Ramachandra Guha is a historian based in Bengaluru. His books include India After Gandhi, A Corner of a Foreign Field, Environmentalism: A Global History, and Gandhi Before India. He tweets as @Ram_Guha
Articles by Ramachandra Guha
In 1947, Nehru and Patel reached out to their fiercest critics and invited them to join the Cabinet. They worked with bureaucrats who had helped the Raj repress the freedom struggle. This helped the country tide over Partition. Modi-Shah should emulate the example
Our democracy was always imperfect and flawed. It was the Congress which, when in power, first politicised the police and civil services, first destabilised elected state governments, first compromised the independence of the judiciary. But the Modi-Shah regime has taken this process much further and deeper.
Rather than choose their new president behind closed doors, the Congress should consider organising a series of debates between candidates, conducted in Hindi and in English, and moderated by a television anchor who commands respect
Kalpavriksh and Pratham have common features. They began in a single city and then expanded; they have international partnerships but remain rooted; they use research to influence policy
Ahmedabad was once Gandhi’s city. Yet, in recent decades, Ahmedabad has wilfully, deliberately, turned its back on the legacy of its greatest resident
Mahatma in Delhi: MK Gandhi spoke of the dangers of Hindu majoritarianism on his first visit to Delhi in 1915 and he fasted to oppose communalism on his last visit, in 1947-48.
A historian can use the past to understand the present, but a historian cannot predict the future. But that the Republic is passing through a very troubled phase in its history is evident. That it lacks the sort of enlightened leadership that can take us out of our difficulties is even more evident.
There are perhaps two reasons behind the Modi government’s unseemly haste in passing the CAA through Parliament. The first is bigotry.
There is a stock, stereotypical, image of the Japanese tourist, who rushes to and through a monument or shrine in a foreign country, clicking away. Things were once different in the 19th and early 20th centuries when these came as seekers and pilgrims, rather than pleasure-seekers
Since May 2014, there has been a rapid fall in India’s standing in the world — from being seen with China as an emerging global power to being coupled with Pakistan as an insular, inward-looking nation plagued by authoritarianism and religious bigotry
Younger Indians are rightly appalled that the party of the freedom movement believes that only a fifth-generation dynast can lead it. Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka may think they owe it to the Congress to stay in politics. They owe it to the country to go
Far from converting it into a domestic issue, the government’s actions have internationalised Kashmir. Even an obscure European politician feels emboldened to offer himself as a mediator
What was notable about my trip to Canada was how little past achievements were invoked in the election campaign. No leader talked of Making Canada Great Again. Whosoever is the next PM is not going to promise to undo 800 years of slavery. Nor is he going to invoke World Wars I and II
All through his Indian years, too, Gandhi’s life was deeply intertwined with the city
Mahatma Gandhi 150th Birth Anniversary: The Collected Works had all the known letters that Gandhi himself wrote; but virtually none of the letters that he received or responded to. Then there were the thousands of letters written about Gandhi by his contemporaries and critics.
Hindustan Times | ByRamachandra Guha
The hot-headed Hindu young men of today do not know or care about nuances. That Savarkar was, in ideological terms, well to the right of Subhas Chandra Bose, and even farther to the right of Bhagat Singh, does not detain them unduly
The men and women who — within the government, or as part of the Opposition and civil society — carried forward Mahatma Gandhi’s work. They humanised power and held it to account. They fought for economic self-reliance, equality and religious pluralism.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRamachandra Guha
Through the 1990s, as the Pandits sought, heroically, to rebuild their lives outside Kashmir, they found themselves facing a fourth tragedy—that they were becoming the cat’s paw of a rising Hindutva.
Had Bose been alive in 1947, and, by some quirk of fate, had he, and not Nehru, been the PM, he too would have begun by praising Mahatma Gandhi. He too would have insisted that it was “wrong to suggest that in this country there would be the rule of a particular religion or sect”.
The abrogation of Article 370, they tell us, is in the best interests of the people of Kashmir, yet those very people are given absolutely no say in how that decision is made. Even former chief ministers are placed under arrest (in a chilling echo of August 1953)
Local heroes such as Kamal Joshi, who silently, self-effacingly, serve society, with no interest in fame or power or money, do not get the attention of the media. To be sure, they do not want it either. Yet it is these ‘local’ heroes who more truly embody the spirit of democracy and freedom in our Republic.
In choosing this eleven, I exclude from consideration those whose careers ended before the first World Cup
The correspondence between Rolland and Tagore makes for instructive reading now, a century after it was first initiated. One can absolutely appreciate writers being attached to the language, culture, and traditions of the country in which they reside
His courage in standing up to fundamentalists has led some to celebrate Karnad as an exemplary ‘activist’ and ‘public intellectual’. This, to my mind, is a mischaracterisation. We should remember him rather as a great playwright and superb actor, and as a profoundly civilised human being
The cult of Nathuram Godse is no more marginal. Its members include not only BJP MPs but also prominent Sangh ideologues. Its representatives sit in Parliament, and may even be in the Council of Ministers
He could easily have blamed the legacies of two hundred years of colonial rule or the malign intentions of our neighbours for his government’s failures; but he did not
It was a privilege to have met patriots such as BS Pundir and Sher Singh Mewar; theirs was a quiet, understated patriotism, not a loud or hectoring one
Despite the passage of time, the increase in the size of the electorate, and the economic and social changes that have taken place in the intervening decades, much of what was observed in 1952 remains relevant to what we are witnessing in 2019
Notably, while the scale, intensity and character of the protests varied enormously, one feature was constant: the display of Hindu-Muslim harmony
The BUCC centenary event was a wonderful reminder of the real bulwarks of Indian cricket, the unsung club coaches and club secretaries who have sustained the game in the towns and cities of this land