Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Wire: Hegel's Gita - A Philosopher Haunted by Indian Spirit


​'It is little known that the great teacher of Karl Marx, German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, wrote extensively on the Gita. Hegel’s long two-part essay entitled, “On the Episode of the Mahabharata Known by the Name Bhagavad-Gita by Wilhelm von Humboldt” is a detailed critique of not only the Indological work of Humboldt, but also of the philosophical foundations and teachings of the ​Gita itself.'

 ​ ​
The Wire, 'Hegel's Gita: A Philosopher Haunted by Indian Spirit'. An excerpt from Hegel's India: ​A Reinterpretation04/NOV/2017



Hegel’s India was nominated for Best Non-fiction Book of 2017, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest. 

Arabic and Italian Forays: Hegel's India


'Hegel's Gita'
~ Arabic translation in Hekmah, 3 October 2018



'Hegel, passione indiana' 
~ Review by Sebastiano Maffettone in Italian press, Il Sole 24 Ore, 2 April 2017



Hegel ka Bharat: Kuchh Pratikriyaen - Review in Pratiman


~ Review of Hegel's India in Pratiman, ​Vol. 10, ​Nand Kishore Acharya, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, India, July-December 2017





A philosophical critique of Hegel - Economic & Political Weekly







‘A philosophical critique of Hegel will have to squarely confront this question, howsoever critical it may well be—and justifiably so—​of Hegel’s specific historical, sociological, and politico-theoretical forays. After all, at stake in the latter is both the conceptualisation and expression of the modern condition in the shape of the free citizen (modern politics) having a human history as much as a “collective perfectibility.”’ ​

— Rahul Govind, ​Economic & Political WeeklyVol. 53, Issue No. 16, 21 April 2018 

A unique volume: The Sunday Guardian



‘This unique volume brings together Hegel’s reflections and argues that Indian thought haunted him, representing a nemesis to his own philosophy.’​ ​

The Sunday Guardian, 15-21 October 2017 

India figures in Hegel’s classic writings - The Caravan


'India figures in Hegel’s classic writings on the philosophy of history and the modern state. He also wrote on the caste system, the Bhagavad Gita, Indian art and other topics. Scholars of postcolonialism have often dismissed these works as Orientalist and essentialist. This new book includes of all of Hegel’s essays on India, as well as explanatory essays about his writings, to reassess the significance of India in the philosopher’s larger body of work.' ​​

The Caravan1 April 2017


A fusion of horizons - Hegel's India in the Jadavpur Journal of Philosophy ​


'There seems to be a fusion of horizons between the Hegelian absolute and ​Indian Brahman.' ​

— Prasenjit Biswas, Jadavpur Journal of Philosophy, ​Volume 27, Number 1, 2017-18


Excites, Provokes, Ignites: Journal of Contemporary Thought




‘What the authors manage to reveal . . . is the earnestness with which Hegel had in fact engaged with India . . . Hegel’s India surely manages to excite, provoke and ignite a spark.’ 

— P. G. Jung, Journal of Contemporary Thought
Winter 2016, Number 44

Indian Philosophy, Western Perspective: Hegel's India in The Tribune



‘Hegel, as the authors in an excellent comprehensive introduction in the book show, wrote a great deal about India . . . While [they] offer a reinterpretation of Hegel’s writings on India, what is most compelling about this volume is reading ​an influential 19th-century thinker’s creation of the oriental outlook that was to dominate western scholarship and even fashion sustaining the self-image which many orientals imbibed under colonial rule.’ 

— Vijay Tankha, The Tribune, 8 April 2018


An important book at a significant time: The Book Review


‘This is an important book at a significant time. It makes some incisive points on how the Anglophone world has refused to, and continues to ignore, the contributions of “far-reaching philosophical systems” that arose outside the so-called western traditions.’ 

— Ajay Gudavarthy, The Book Review
VOLUME XLI, NUMBER 6, JUNE 2017



Hegel’s India in Biblio: A Review of Books




Hegel’s India is an attempt to deal with one of the most complex and systematic of philosophers that many have chosen to ignore on the basis of mere indirect references to his work . . . This is one of the most striking things about the book—the ease with which the authors attempt to bridge the gap between worlds hitherto thought of as unbridgeable.’ 

