Ramachandra Guha on Amartya Sen and Andre Beteille

Ram Guha is clearly one of the leading Indian public intellectuals of our times. His thought-provoking, insightful, historically grounded, superbly researched, and often provocative columns and articles on various subjects are invariably something to look out for. Though he is sometimes unpredictable (recall his unseemly attacks on Arundhati Roy and William Dalrymple), Guha’s pieces are usually models of clarity, moderation, and craftsmanship. His recent piece in The Telegraph chronicling the lives and scholarly contributions of Amartya Sen and Andre Beteille is a good example of his brand of scholarship. Describing the two personalities as “the finest, and I think also the most honourable, intellectuals of our land in our time”, Guha provides an affectionate yet well-reasoned assessment of two very distinguished Indian academics. The spectacular contributions that these two academics have made, both in their own fields as well as to the world of academic research more generally, must serve to inspire legal academics to produce scholarship which has a genuine and sustained impact on society.

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