Holding the mirror up to Indian Democracy
Peter Ronald deSouza, professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and former head of the Department of Political Science, Goa University, released his book titled ‘In the Hall of Mirrors: Reflections on Indian Democracy’ at afunction organised at the International Centre Goa.
A single mirror reflects the truth as it is but only from one perspective. However, a new book titled ‘A Hall of Mirrors’, on the other hand exposes the truth through overlapping reflections with varying depths and from a wide range of perspectives. In this book, political scientist Peter Ronald deSouza places India at the centre of such a hall of mirrors. He reveals for the reader, the layered nature of Indian democracy, one particular depth, and one particular perspective at a time.
The Department of Political Science, Goa University in association with The International Centre Goa, Dona Paula organised the book release and discussion of ‘In the Hall of Mirrors: Reflections on Indian Democracy’ by Professor Peter Ronald deSouza, Centre for the Study of Developing Studies (CSDS) on 24 March 2018. The book release was followed by a discussion around the theme of the book and this session was chaired by Dr Pushkar, Director, International Centre Goa and the discussants were Professor Varun Sahni, Vice-Chancellor, Goa University and Mr Harsh Sethi, columnist, public Intellectual and Consulting Editor of Seminar The former head of the Department of Political Science, Goa University, Peter Ronald deSouza is a professor at CSDS and held the Dr S Radhakrishnan Chair of Rajya Sabha till April 2017. He was the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), Shimla for two terms (2007-13). Peter works on issues of democratic politics and the comparative politics of South Asia and has published widely, including books, journal articles, and in leading newspapers. He recently edited a collection of articles of D L Sheth, At Home with Democracy: A Theory of Indian Politics (Palgrave Macmillan), 2018. In his latest book, he discusses the dynamics of democracy and the nature of the human condition in India though a range of multidisciplinary analytical and methodological tools. It documents our achievements and failures, follies and humanity through the fall and rise of competing ideologies. Students, scholars and the general reader interested in democracy, political science and contemporary India are bound to find this book interesting. The essays in the book, written over the course of the past two decades, document the aspirations and anxieties of the Indian people, the accommodations that India’s plural society has made and the uncertainties and ambivalence that remain as a result of this grand experiment of and in democracy. With this eclectic collection of his writings in journals and popular dailies the author takes you through an array of issues facing us. At every turn and in every corner he reflects on the resilience of India democracy, the world’s largest and most challenging.
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