— Sunil Kumar, Biblio: A Review of Books, January-March 2018, Vol. XXIII, Numbers 1-3



Hegel's India: Reactions



​‘Promises to be the most thorough and incisive treatment of the topic since Tibebu’s Hegel and the Third World.’ 
— Makarand R. Paranjape 


‘Intriguing and original’ 
— Dilip M. Menon

Hegel’s India in the Journal of Indian Council ​of Philosophical Research


Hegel’s India . . . helps go beyond the orientalist and power/knowledge frameworks, and think of philosophy in a new way.’ 

— Ranabir Samaddar, Journal of Indian Council ​of Philosophical ResearchVolume 35, Issue 3pp 497–512


The book is available here.

A book that speaks of and to the times - IIC Quarterly



​‘A book that speaks of and to the times . . . Hegel’s India makes Hegel both accessible and pertinent to the Indian reader who may be looking to constructively find distinctions between Indian philosophy, religious doctrine and hegemony.’ 

— Navtej Johar, IIC Quarterly, Autumn 2017, Volume 44, Number 2

The Hindu: Sunday Feature of Hegel's India



‘Shed[s] new light on Indological and Hegelian studies . . . including translations of [Hegel’s] lesser-known essays on the Bhagavad Gita and Oriental Spirit.’ 

The Hindu, 5 November 2017

The Land of Desire: The Indian Express​




‘It is wonderful to have access to these writings in one volume. The introduction gives a tour d’horizon of the sources Hegel consulted and the interpretive controversies surrounding his work on India . . . Reading Hegel is always challenging. If the difficulties are great, so are the stakes. Even in his most prejudiced criticism, he could shine a light ​on unusual questions.’ 

— Pratap Bhanu Mehta, 'The Land of Desire', ​The Indian Express​, 11 February 2017

Hegel's India in The Owl of Minerva


‘That [a] long-neglected essay [Herbert Herring’s translation of Hegel’s 1827 review of Humboldt’s work on the Bhagavad Gita] . . . now appears in a good English translation is a boon to ​Hegel studies.’ 

— Eric v.d. Luft, The Owl of Minerva
Volume 48, Issue 1/2, 2016/2017



Hegel’s India - Oxford India Paperbacks


Hegel’s India takes the challenge of a detailed reading of Hegel’s texts with a surprising result: behind Hegel’s dismissal of India, there lies not only his profound fascination with India but also an uncanny proximity between India’s ancient wisdom and Hegel’s speculative thought. Beneath Hegel’s India, we can discern the traces of what would have been India’s Hegel. [This book] provides a model of how a dialogue between different cultures should be practiced, beyond the confines of Eurocentrism and historicist relativism.’

— Slavoj Žižek,
 International Director, the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London, United Kingdom

​ 
 
'From the very beginning the depth of Hegel’s engagement with India and with Indian philosophy has been consistently underestimated. This volume makes a compelling case for a reassessment and it does so at a time when Western philosophy faces renewed challenges for its Eurocentrism. Hegel’s India belongs front and center within that debate for the new perspective it offers.'

— Robert Bernasconi, 
Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of  Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University, USA



Now available in Paperback

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Montage Evening

Bombay. January of 2016, half past five in the evening. You are in a taxi, passing along Marine Drive. The afterglow of sun packs itself for later. That way it might last longer. Amblers and wayfarers gather at the sea. The city faintly buzzes in the horizon, a loud arc of traffic extends behind you. A sleepless skyline stapled with the sun and a metropolis. You are not sure yet if you talk, watch, rush, or savour the ocean’s quiet. A multitude of stories that throb like unknown hearts. An indifferent sea as witness. It’s a mixture of a thousand things. Maybe it’s the crashing waves, maybe it’s the calm.

[Photographs from a moving taxi. A tribute to sunlight that let the silhouettes form. This montage catches glimpses from a Black and White dream.]


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hegel in Mumbai


Bombay called me back in November this year! This happy, sleepless city, not shy about its love. 

During the weekend at Mumbai LitFest 2017 - Tata Literature LiveHegel’s India was caught lazing among 'Award-Winning Books' at Landmark at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point!

Limelight and citylights. Bridges and dreams. Sea and sky. Flight and height. Turns and curves. Taxis and walks. Sleep and wake. Slow and fast. Hues and night.































Hegel’s India - In Marx and Philosophy Review of Books!


