Rajesh Kasturirangan : An Indian Way of Thinking
Jun 23 2009
Privatisation of behaviour
OPINION: CITIES : Privatisation of behaviour
Ritual culture is fundamentally incompatible with modern city life, but an alternative based on an implicit social contract has yet to emerge in India, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
May 06 2009
The charkha and the naturalist
HISTORY OF SCIENCE : The charkha and the naturalist
Not only is the division between an outer world of 'things out there' and an inner world of 'thoughts and feelings' a false distinction rooted in a particular historical trajectory, it is also pernicious, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Apr 04 2009
Darwin in India

The 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of his most famous book is an occasion to ask: "how should Indian intellectuals engage with thinkers from outside our shores?", writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.

Dec 27 2008
Responding to terror
The Mumbai attacks are a direct threat against the existence of the Indian state. Still, we should distance ourselves from votaries of direct action, including war against Pakistan, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Nov 18 2008
Democracy as vaccine
Just as democracy prevents famines without addressing everyday food scarcity, does it prevent horrendous violence while accepting and even abetting smaller acts of violence, wonders Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Oct 12 2008
The violence of the virtuous
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
Of need and greed
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.
Jul 26 2008
Decentralising knowledge
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.
Jun 25 2008
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.
May 24 2008
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.

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.