Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From kings to cabbages

This collection of pieces by Kaushik Basu, written over the last five years, is verily a potpourri of thoughts on a variety of subjects, the only common element being the catholicity of his tastes.

Basu has had a fairly long stint abroad holding prestigious academic positions. Yet he retains the Indian weltanschauung lightly without being righteous. Respected for his research on development economics, industrial organisations, and globalisation, among others, he has edited commemorative volumes in honour of Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz. He is a self-confessed agnostic; but may not mind a prayer to Goddess Kali of Kolkata for its continuance! (He has a delightful piece on Praying at the foothills of Mount Fuji to get over his stomach pains!)


A collection of this kind is surely a reader's delight, but a reviewer's peril. The subjects range from kings to cabbages: a comparison of the performance of India with China's; the state of the Indian economy, its strength, potential and failings; personalities; current economic issues; personal memorabilia; a couple of stories translated from Bengali and, finally, a play set in academic cloisters.

Full report here Hindu

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