An Anthropologist Among IITians

It’s a dreadful pity when a beautifully spacious generalisation is upset by one or two simple facts.
— Neville Cardus
The doyen of Indian anthropology M. N. Srivinas said that an anthropologist is born thrice. He is ‘once-born’ when he initially goes to the field,  away from his familiar surroundings to put himself in a world of which he has little clue. He is ‘twice-born’ when, on living for some time among his chosen tribe, he is able to see things from their view-point. To those anthropologists who are able to experience it, this second birth is akin to Buddhist surge of consciousness for which years of study or mere linguist facility do not prepare them. All of the sudden, these ethnographer see world from their view point. All ethnographer goes through first stage, a good many through the second. But an anthropologists is really ‘thrice-born’ when at last he moves away from the field to his confined world of university and and reflects on what he has collected with a hope for a partial objectivity. I am a once-born anthropologists and my chosen tribe is a collection of students who are under-graduate students in Indian Institute of Technology. I am not including graduate students here because they have been shaped by social forces of their respective colleges where they did their graduation. They are in-disposable for studying research culture of IIT’s.

My chosen tribe is a tiny section of Indian youth and it is very likely that (s)he is from upper strata of urbane middle class [1]. They are sharp and fast enough to crack JEE, an entrance examination famous for fierce competition and toughness. Almost all students in India from science stream who believe that they are sharp enough write this exam, go through this competition. Success in such  huge competition boost their confidence. They see it as a sign of mental superiority which is reflected most vividly on the t-shirts designed by them. Many of them were ‘first boy or girl’ in their respective school and I have little to doubt that they must have been consistent in their performance at school. It is very unlikely that they have gone through ups and downs in their school performance for usually in our oppressive Indian society, it is not customary to give a failed one another chance to start over again. They are trained well in mathematics, physics and chemistry at post high-school for they usually go for coaching classes in which these subjects are taught at the expense of others. If some IITians are good at languages, sports, music/arts, then it is likely that they have learnt them before passing high-school.

Generalising IITians is easier than generalising Indians for they all have a very narrow social profile. The class character is evident. Sufficiently rich and sufficiently poor people does not make it to IITs. It is a forte of middle class which hanker after ‘upward social mobility’. Admission to IIT is as big a  status symbol in our society as it is going abroad for higher studies. The rich need not have another status symbol (what is the use of IIT degree if I already have money) and poor can not afford to spend time in such pursuit. The coaching culture further ensures that most of IITians come from upper strata of society – schooled in ‘costly’ schools. Such schools admit children of wealthy and literate enough parents. There are some exceptions who come from sufficiently poor background and they soon start imitating their high-class classmates.
That there is a diversity of culture, language and religion among Indian is a scientific fact. But how much diversity of thoughts exists among them is a hard question to answer. Indians shows tremendous uniformity in their thoughts. They have similar family structures, marriage codes and show a remarkable appetite for wealth, money, and power and a desire to flaunt it. All of India practise caste system which is  becoming less of an social evil but more of an political and bureaucratic evil. They have extensive kinship structures and have a strong appetite for croniesm.
Indian universities were started as a modern Institute in a deeply divided hierarchical society. No wonders that over the time these institutes have degraded. A great many students and teachers joining these institutes do not come for the sake of learning or building up a scholarships. The culture is simply not there. In such a situation, it becomes very hard for an institute to survive, let alone flourish. Since education is heavily linked with employment, the number of teachers or student who seek education for employment have only increased rapidly. The ‘scholars’ becomes a minority and their views are no longer holds much water in day-to-day functioning. A degradation becomes inevitable. It is not to say that an institute can not regain its health. Most of the great modern universities have had darkest of the time.
