New Delhi: Ashoka University, pioneers in Liberal arts and Science education in partnership with Oxford University Press and Penguin organized a workshop on “Conversations with Ramachandra Guha: Engaging a Life of Scholarship” in New Delhi on April 05th and 6th, 2018. Several scholars, who were influenced by Guha’s work or those who have collaborated with him, were present at the work-shop to felicitate and discuss his work, its contributions as well as shortcomings. Some of the finest and seminal works of Guha are in the fields of environmental studies, sociology, political sciences, cricket history, biographies and more.
Mr. Guha’s work has been hugely influential in shaping debates across several disciplines. In addition, through the New India Foundation and his own personal engagement, he has been very encouraging of other scholars. His public writing has been a source of secular and democratic reason and has contributed much to public debate in India.
Mahesh Rangarajan, Dean of Academic Affairs at Ashoka University and eminent environmental historian, speaking at the inauguration of the two-day workshop said, “Ramachandra Guha’s work has brought us together from across from the world – Harvard University; University of Cambridge; King’s College, London; Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; University of South Carolina; IIT, Guwahati; University of Leicester, etc. and from a number of academic disciplines, which shows the diversity and interest we share in his contribution to academia. To Guha, criticism is the best way of appreciation. On occasion of his 60th birthday, in celebration of his work, we are here to appreciate and engage in critical dialogue of his work.”
One of the notable sessions of the day were on Environmental Politics in India: Past, Present and Future with Padma Shri awardee, a noted ecologist, Mr. Madhav Gadgil (National Centre for Cell Science, Pune) and Shekhar Pathak, leading historian, academician and writer (IIAS, Shimla and Editor, PAHAR) were in Conversation, with Mukul Sharma from IIMC, Delhi.
Amongst other notable speakers present at the workshop were Professor, Arupjyoti Saikia, Assistant Professor in History in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Joan Martinez Alier, spanish economist, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Economic History and researcher at ICTA at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Dr. Prashant Kidambi, Historian from Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Chancellor, Ashoka University; to name a few and several other scholars.