Ramachandra Guha (1958 - ) is an
Indian historian and biographer whose research interests have included environment, social, political and cricket history. He is also a columnist for the newspapers The Hindu, The Hindustan Timesand The Telegraph.
Life and career
Dehra Dunin 1958, Guha studied at The Doon Schooland St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He graduated in Economics with a BA in 1977 and then an MA from the Delhi School of Economics, and did his PhD in Sociology at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, with a dissertation on the social history of forestryin Uttaranchal, that focused on the Chipko movement. It was later published as "The Unquiet Woods". Between 1985 and 2000, he had taught at various universities in India, Europe and North America, including the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, Stanford Universityand at Oslo University, and later at the Indian Institute of Science. Guha's teaching assignments at the universities such as Yale, Stanford and University of California, Berkeley, were in the category of guest/invited lectures. He was also a fellow of Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in Germany.
Since then, he moved to
Bangalore, and began writing full time. He served as Sundaraja Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 2003. He is managing trustee of the New India Foundation, a nonprofit body that funds research on modern Indian history.Guha is married to the graphic designer Sujata Keshavan and has two children.
He is the author of a bestselling history of independent India titled "
India after Gandhi", published by Macmillan and Eccoin 2007.
Awards and recognition
*His essay, "Prehistory of Community Forestry in India", was awarded the
Leopold-Hidy Prizeof the American Society for Environmental Historyfor 2001.
*"A Corner of a Foreign Field" was awarded the
Daily TelegraphCricket Society Book of the Year prize for 2002.
*He won the
R. K. NarayanPrize at the Chennai Book Fairin 2003.
*He is also a
*The US magazine
Foreign Policynamed him as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world in May 2008. [ [http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4293 Foreign Policy: Top 100 Intellectuals] ] . In the poll that followed, Guha was placed 44th.
Guha created a stir in 2000 when he criticized novelist and activist
Arundhati Royfor an emotionally charged article [cite web
last = Roy
first = Arundhati
title = The Greater Common Good
url = http://www.narmada.org/gcg/gcg.html
accessdate = 2006-09-18 ] she had written opposing the
Narmada Dam. Roy espoused the cause of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, a cause Guha supported too. While he characterized her as courageous, he questioned her judgement and intellectual probity. He ended his critique by suggesting she should stick to fiction. [cite web
last = Guha
first = Ramachandra
title = The Arun Shourie of the left
url = http://www.hindu.com/2000/11/26/stories/13260411.htm
accessdate = 2006-09-18 ] Amidst the ensuing uproar, Roy chose to respond in an interview, summing up Guha as an ecological historian who had missed the boat. [cite web
last = Ram
first = Narasimhan
title = Scimitars in the Sun
publisher = Frontline
url = http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1801/18010040.htm
accessdate = 2006-09-18 ]
* "The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya" (University of California, Berkeley press; Oxford University Press (OUP)) (1989)
* "This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India" (OUP) (with
Madhav Gadgil, 1992)
* "Wickets in the East" (OUP) (1992)
* "Social Ecology" (OUP) (Editor, with T.N. Madan, 1994)
* "Spin and Other Turns" (Penguin) (1994)
* "An Indian Cricket Omnibus" (OUP) (Editor, with T.G. Vaidyanathan, 1994)
* "Ecology and Equity" (with
Madhav Gadgil, 1995) (Penguin)
* "Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and South" (with Joan Martinez-Alier, 1997)
* "Savaging the Civilized — Verrier Elwin, his tribals and India"(University of Chicago Press; OUP)(1999)
* "An Anthropologist Among the Marxists, and other essays" (Permanent Black) (2000)
* "Environmentalism: A global history" (OUP) (2000)
* "The Picador Book of Cricket" (Picador) (Editor, 2001)
* "A Corner of a Foreign Field - An Indian history of a British sport" (Picador) (2001)
* "An Indian cricket century" (Editor, works of
Sujit Mukherjee, 2002)
* "The Last Liberal and Other Essays" (Permanent Black, 2004)
* "The States of Indian Cricket" (Permanent Black) (2005)
* "How Much Should a Person Consume?: Thinking Through the Environment"(University of California, Berkeley Press; Permanent Black) (2006)
* "India after Gandhi: The history of the world's largest democracy" (Ecco) (2007)
* "Institutions and Inequalities: Essays in Honour of Andre Beteille" (with Jonathan P. Parry)
* "Nature's Spokesman: M. Krishnan and Indian Wildlife" (editor, works of M. Krishnan)
* "Nature, Culture, Imperialism: Essays on the Environmental History of South Asia" (with David Arnold)
* [http://www.anitanair.net/profiles/profile-ramachandra-guha.htm Ramachandra Guha - History's Footman] , a profile by
* [http://www.indiatogether.org/opinions/ramguha India Together: List of Ramachandra Guha's Recent Columns]
* [http://www.outlookindia.com/author.asp?name=Ramachandra+Guha Ramachandra Guha's essays for Outlook India] (registration required)
* [http://www.narmada.org/debates/ramguha/index.html The Arun Shourie of the Left] debate on the Guha article criticizing Arundhati Roy
* [http://www.hvk.org/articles/0900/52.html Big Brother Fascination]
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