‘Not only have Rathore and Mohapatra carefully collated Hegel’s writings on India, including translations of hitherto unfamiliar texts, in their brilliant reinterpretation of these writings, provide a justification, which is both sympathetic and critical, of Hegel’s engagement with India . . . Intellectuals and activists challenging entrenched casteism and the upsurge of Hindu fundamentalism in India will be eternally grateful for Hegel’s India.'

A lucid and humbling review of the book! 

Read the full review here.

Karthick Ram Manoharan, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books15 December 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hegel’s Gita – A Philosopher Haunted by Indian Spirit

An excerpt from Hegel’s IndiaA Reinterpretation, about Hegel’s little known writings on the Bhagavad Gita.

By Aakash Singh Rathore and Rimina Mohapatra 
Published in The Wire, 4 November 2017

It is little known that the great teacher of Karl Marx, German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, wrote extensively on the Gita. Hegel’s long two-part essay entitled, “On the Episode of the Mahabharata Known by the Name Bhagavad-Gita by Wilhelm von Humboldt” is a detailed critique of not only the Indological work of Humboldt, but also of the philosophical foundations and teachings of the Gita itself.

Read more here.





Saturday, October 28, 2017


Hegel's India nominated for the 

TATA LITERATURE LIVE! AWARDS 2017

Book of the Year (non-fiction)!

Sharing space with these stars:

NONFICTION: Pankaj Mishra, Shashi Tharoor, Meena Menon, Arun Shourie, Milan Vaishnav


FICTION: Arundhati Roy, Anees Salim, Sujit Saraf, Shahnaz Bashir, Easterine Kire, Meena Kandasamy

Stunned and thrilled, goosebumps!

#tataliteraturelive #tatalitlive #litlive

http://www.tatalitlive.in/exhibitors/book-of-the-year/



SaveSave

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

'The Land of Desire' -- A Review of 'Hegel’s India: A Reinterpretation, with Texts'


An extract:
'Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s sustained engagement with India has always been something of a puzzle. His views on India, “the land of desire,” cannot, despite interpretive acrobatics, be described as anything but hostile. Yet, there is a seriousness of purpose in his engagement . . .  the useful introduction by Aakash Singh Rathore and Rimina Mohapatra to their usable anthology of Hegel’s writings on India does not dissent from this explanation, but hints that there must be something more to the matter. After all, Hegel is constantly revising the material he incorporates on India, whether it is in his lecture cycles on history and religion or the material in his encyclopaedia. There is also the palpable intensity of engagement that comes through in all the writings collected in this volume . . . It is wonderful to have access to these writings in one volume. The introduction gives a tour d’horizon of the sources Hegel consulted and the interpretive controversies surrounding his work on India . . . But reading Hegel is always challenging. If the difficulties are great, so are the stakes. Even in his most prejudiced criticism, he could shine a light on unusual questions.' 

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, 'The Land of Desire', 11 February 2017, The Indian Express


Sunday, January 29, 2017

The distinctiveness of German Indology – and its expression in German philosophy

On one side, posturing against his intellectual rivals (that is, the German romantics, great champions of Indian wisdom) Hegel treated Indian thought with acerbic contempt, riding roughshod over the subtle distinctions which, during cooler and more contemplative moments, he himself took great pains to tease out, articulate, and explore. 

See more here


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Six Windows


1 Chance thought it was a Sunday. Swirled a nightful. Erased telephone calls.

2 Will knew because she took a late taxi. Hours after, moon met unsure rainwind.

3 Will wanted to read. Starstorms of Chance's reluctant, moody fiction.

4 Chance went home. Left time hanging on curtains.

5 Bent forests in Will's noodle bowl. But Chance wanted pizza.

6 Sleepless city lay on Anonymity sea. Chance got two film tickets and popcorn. Bleary Will woke from a bad dream that second. Phone screen lit. A text from Chance:

'Want to bet?'

