The independent think tank is like a boiled egg: an invention that all of us take for granted to have existed all the while. In the forest of lobbies and policy-pushers, an objective, unbiased repository of facts and informed opinions is the equivalent of an unbreached fort from where information-seekers can get their uncontaminated supplies. Rishi Kumar Mishra (1932-2009) was one man who understood this value of such a storehouse and founded the Observer Research Foundation along this principle. In this collection of essays celebrating the man, his work and his ideals, editors, journalists, academics and friends tip their hat to ‘RKM’. The range of those contributing to this very aptly titled volume is wide, and the stocktaking varies from his legacy in Indian journalism and academia and the intersection they straddle. This volume is a heartening reminder that a renaissance man like RKM is feted. Let this follow with an annual collection of research essays on international affairs and politics.
O.P. Sinha is a Delhi-based writer