One of India's leading public intellectuals, Ashis Nandy is a highly influential critic of modernity, science, nationalism, and secularism. In this, his most important collection of essays so far, he seeks to locate cultural forms and languages of being and thinking that defy the logic and hegemony of the modern West. The core of the volume consists of two ambitious, deeply probing essays, one on the early success of psychoanalysis in India, the other on the justice meted out by the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal to the defeated Japanese. Both issues are viewed in the context of the psychology of dominance over a subservient or defeated culture.
This theme is explored further in essays on mass culture and the media, political terrorism, the hold of modern medicine, and, notably, the conflict or split between the creative work of writers like Kipling, Rushdie, and H. G. Wells, and the political and social values they publicly and rationally present. Also included is a controversial essay by Nandy on the issue of sati, or widow's suicide.
"It is always a pleasure to read Ashis Nandy, who combines an astonishing range of interests with a profound imagination and an unerring eye for whimsy. The essays in this collection cover terrorism, window immolation, war crimes, psychoanalysis ... medicine, and cinema."--Psychohistory Review
File created: 8/31/2016