bhushan from the President of India.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:November 8, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198060459

ISBN - 13:9780198060451

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroductionPart I: Public Debates1. Indian Traditions of Public Debate2. Choosing the National Symbols of India3. GandhiTagore Debates4. Ambedkar and the Pursuit of Fraternity5. Nehru and the National Philosophy of India6. Rethinking the National Philosophy7. Critical Reflections on the Indian DemocracyPart II: Limits of Dialogue8. Chapter 8: Einstein on Gandhis Non-violence9. Chapter 9: There Is More to Gandhi Than Non-violence10. Chapter 10: Gandhi and Osama bin Laden: Is a Dialogue Possible?11. Chapter 11: Gandhi and Inter-religious Dialogue12. Chapter 12: Friendship in Classical Indian ThoughtNotes and ReferencesIndexAbout the Author