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Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy

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Ashis Nandy (born 1937) is an India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n political psychologist
Political psychology
Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field dedicated to understanding political science, politicians and political behavior. Psychological theories of behavior including; belief, motivation, conflict, perception, cognition, information processing, learning strategies, socialization...

, a social theorist, and a contemporary cultural and political critic. A trained sociologist and clinical psychologist, his body of work covers a variety of topics, including public conscience, mass violence, and dialogues of civilizations.

He was Senior Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies is an Indian social sciences and humanities research institute. It was founded in 1963 by Rajni Kothari and is largely founded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research...

 (CSDS) for several years. Today, he is a Senior Honorary Fellow at the institute and apart from being the Chairperson of the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures, also in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

.

Nandy had received the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize
Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize
The is an award established by Fukuoka City and the Yokatopia Foundation to honor the outstanding work of individuals or organizations in preserving or creating Asian culture...

 in 2007. In 2008 he appeared on the list of the Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll of the Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel.Originally, the magazine was a quarterly...

 magazine, published by The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign-policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. The organization describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States...

.

Early life and education


Nandy was born in a Bengali
Bengali people
The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal in South Asia. They speak Bengali , which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as বাঙালী...

 Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 family at Bhagalpur
Bhagalpur
Bhagdattpuram was one of the most influential towns in "Aryavarta" . It is supposed to have been concurrent to Patliputra or Patna. Bhagdattpuram finds its mention in the Vedas and Ramayana as well. It is supposed to be the kingdom of Daanvir Karna, the son of Kunti and the Sun God...

, Bihar
Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

, in 1937. He is the eldest of three sons of Satish Chandra Nandy and Prafulla Nalini Nandy, and brother of Pritish Nandy
Pritish Nandy
Pritish Nandy is a Indian poet, painter, journalist, politician, media and television personality, animal activist and film producer. He is Bengali by ethnicity. He was member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament representing Maharashtra based party Shiv Sena...

. Later, his family moved to Calcutta. Nandy's mother was a teacher at La Martiniere School
La Martiniere Calcutta
La Martiniere Calcutta comprises two separate private schools in Kolkata, India. The schools were established in accordance with the will of Major General Claude Martin in 1836. They are day schools although they both have a small number of boarders...

, Calcutta and subsequently became the school's first Indian vice principal. When he was 10, British India was partitioned into two sovereign countries - India and Pakistan. He witnessed the time of conflicts and atrocities that followed.

Nandy quit medical college before joining Hislop College
Hislop College
Hislop College, Nagpur is one of the first college in the city of Nagpur. It is currently affiliated to Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University. It was named after Rev. Stephen Hislop , who was an Evangelist, Educationist and Geologist. He worked for 18 years in the Vidarbha Region.It was...

, Nagpur
Nagpur
Nāgpur is a city and winter capital of the state of Maharashtra, the largest city in central India and third largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune...

 to study social sciences. Later he took a Master's degree in sociology. However, his academic interest tended increasingly towards clinical psychology and he did his Ph.D. in psychology at Gujarat University
Gujarat University
The Gujarat University is the statewide institution affiliating many reputed colleges across the state of Gujarat, India. It has been given a B++ ranking by National Assessment and Accreditation Council .-History:...

, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

.

Academic career


Nandy joined the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies is an Indian social sciences and humanities research institute. It was founded in 1963 by Rajni Kothari and is largely founded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research...

 (CSDS), Delhi, as a young faculty member. While working there, he developed his own methodology by integrating clinical psychology
Clinical psychology
Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development...

 and sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

. Meanwhile, he was invited by a number of universities and research institutions abroad to carry out research and to give them lectures. He served as the Director of CSDS between 1992 and 1997. He also serves on the Editorial Collective of Public Culture
Public Culture
Public Culture is a reviewed interdisciplinary academic journal of cultural studies, founded in 1988 by anthropologists Carol Breckenridge and Arjun Appadurai...

, a reviewed journal published by Duke University Press.

Nandy has coauthored a number of human rights reports and is active in movements for peace, alternative sciences and technologies, and cultural survival. He is a member of the Executive Councils of the World Futures Studies Federation
World Futures Studies Federation
The World Futures Studies Federation is a global non-governmental organization that was founded in 1973 to promote the development of futures studies as an academic discipline.- History :...

, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative is an international non-governmental organisation formed to support Human Rights and particularly to support the implementation of the Harare Declaration in the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations...

, the International Network for Cultural Alternatives to Development, and the People's Union for Civil Liberties
People's Union for Civil Liberties
People's Union for Civil Liberties is a human rights body formed in India in 1976 by socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan, as the People's Union for Civil Liberties and Democratic Rights .-The indian emergency:...

. Nandy has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., a Charles Wallace Fellow at the University of Hull
University of Hull
The University of Hull, known informally as Hull University, is an English university, founded in 1927, located in Hull, a city in the East Riding of Yorkshire...

, and a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities, University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a public research university located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university...

. He held the first UNESCO Chair at the Center for European Studies, University of Trier
University of Trier
The University of Trier , in the German city of Trier, was founded in 1473. Closed in 1798 by order of the then French administration in Trier, the university was re-established in 1970 after a hiatus of some 172 years. The new university campus is located on top of the Tarforst heights, an urban...

, in 1994. In 2006 he became the National Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research
Indian Council of Social Science Research
Indian Council of Social Science Research was established in the year of 1969 by the Government of India to promote research in social sciences in the country...

.

Professor Nandy is an intellectual who identifies and explores numerous and diverse problems. He has written extensively in last two decades. His 1983 book, titled ‘The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism’, talked about the psychological problems posed at a personal level by colonialism, for both colonizer and colonized. Nandy argues that the understanding of self is intertwined with those of race, class, and religion under colonialism, and that the Gandhian movement can be understood in part as an attempt to transcend a strong tendency of educated Indians to articulate political striving for independence in European terms. Through his prolific writing and other activities supported by his belief in non-violence, Professor Nandy has offered penetrating analysis from different angles of a wide range of problems such as political disputes and racial conflicts, and has made suggestions about how human beings can exist together, and together globally, irrespective of national boundaries.

Publications

  • 1978 - The New Vaisyas: Entrepreneurial Opportunity and Response in an Indian City. Raymond Lee Owens and Ashis Nandy. Bombay: Allied, 1977. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic P, 1978.
  • 1980 - At the Edge of Psychology: Essays in Politics and Culture. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1980. Delhi; Oxford: Oxford UP, 1990.
  • 1980 - Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists. New Delhi: Allied, 1980. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1995.
  • 1983 - The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1983. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1988.
  • 1983 - Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity. Ed. Ashis Nandy. Tokyo, Japan: United Nations University, 1988. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1990.
  • 1987 - Traditions, Tyranny, and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness. Delhi; New York: Oxford UP, 1987. New York: Oxford UP, 1992.
  • 1987 - Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity. Ed. Ashis Nandy. Tokyo, Japan: United Nations University, 1988. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1990.Traditions, Tyranny, and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness. Delhi; New York: Oxford UP, 1987. New York: Oxford UP, 1992.
  • 1988 - Science, Hegemony and Violence: A Requiem for Modernity. Ed. Ashis Nandy. Tokyo, Japan: United Nations University, 1988. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1990.
  • 1989 - The Tao of Cricket: On Games of Destiny and the Destiny of Games. New Delhi; New York: Viking, 1989. New Delhi; New York: Penguin, 1989.
  • 1993 - Barbaric Others: A Manifesto on Western Racism. Merryl Wyn Davies, Ashis Nandy, and Ziauddin Sardar. London; Boulder, CO: Pluto Press, 1993.
  • 1994 - The Illegitimacy of Nationalism: Rabindranath Tagore and the Politics of Self. Delhi; Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994.
  • 1994 - The Blinded Eye: Five Hundred Years of Christopher Columbus. Claude Alvares
    Claude Alvares
    Claude Alvares is a renowned environmentalist based in Goa, India. He is the editor of the Other India Press, an alternative publication based in India. The Director of the Goa Foundation, an environmental monitoring action group, Claude Alvares got his PhD from the Technische Hogeschool,...

