March 9 2016
Major radio series looking at vital figures in Indian and world history now gets a book…
WHO ARE THE MAJOR figures to have emerged from India over the last two centuries?
This is essentially the question Sunil Khilnani, professor of politics and director of the King’s College London India Institute, asked last year when he embarked on a major radio series for BBC Radio 4.
Now, he appears tomorrow at Asia House to talk about the book which has come out of the radio series. Called “Incarnations: India in 50 lives”, it examines the influence and impact these individuals had not just on India itself, but the wider world.
At the talk, he will make a short presentation and Jemimah Steinfeld, Asia House’s literature progamme manager will introduce Khilnani and invite questions following the professor’s opening remarks.
The book goes into more detail about such figures as Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani, who built India’s largest private company, and whose sons are among the richest people in the world today.
His publishers, Allen Lane say: “For all India’s myths, its sea of stories and moral epics, Indian history remains a curiously unpeopled place. Sunil Khilnani ‘Incarnations’ fills that space: recapturing the human dimension on how the world’s largest democracy came to be.
Under his gaze, Khilnani examines emperors, warriors, philosophers, poets, film stars and corporate titans, and as the blurb, adds – “some famous, some unjustly forgotten – bringing feeling, wry humour and uncommon insight to social dilemmas that extend from ancient times to our own”.
He travels across the country and delves deeply into its past, casting his critical eye over rocket launches, Ayurvedic retreats, call centres, slum temples, and Bollywood studios. He also looks at how some ideas and reflections have travelled far and wide and how they have shaped the global community.
The publication of the book (released officially at the end of February) coincides with continuation of Khilnani’s India in 50 Lives BBC Radio 4 series, which also resumed last month.
‘Incarnations: The lives that have shaped India’ 6.45pm-8.30pm, Thursday, March 10 at Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP.
Info/Tickets from £6-£10: http://asiahouse.org/events/incarnations-lives-shaped-india/