THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
25 April 2017
Rajesh Kasturirangan : An Indian Way of Thinking
Aug 30 2011
ANNA / IAC
How valid is the criticism?
A number of barbs have been flung at Anna Hazare and the India Against Corruption campaign, amidst the rising popularity of the effort. Are these justified, wonders Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Mar 25 2011
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OPINION
The nuclear black swan
A nuclear disaster is such a complex event with wide consequences that it would be better to stop ourselves from going down a path that might lead to a catastrophe, however unlikely it may be, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Dec 31 2010
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OPINION
For the few, by the few
Corruption is much broader than what we usually imagine it to be, which focuses on bribes and similar illegal monetary transactions. A number of other practices are corrupt, even if they are legal, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Nov 27 2010
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OPINION
Home-schooling citizenship
Instead of imposing top-down controls on behaviour from the Supreme Court downward, would a better solution to our problems be to shift norms from the family outward, asks Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Oct 31 2010
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OPINION
The national process
The nation is still the best mediator of the sphere of thought and the sphere of action. Even in a changing world, we cannot wish away the Indian nation and replace it with a world government overnight, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Sep 28 2010
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OPINION
The nationalisms of India
Is it at all possible to be an Indian nationalist without losing sight of our common humanity? Can nationalism ever be an emancipatory principle, asks Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Aug 30 2010
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OPINION
The tolerance of incompetence
The problem of Indian politics is not that it exists, but rather that success in the system doesn't seem to be connected in any way to the ability to govern, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Jul 30 2010
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OPINION
The truth about encounters
The unstated policy of murdering unwanted elements is wrong at every possible level, and it leads to a crisis of legitimacy of the state, while claiming to be a patriotic act, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Jun 22 2010
OPINION
Institutional ethics
We need a new mechanism for creating trust, a mechanism that is neither traditional nor institutional. Post-institutional technology holds more hope than rule-based institutions, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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May 29 2010
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OPINION
Expand the moral commons
Our notions of collateral damage have done enormous harm to the ecological balance which sustains life on this planet. A new politics is needed to recover from this, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Apr 19 2010
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OPINION
Politics: In need of revival
The decline of politics and of intellectual discourse is related to the struggle between politics and economics as the arbiter of the moral commons and the role of the developmental state in this fight, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Mar 17 2010
OPINION
Institutional order and disorder
We should profitably contrast the flexible chaos of our institutions with the iron order of the west. The management of diversity requires a sensible mix of order and chaos, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Feb 25 2010
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OPINION
The knowledge economy and the knowledge society
The reasons for the decline of Indian academia are more complex than just the influence of IT, however significant that might be, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Jan 28 2010
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OPINION
The nation as a person
What happens once our self-understanding of India has been permanently transformed by the collective belief that India is a person? Some consequences are obvious; others are subtler, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
Dec 31 2009
OPINION
Playing the victim
A land in which every kind of oppression has a long history is a country in which wounds are deep and forgiveness difficult. Moral indignation comes too easily to us, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Nov 30 2009
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OPINION
The Indian mercantilist empire
The pattern of development in India seems ominously like England in the nineteenth century. Are Indian companies the vanguard of a 21st century Indian imperialism, ask Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Oct 31 2009
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OPINION
1984
The continuous repetition of 1984 style violence also says something very unflattering about the man on the street, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Sep 30 2009
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OPINION
Stories of development
The images of developmental utopia cluster together in our head into a kind of heaven, a secular afterlife of instantly met desires. Rajesh Kasturirangan explores the narrative of development.
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Aug 29 2009
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OPINION: SOCIETY
In praise of conservatism
In the past few hundred years, every revolution has caused much more harm than the evil it sought to eradicate. Perhaps the conservative is on to something after all, writes Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Jul 20 2009
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THE WORLD STAGE
The prickliness of our foreign relations
New forms of power and influence are emerging in the 21st century, with opportunities no longer controlled by the west. So why are we harking to outmoded forms of power, asks Rajesh Kasturirangan.
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Jun 23 2009
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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.
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May 06 2009
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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.
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Apr 04 2009
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HISTORY OF SCIENCE
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.
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Dec 27 2008
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OPINION
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.
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Nov 18 2008
OPINION
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.
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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.