    , Ziauddin Sardar, and Ashis Nandy. New York: Apex, 1994.
  • 1995 - The Savage Freud and Other Essays on Possible and Retrievable Selves. Delhi; London: Oxford UP, 1995. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1995.
  • 1995 - Creating a Nationality: the Ramjanmabhumi Movement and Fear of the Self. Eds. Ashis Nandy, Shikha Trivedy, and Achyut Yagnick. Delhi; Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.
  • 1996 - The Multiverse of Democracy: Essays in Honour of Rajni Kothari. Eds. D.L. Sheth and Ashis Nandy. New Delhi; London: Sage, 1996.
  • 1999 - Editor, The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema Zed: 1999. (also wrote introduction)
  • 2002 - Time Warps - The Insistent Politics of Silent and Evasive Pasts.
  • 2006 - Talking India: Ashis Nandy in conversation with Ramin Jahanbegloo. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • 2007 - TIME TREKS: The Uncertain Future of Old and New Despotisms. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2007.
  • 2007 - A Very Popular Exile. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Essays

  • Unclaimed Baggage, The Little Magazine
  • 1982 - The Psychology of Colonialism: Sex, Age, and Ideology in British India. Psychiatry 45 (Aug. 1982): 197-218.
  • 1983 - Towards an Alternative Politics of Psychology. International Social Science Journal 35.2 (1983): 323-38.
  • 1989 - The Fate of the Ideology of the State in India. The Challenge in South Asia: Development, Democracy and Regional Cooperation. Eds. Poona Wignaraja and Akmal Hussain. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1989.
  • 1989 - The Political Culture of the Indian State. Daedalus 118.4 (Fall 1989): 1-26.
  • 1990 - Satyajit Ray's Secret Guide. East-West Film Journal 4.2 (June 1990): 14-37.
  • 1991 - Hinduism Versus Hindutva: The Inevitability Of A Confrontation
  • 1993 - Futures Studies: Pluralizing Human Destiny. Futures 25.4 (May 1993): 464-65.
  • 1994 - Tagore and the Tiger of Nationalism. Times of India 4 Sept. 1994.
  • 1995 - History's Forgotten Doubles. History & Theory 34.2 (1995): 44-66.
  • 1996 - Bearing Witness to the Future. Futures 28.6-7 (Aug. 1996): 636-39.
  • 1999 - Indian Popular Cinema as a Slum’s Eye View of Politics. The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema. Zed: 1999. 1-18. (also editor)
  • 2002 - Obituary Of A Culture
  • 2004 - A Billion Gandhis
  • 2006 - Cuckoo over the cuckoo’s nest Tehelka
    Tehelka
    Tehelka is an Indian weekly political magazine under the editorship of Tarun Tejpal known for its undercover exposé style of journalism. Its cover price is Rs 20 per issue. The publication began in 2000 as a news website, Tehelka.com...

  • 2007 - What fuels Indian Nationalism? Tehelka
    Tehelka
    Tehelka is an Indian weekly political magazine under the editorship of Tarun Tejpal known for its undercover exposé style of journalism. Its cover price is Rs 20 per issue. The publication began in 2000 as a news website, Tehelka.com...

  • 2009 - The Hour Of The Untamed Cosmopolitan Tehelka
    Tehelka
    Tehelka is an Indian weekly political magazine under the editorship of Tarun Tejpal known for its undercover exposé style of journalism. Its cover price is Rs 20 per issue. The publication began in 2000 as a news website, Tehelka.com...

    ; Partition And The Fantasy Of A Masculine State The Times of India
    The Times of India
    The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. TOI has the largest circulation among all English-language newspaper in the world, across all formats . It is owned and managed by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd...


Quotations

  • Anxieties plaguing us since mid-1980s:".. the diminishing role of the sacred in everyday life, even though India continues to be seen as a country surfeit with religions and rituals.
  • "Distinctions between westernisation and modernisation have not touched the bulk of western educated modern Indians, who are convinced that their future lies in being exactly like Europe and North America."
  • "You cannot pay Rs 12,000 for a meal for two people in a five-star hotel and come out and throw Rs 10 to a boy competing with a dog for the garbage and think you have done your duty"
  • "In India, we live in a country where the gods are imperfect and the demons are never fully demonic. I call this an ‘epic culture’ because an epic is not complete without either the gods or the demons. They make the story together."

Further reading


Sources

  • Sardar, Ziauddin and Loon, Borin Van. 2001. Introducing Science. US: Totem Books (UK: Icon Books).

External links