Earlier in the spring, I had the chance to listen to Prof. Amartya Sen speaking about his new book, The Argumentative Indian. In a forty-five minute long speech and almost an hour long discussion that followed the speech Prof. Sen described what he called the rich tradition of debate in Indian philosophy, religion and culture. Sen argued that this rich tradition is responsible for flourishing pluralism in India, and also why Indians should be cautiously optimistic about the fate of their democracy.
The Argumentative Indian does not release in the US market until this October, but it has already been released in UK. During my visit to India earlier in June, I tried hard to get my hands on the book, but I did not get a copy anywhere. So, this makes me jealous of Chandrahas Choudhury of The Middle Stage, who got to read this collection of essays.
Some of the essays from the book are available on the web. For example, see Tagore and his India, India: Large and Small, History and the Enterprise of Knowledge, and India through its Calendars. As Chandrahas has noted, however, nothing beats having the book in your hand and some time to mull over it. So, I will wait until October unless you are passing through UK and want to get a copy of the book for me!