In general,  an Indian shows little or no taste for the idea of institutes but very much interested in the cult of personality. He would not mind lashing out on the ‘corrupt system’ but shows little or no hesitation for the company of corrupt. IITians, being no exception shows similar behaviours. Most of the criticism come form the people who are able to work for the system but somehow loves to leave for better pastures. Usually its the most skilled who leaves. The difference between who has left, who is about to leave and who could not leave says it all. There was some talk about this ‘brain-drain’ but the irony of situation is lost to everyone now. Since our expatriates have taken control of media, they have been glamorising it. Moral dilemma has been reduced by media and Indian government with an eye on their investment have been constantly patronising the Diaspora. No wonder that there are more and more people willing to leave. This is only possible in a country where green-backs are preferred over grey-cells.
Indian students have notorious coldness towards their own history. They hardly talk political matters of the day and discourage others openly if they do so. It is not cool to talk about politics. They seem to believe that current-affairs is not worthy of their attention unless one is preparing for IAS or likewise examinations. Nonetheless they scream and shout a lot on Facebook etc about unworthiness of their politicians whenever a policy is formed which is against their interests, both real and imagined. When a generation is not conscious of their past, one can safely assume that their culture is only few generations old. People do not have interest in their past because they are not proud of it. Such ahistoric people suffer from lack of self-esteem. It is evident when they try to cling on to anything successful even if it is only remotely Indian such as Sunita Williams. And they also feel very happy if someone they admire shower some praise on them e.g. the Western media.
Such ahistoric and low on self-esteem people can not be original in their thoughts. If one read opinions written in their most celebrated newspaper, one finds that they proudly borrow ideas from Western media. In fact, some of them have devoted their whole OP-ED pages for such borrowing and flaunt it proudly. What is disturbing that these opinions are written about those who has not spent any time in this country. And trust me, this is not due to that Indians do not have opinions or do not like to express themselves. Perhaps they believe that they are not competent. Why would one import a idea or cheat in examination if one is competent enough?

Success in academic competition creates a new sense of confidence, perhaps more in girls than in boys. Confident people are known to make their point forcefully and in this process, they often reveal pattern of their mind. Often, such patterns are hazy and hard to detect but their existence can not be denied. It is worthwhile to follow their discussion on Facebook. Their discussion in public are self-congratulatory where they can not stand anything ‘serious, critical or uncool’. Their magazines, circulated inside the campus, often contains some articles which may look self-critical. But such article are not written without a context. Either they are in praise of ‘an IITian’ who took the ‘road less travelled’ or career in some ‘social relevant section’ such as NGO’s etc. One wonders if the writer of such article himself would take his views seriously in future deciding his career.

An IITian was an Indian kid who grows up to be a middle-class teen before becoming an IITian youth. It is hard to find anything in an IITian which is particular to him only. Individualism is not appreciated by Indians, nor they spend enough time being themselves. There are exception cases but we are willing to ignore them due to their small size. Almost all of them share common Indian traits. They act very consistently as Indians. One difference I was able to see which separates them from majority of Indians that they shows a very high level of confidence (due to competitive success) and forthcoming in their reactions. But these asserted views largely are the views of the groups. I am still struggling to figure out one trait by which I can classify them ‘different from the others’.  Thus, to explore him, we have to explore middle class habits and its custom, and before exploring middle class traits, we should remark on a very curious Indian trait, namely, its way of thinking.
Is there an Indian way of thinking? I am not very confident in conceding multiplicity  of Indian ways of thinking. I often see patterns which are ubiquitous and sharp. Let me give some examples. These examples are drawn from current-affairs and I assume that they are still fresh in reader’s memory. Consider the movie ‘Three Idiots’ which became very popular among Indians, especially among urbane youths. One of its song ‘sunshine and rain‘ was perhaps as popular those days as ‘why .. kodavari‘ is these days – a national anthem, one might say.  It is widely perceived as ‘a movie with a profound social message’ or a sign that ‘real people’ are ‘returning to the screen‘. However, Raghavendra, writing in EPW, points out many non-senses in this movie, most important of them being a inconsistency that while the movie describe ‘Dog eat dog” and “rat race” are disparag­ing terms for market-induced competitive­ness’, at the same time this ‘films show little faith in the possibility of bypassing market in any circumstance‘. In the end of this movie, Rancho’s ‘affinity to the poor children of Ladakh, the former servant’s boy Phunsukh Wangdu (Rancho full name) can only be judged on the basis of his American patents’. Why a movie which comes back to square one could be so popular among them and seen as a source of inspiration by Indian youth?
