Rigour in the margins
- Former Ranji player held, Sreesanth and others to be produced in court today
- Li Keqiang pitches for more Chinese investments as he backs trade balance
- All eyes on Narendra Modi as BJP set to discuss strategy for Lok Sabha polls
- SC agrees to hear PIL to stay IPL matches due to spot-fixing
- Monstrous tornado rips through US city of Oklahoma, 90 dead
The CSDS has its blind spots, moments of partisanship and the occasional internal squabble. But they cannot overshadow the extraordinary achievement of this institution. It is hard to imagine how impoverished Indian intellectual life would have been without the insouciantly brilliant intellectual culture it fostered. The CSDS became the best exemplar of traits that several small institutions in India have preserved against great odds. It has intellectuals who are strangely unhoused in the dominant categories of the times. It has intellectuals who have achieved a measure of eminence and excellence, but not in ways that can be measured by the usual professional categories. It has intellectuals comfortable in different genres: the abstruse academic publication, the public sphere and even that much-maligned oral culture of argument. But what it has retained for the most part is a fierce sense of independence and self-possession, not just from government but from shifting fashions. There are two kinds of intellectual cultures. Some define themselves in the context of fads and fashions, and cling to sacred dogmas or texts even against a recalcitrant reality. Others define themselves in the context of wondering about reality, enchanted by its variousness. They shape a way of looking at the world rather than becoming prisoners of authority. The CSDS was decidedly in the second camp, and that was the source of its creativity.
The CSDS also promoted a style important for democracies. Intellectuals must say what they think; but they must not carry any sense of presumption or special authority. They must be critical but without falling into the whole-scale misanthropy that afflicts so many intellectuals. They must push theory, but they must not confuse theory with judgement. The CSDS, on the whole, maintained that balance. Even when its faculty members were wrong or blindsided, there was more to learn from them than from those who had got it right.
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- Talkative Li quoted Weber, Hegel, Jobs, said PM is large-hearted
- Bihar food corp ends up with chaff as rice worth Rs 535 cr vanishes from mills
- In 7 lucrative minutes on May 9, Sreesanth bowled 6 balls, bookie made Rs 2.5 cr
- India and China ask border envoys to work on more steps
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held