Bonfire of Creeds - The Essential Ashis Nandy

Bonfire of Creeds - The Essential Ashis Nandy

Product ID: 12543

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Author: Ashis Nandy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 506
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195664124


The anthology invites readers to revisit Ashis Nandy’s thought and to participate in the open-ended, intellectual adventure of his work. The essays included do not merely reflect his long-term political and moral concerns abut are also a continuous intellectual challenge to us. They force us to ask ourselves new questions, even as they offer guidance in the regeneration and re-enchantment of our own selves, what Nandy calls the possible and retrievable selves within us.

A pioneer in radical critiques of development and modern science, Nandy has become, for many, a world public intellectual, trying to give primacy to culture and to people’s knowledge and seeking to dismantle the intellectual apparatus underpinning the enterprise of experts-led development and the in-built violence of Baconian science. Both demand, Nandy believes, a plural vision of a desirable society and a capacity to live with open ideas of the human future.

This collection, introduced by Gustavo Esteva and Madhu S Prakash, gives the reader comprehensive introduction to the democratic, post-secular sensitivities that shape Nandy’s approach to transformative politics and his non-hierarchical, ant-technocratic ideas of people’s knowledge. In this book, as in his entire intellectual life, the two pivots of his work have remained the political psychology of violence and cultural psychology of knowledge. Trained to explore the complexities of human subjectivity, he has continued to explore the extremes of human destructiveness and human creativity and to use knowledge as a therapeutic intervention in society and politics. For such an intervention to be successful, knowledge not only has to be decolonized but must also be made to admit the importance of the mythopoetic and the sacred in human affairs.

This anthology will be of enduring interest to social scientists, policy-makers, activists and those interested in the complexities of Indian politics and culture.


Introduction: A Dialogue with Ashis Nandy
By Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri Prakash

Cultural Frames for Social Transformation: A Credo


Sati: A Nineteenth-Century Tale of Women, Violence and Protest

Final Encounter: The Politics of the Assassination of Gandhi

Culture, State and the Rediscovery of Indian Politics

The Twilight of Certitudes: Secularism, Hindu Nationalism and Other Masks of Deculturation

A Report on the Present State of Health of the Gods and Goddesses in South Asia


The Illegitimacy of Nationalism: Rabindranath Tagore and the Politics of Self

The Fantastic India-Pakistan Battle: Or the Future of the Past in South Asia

Satyajit Ray’s Secret Guide to Exquisite Murders: Creativity, Social Criticism, and the Partitioning of the Self


Science, Authoritarianism and Culture: On the Scope and Limits of Isolation outside the Clinic

Culture, Voice and Development: A Primer for the Unsuspecting

Towards an Alternative Politics of Psychology

The Savage Freud: The First Non-Western Psychoanalyst and the Politics of Secret Selves in Colonial India

The Scope and Limits of Dissent: India’s First Environmentalist and His Critique of the DVC


Reconstructing Childhood: A Critique of the Ideology of Adulthood

Towards a Third World Utopia

Shamans, Savages and the Wilderness: On the Audibility of Dissent and the Future of Civilizations