The Chief Economic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, wants a certain class of bribes legalised (perhaps to reduce corruption). And says so in a paper titled “Why, for a Class of Bribes, the Act of Giving a Bribe Should be Treated as Legal.” The paper is not on his personal blog but up on the Finance Ministry’s website. And the author, Kaushik Basu, an eminent economists, modestly describes his contribution as “a small but novel idea.” which turned into “a small but fairly radical idea” at the end of this paper. How our intellectuals saw it? No one cared to say anything about it. It was interesting because these ‘thundering anchors who ‘skewer’ politicians in television interviews uttered not a squeak’. Now one wonders ‘had this insane idea come from a Ramdev, or even a Lalu Prasad’, and not from a certified PLU (People Like Us) member, ‘imagine the fun the media would have had trashing it.’
Such patterns are most visible in our media which is for middle class by elites. It is very hard to find poor people in these newspapers. And thus, news coverage in media reveals a lot about the psyche of our middle class youth. To give one particular example, February 2011 saw one of the largest rallies staged in Delhi in years. Lakhs of workers from nine central trade unions — including the ruling party’s INTUC — hit the streets to protest against rising food prices and unemployment. This was many times bigger than the very modest numbers at Anna Hazare’s fast and larger than Ramdev’s rollicking ‘yoga camp.’ These were workers and unions not linked to the state. P. Sainath, writing in Hindu, says that these rallies were ‘not market-driven and corporate-funded’. They were ‘expressing clearly the interests and values of their members’. And doing so were ‘fitting some classic definitions of ‘civil society.’ Interestingly, this rally was covered by the BBC, Reuters and AFP but was mostly invisible in mainstream Indian media except when attacked for creating traffic jams. Times of India, Delhi edition ran a full page of coverage under the banner headline: “Red Wave Sweeps City, Halts Traffic in Central Delhi” and published three chosen opinions about the rally in which one sufferers of the day’s traffic snarls quoted saying, “If I find out which party is behind this rally, I will never vote for it.” Compare it when traffic was thrown out in several part of city due to Hazare rally, same newspaper’s Delhi edition put it in its main local news page on August 17: “City Centre Comes Alive With Marching Throngs” and elsewhere “Massive Jams in City But Few Were Complaining”. [2] In another instance, when farmers from Western U.P., Punjab, Himachal, Haryana marched Delhi for better sugar-cane prices,  Hindustan Times covered it on its front page by showing  some photographs captioned that farmers came to Delhi ‘to pee on Delhi’s protected monuments’, ‘to take away the iron poles as souvenirs’ and ‘to create chaos in the city’. [3] It would be very hard for a concerned citizen not to sound cynical at all of this.
