Making the Cut–Top 100 Public Intellectuals from South Asia

Foreign Policy Magazine is conducting a survey of top 100 public intellectuals. This list consists of 10 South Asians and 5 Indians from various walks of life, including two Nobel Laureates —Amartya Sen and Muhammad Yunus. Undoubtedly, South Asia, particularly India has come punching out or say breaking the glass-ceiling of the world of high-powered intellectual community.

This list speaks to my overall point that India is no longer a mere outsourcing and off-shoring outpost, merely servicing the needs of its colonial masters. It can and it has significantly contributed the outgrowth of ideas. India has genuine home-grown high-quality intellectual pioneers, these individuals are seriously altering the structure of the intellectual make-up of the global policy making.

South Asians in the Foreign Policy Top100 List

• Ashis Nandy, India, Political Psychologist
• Amartya Sen, India, Economist (Nobel Prize in Economics)
• Sunita Narain, India, Environmentalist
• V.S. Ramachandran, India, Neuroscientist
• Ramachandra Guha, India, Historian
• Salman Rusdhie, India via Britain, Novelist (Knighted in Britain)
• Fareed Zakaria, India via United States
• Mahmood Mamdani, India via Uganda
• Aitzaz Ahsan, Pakistan, Lawyer, Politician
• Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh, Microfinance, Activist (Nobel Peace Prize)

Here are some Indians, who are not included in the list:

• Jagdish Bhagwati, India via United States, International Trade Economist
• C.K. Prahalad, India, Business Strategist
• Vandana Shiva, India, Environmental Activist
• Sashi Tharoor, India, International Diplomat, Novelist
• Partha Chatterjee, India, Historian
• Jumpa Lahri, Novelist,
• Mira Nair, Film-maker, Essayist

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Tom Friedman Earth Day Lecture Welcome Reception

Tom Friedman gave an Earth Day lecture in Brown University recently. He was received very warmly by concerned students interested in protecting earth from corporate environmentalism. Here see for yourself the warm reception he got:

Interdisciplinary Human Rights Conference

No blogging for a few days.  I am off to the America, Human Rights and the World Interdisciplinary Human Rights Conference to be held at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Will see you all early next week.  If you are interested in the Conference Program, Click Here.

Meanwhile here are some questions to think about:

  1. Was Columbia University right in inviting the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak in their campus?

  2. Was the President of Columbia University, Dr. Lee Bolinger, wrong in publicly castigating a visiting foreign dignitary without showing any respect, however unpleasant the visiting dignitary maybe?

  3. Is the President of Iran really a crazy guy with some bizarre ideas or is he putting an act on just to rile up the crowd and come up looking as a hero among his supporters?