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

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 December, 2006, 12:00am

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


by Amartya Sen


Penguin, HK$150


'India has a long and noble argumentative tradition,' The Economist summarised in its review of Nobel economics laureate Amartya Sen's collection of essays of the past decade, The Argumentative Indian, one of the standout paperback books released this year. However, it added, 'India's inability to shut up slows decision-making and seems to condemn the country to a slower march out of poverty than the rush underway in neighbouring China.' In this collection, which includes a fascinating piece on the historical and literary links between China and India, Sen does battle with persistent stereotypes about India, specifically on democracy, development, freedom and reason. Democracy, says Sen, is as much about public debate and discussion - in India a predisposition to doubt, question and dissent - as it is about the right to a free vote. Drown out debate for the sake of political or developmental expediency, and social justice tends to suffer.


 
 
 
 

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