THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
25 JUNE 2019
Rajesh Kasturirangan : An Indian Way of Thinking
Oct 12 2008
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RELIGIOUS CONFLICT
The violence of the virtuous
When the good is almost always defined in terms of one community's ascendance over another, it is not the evil in us that makes us violent. How can we reduce this, ponders Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Aug 25 2008
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OPINION
Of need and greed
With the law of small numbers threatening to take over, we need a public discussion of the good life, a search for truth done by individuals in association with others, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Jul 26 2008
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PUBLIC DEBATES
Decentralising knowledge
The fundamental reason for the lack of a substantive debate on important issues is that we, the public as well as the representatives, simply do now know what the real issues are. We have to fix that deficit in our democracy, says Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Jun 25 2008
OPINION
As inequalities rise, the moral commons is vanishing
There is a dichotomy between the normative, rational principles enshrined in the law and the actual practice of public morality. We can overcome this only if we co-locate physically and mentally with fellow citizens, says Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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May 24 2008
OPINION
The nation and the nation-state
In India, as in no other large country in the world, the nation still has the potential to reign in the hegemony of the nation-state. If this happens, some of the worst forms of violence will be curtailed, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Apr 11 2008
INDIA'S CONTRIBUTION TO MODERNITY
The beginning of history
We need to reflect on the political and social possibilities that India has contributed to the modern world. The Indian experience offers new interpretations of key modern concepts such as nationhood, democracy, citizenship and individual freedom, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Mar 02 2008
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OPINION
The evolution of violence
Violence in India has followed this macro-to-micro trajectory of Indian modernity. As different forces have shaped modernity, we have shifted from large-scale acts of violence cutting across national boundaries, to state-level violence, to village level violence, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Feb 12 2008
OPINION
A rosy narrative
For a class of people thirsting for recognition in the modern world, the rosy narrative of business is far more seductive than anything else our culture has to offer. Rajesh Kasturirangan says business meets an essential need of middle class Indian culture.
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Jan 10 2008
SCIENCE IN INDIA
The Dr Watson problem
As a young country with many technical problems, we need an army of Holmeses who can solve them. But the Macaulay-inspired education has always suited the Watsons, who cannot. Until this changes, there will be little hope of swaraj in ideas, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Dec 13 2007
IDEAS OF FREEDOM
Science and swaraj in ideas
Contrary to popular understanding, the nationalist struggle recognised that swaraj was to extend beyond politics into the realm of ideas. And it is still a fine tool with which to understand the challenges we face in our continuing encounter with western ideas, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Nov 09 2007
OPINION
Us, them and us
The differential treatment of people and communities is not just a matter of corruption or unfairness, but rather a deep seated psychological response in a historically diverse polity. Our challenge is to recognise this, and then move beyond it, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Oct 07 2007
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OPINION
The ideas of the Indians
Contemporary trends in Indian society, business and statecraft are ultimately grounded in long standing intuitions about nature and culture that permeate Indian society. If public policy began from this understanding, very different notions of justice might emerge, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Rajesh Kasturirangan is a faculty member at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore. He thinks that deeply rooted - and specifically Indian - philosophical, psychological and cultural intuitions play a bigger role in determining actions in the social sphere than is normally acknowledged; their effects can be seen in domains as varied as the conception of the state and its role in society to the structure of corruption and the relationship between a community and its natural environment. This column will attempt to communicate the link between philosophy, culture and society and to make these abstract ideas part of our daily conversation.

Dr Kasturirangan has a background in cognitive science, which is his main area of technical research. These days he is studying the interface between language, culture and cognition and how the mind emerges in large cognitive networks. Several Indian traditions of inquiry have much to say about these questions. His goal is to bring these traditions to bear upon research on the mind. Visit him online at rajeshkasturirangan.org.