#midnightcrawler #christmasstory #winterdoodle

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hegel's India: A Reinterpretation, with Texts



In his writings on India, Hegel characterized Indian thought as “fantastic,” “subjective,” “wild,” “dreamy,” “frenzied,” “absurd,” and “repetitive”. 
If Indian art, religion, and philosophy were so inadequate, what explains his life-long fascination with India? This unique volume brings together Hegel’s reflections and argues that Indian thought haunted him, representing a nemesis to his own philosophy. Further, it indicates that the longstanding critical appraisals of Hegel are incommensurate with his detailed explorations of Indian thought. Hegel distinguished his own thought on two grounds. The first was to focus on freedom and to rail perpetually against the caste system. The second was to indicate the necessity for dialectical mediation, and thus to reprove the stasis of Indian thought. But did Hegel ever manage to exorcise the evil twin that beset his work? Shedding new light on Indological and Hegelian studies, this book systematically presents all of Hegel’s writings on and about India for the first time, including translations of his lesser-known essays on the Bhagavad-Gita and the Oriental Spirit, along with a substantive reinterpretation and a bibliography.

Breakout

Announcing my new co-authored book: Hegel's India: A Reinterpretation, with Texts (with Aakash Singh Rathore), on the inimitable philosopher's obsessive affair with India, published by Oxford University Press! Breaks the myth around this continental Godfather (precursor to Marx, Nietzsche, phenomenology, existentialism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, positivism, analytic philosophy, critical theory, structuralism and all things post).

Žižek, maverick Slovenian pop star, bitterly named 'the most dangerous philosopher in the West' and the 'Elvis of cultural theory', has decided to break in and write a note for it! 


"In our postcolonial times, Hegel’s thoughts on India seem to allow only one reaction: an outright rejection of Hegel’s racist Eurocentrism. Hegel’s India takes the challenge of a detailed reading of Hegel’s texts with a surprising result: behind Hegel’s dismissal of India, there lies not only his profound fascination with India but also an uncanny proximity between India’s ancient wisdom and Hegel’s speculative thought. Beneath Hegel’s India, we can discern the traces of what would have been India’s Hegel. [This book] provides a model of how a dialogue between different cultures should be practiced, beyond the confines of Eurocentrism and historicist relativism." — Slavoj Žižek 




Saturday, December 13, 2014

Carousel

Melancholia and Delight
Didn't go to the fair
They went their ways
As rapacious rainbows
Hid and surfaced
Sulking harmonica
Sent anonymous 
Invitations 
To Jack-in-the-box
Insomniac, imbecile
Rooted restless glue
Jugglers played the flute
Under wild midsummer
Raced the circus tent
Melancholia reached home
But Delight lost her way
Accidentally met the box
Fair came by instead
To complicated cube
Neon whirl

Pickpocket

Can of an ocean haze. 
Rustle of a sand sheet.
Wind truant handkerchief.
Pocket rock surreptitious.

[November 8, 2014]

Clock Tower

Alone rushed
Kindred past
Didn't you know
That hours wait
Stillness stops by
Lazy they'd meet
In cloaked seconds
Fade out and cut
Clockwork love
Time for none

[August 14, 2014]

Somersaults

Somersaults of a wily noon
Tell you the toyest lie
Pieces of a twisted compass
Pointing south, skewed high
Tumble in the current
Where static sticks like magnet
In electric charge twines
Acrobat dream
Whirlwind deadlock

[August 14, 2014]

Perfect Ten

Streetened dust
Cast in bones 
Strange, hidden
Bitter, remains
Where reflections hang 
Upon tungsten shards
Flashes of faraway frolic
A dreamy iris watches 
Behind nose-pressed glass
Like a falling kite trapped
Whiffs appetise, famished, waits
Yellow fire, crimson smoke
Sprinkle salt, spices call
Whipped wounds on the side
Tossed and shaken
In a newspaper packet
Hate and hope
Served mint fresh

[July 27, 2014]

Solstice

Windscreen winding
Roadside rising
Glinting asphalt
Twilight shining
Nets on wayside
Trees, wild, hiding

Stardust memories 
Of long ago
Revolving, forgetting 
That they met before
Whenever you crossed
Driving in rain
Losing and finding
Your bluest vein

[June 21, 2014]

Yellow 12

Yellow 12
Cut square and firm
Mountain pieces from ago
And fractions of a puckish sky
Wound in those stranger pines

[June 7, 2014]

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Tangled


It stood still
When you fell
Held aloft
Silent, seeing
Snip a time-warp
It is pastime

Mending turn
Word alone
Yours or mine
Fighting light
A fraction run
Swapping veins
Steal a wish
Hang it dry

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ruse


There is that
A dream asleep
Flaming eyes
Crooked whim
Rouse the intrigue
Wrong, then real
Awake yet?

[Oct 6, 2013]