Are such behaviour of inconsistency is sign of rising gulf between have and have-nots? Wasn’t media was inclusive in olden days and Bollywood cherished and depicted poor-people life? Aren’t these new but inevitable phenomenon? I doubt it! These pattern of ‘multi-speak’ have been in Indian discourse since the beginning of written civilisation.  People only started commented on this during British time when such problems were pointed out by more consistent Firangi. During those days, both Englishman and ‘modern Indian’ were dismayed at this inconsistency. Later, about 50 years ago, Illustrated Weekly of India, asked knowledgeable Indians to comment on Indian character. Most of them wrote sharp and authoritative prose. They gave different opinions but all of them seem to agree on one thing: “the Indian trait of hypocrisy; Indian do not mean what they say”. I have often felt that there is little relation between what an Indian say in public and what he does in private, whether a politician or an IITian. Does Indian mislead others by telling them inconsistent views knowingly or they do it unknowingly? Naipaul quotes Sudhir Kakar, a sophisticated psychoanalyst, well versed in the matters of Indian and West,
‘generally among Indians there seems to be a different relationship to outside reality, compared to the one met with in the West. In India it is closer to a certain stage in childhood when outer objects did not have a separate, independent existence but were intimately related to the self and its affective states …. The Indian ‘ego’ is underdeveloped; ‘the world of magic and animistic thinking lie close to the surface; so the grasp of reality is ‘relatively tenuous’ . (page 56 )
Tenuous grasp of reality?  Well, that may explain why reality is missing from our mass media. Another traits which can be added to this inconsistency is the lack of universality.[5] It is ‘OK’ for me to do this, but not for others. It is not ‘right’ for a politician to say things public to enhance his vote-bank but I can exaggerate on my resume to increase chances of myself getting a job. It is not OK for a certain politician (who does not have a blue blood) to built statues but its OK for others. Media has showered praise on Indra Nooyi because she is a successful female in a largely male-dominated corporate world (How she became successful, it does not matter here) but Mamta Banerjee or Mayawati is denied any praise for being successful politician – a profession which is anything but not a male-dominated one (how she became successful is very important now).
One only has to read Manu after a little bit of Kant and one can see this lack of universality. Manu (VIII.267)  has the following: A Kshatriya,  having defamed a  Brahmana, shall be fined one hundred (panas); a Vaisya one  hundred and fifty or  two hundred; a Sudra shall suffer corporal punishment. Different rule for different  kind of people. Even truth telling is not an unconditional imperative, as Muller  correspondents discovered, ‘An untruth spoken by people under the influence of  anger, excessive joy, fear, pain, or grief, by infants, by very old men, by persons  labouring under a delusion, being under the influence of drink, or by mad men, does  not cause the speaker to fall, or as we should say, is a venial not a mortal sin (Gautama, paraphrased by Muller).’ Compare with  ethical decree like  ‘Man shall not kill’, or ‘Man shall not tell an untruth.’ Now Manu also says, ‘At the time of marriage, during dalliance, when life is in danger, when the loss of property  is threatened, and for the sake of a Brahmana …whenever the death of a man of any  of the four castes would be occasioned by true evidence, falsehood was even better  than truth.’
Contrast this with Kant’s well-known formulation of his imperative: ‘Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a Universal Law of Nature’. ‘Moral judgements are universalizable’, says Mackie. What is universality? Universalisation means putting oneself in another’s place – it is the golden rule of the New Testament, Hobbes’ ‘law of all men’: do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you.’
But to be moral, for Indians, is to particularise– to ask who did what, to whom and when. Hegel shrewdly noted this Indian slant: ‘While we say, “Bravery is a virtue of man” the Hindoos say, on the contrary, “Bravery is a virtue of the Cshatriyas” , (Hegel ca. 1827: First part, Sect. 2, ‘India’). In Indian folk tales, there are some other patterns also, but discussing them here would take us way to far.
I have  a personal experience with IITians which may be able to vindicate this well formed thesis. I have spent some time on IITB group of literature enthusiast. I posted some lengthy posts there which were related to literature in one way or other. Posting lengthy posts is not admired in any Indian groups although Indians love to talk a lot. There were some reactions when I compared their beloved newspaper TOI with a ‘a right wing newspaper turning into a soft-porn magazine’ on the group but they were calmed down by one of them. who supported me, “
Everyone chill the fuck out. This is turning into a handbaggy free-for-all. However irrelevant this discussion may be on this group, however long-winded Dilawar’s posts may be for the likes of us with short attention-spans, he did revitalise this group with actual LITERARY discussions.. something that I haven’t really seen too many of on this LIT group.
Later, I posted some tales from my village. Now an Indian is inclined to think or at least speak well of a village, they do not show much inclination for knowing anything about it or company of a villager. So such an email consisting tales from a village, no matter how real, would never be appreciated in private. But in public, they would not ask me to stop posting such things. So some alibis has to be formed:
While I appreciate your efforts to increase literary enthusiasm, I am afraid your long posts have really taken their toll on me. A better suggestion, just give a link to your blog here once and let people decide whether to see them or not. A better way is to link your blog to social networking sites if publicity and visibility is an issue you are dealing with.
No offence intended. Just a passing thought that I felt you should no because I am not the only alone with this issue.
You are free to take my suggestion or ignore it.
Thank you for your time.
And, given the lack of argument to stop ‘tales’ from a group of literary enthusiasts, one remarked
Up  until now this group was a medium for sharing interesting Lit-related links, fun lit threads and information about various events happening inside the insti and outside. Lately, your mails seem to outnumber all the rest of them altogether. Whether that is a good thing for you, or a bad thing about the group I don’t know. But they have been taking attention away from some of the mails about events etc.
Now if a group is for literary enthusiast but worry about number of creative emails. Why asks a cricket enthusiast why he plays so much of it? He also suggested me a better platform to ‘popularise my blogs’. I wonder what sort of email I would have got if I were to be an U.G. (People Like Them) for posting the same lengthy stuff. But we’d never know this! I un-subscribed and when I went to class, I told my friend who did his UG from here that finally they kicked me out. He just smiled back.
Till now I do not have any experience which weakens the above theory of Indian habit of hypocrisy and to particularise. Take for instance, Anna Hazare, a 78 year old youth icon. On his home turf, the village of Ralegan Siddhi, in the district of Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, Mr Hazare is known to be a fearsome patriarch, one who believes in flogging sense into drunkards, prescribes vegetarianism and insists that people stay away from ‘bad films’ and have similar views about ‘valentine days and other stuff’ as of Shiv Sena. Yet he is a youth icon.
Such ‘context sensitive thinking’ in their arguments was also visible in their ‘Youth of Equality’ forum rejecting ‘affirmative action’ popularly known as ‘reservation’. Some of them have even suggested Darwinian maxim ‘survival of the fittest’ as a counter-argument. If the argument is applied consistently then why Ajmal Kasab should be punished? Isn’t he fit enough to attack and survive? Director of a movie, ‘India untouched’ during Q/A forum in IIT Bombay got irritated while answering a persistent young questioner who was not able to see a single right thing in policy of reservation. In the end he told him, ‘Bhai teri pareshaani ye hai ki teri gand main aag lagi hai ‘.
Another important aspect of Indian thinking is the way we perceive rules. A rule is an agreement agreed upon by majority in ‘public’ that they will follow it. How we follow rules emphasise how consistent we are in public and private. Indian roads are perhaps the best example where traffic rules are discarded at people whim. But the basic idea behind these ‘rules’ also suffer from Indianness. From the behemoth state to the smallest government Institute, there is an addiction to ‘create rules of every kind and to the last detail’. After these rules are created to the last details, they are discarded. And then there is a demand for new one. These ‘activity of creating a rule and discarding the same’ is not a malfunction of  government but it is rather a Indian culture of dealing with rules. There are many people who are aware of this and disturbed by it but they can do little about it. Irawati Karve has given this rule about Indian society and it seems to be always operative, ‘The addition of new rules does not lead to the elimination of old ones; they are simply put into cold storage, to be taken out when required to trip up any unwary newcomer who tries to inject some dynamism into the system.’ To see this rule in action, you should try to do something unconventional, as I tried on IITb literature forum or Indian Ocean tried to do with Indian music.
Environment in IITs is very competitive. Students openly compete with each other and show usual Indian curiosity to know how others are doing. They seem to cherish when others fails or do not do as good as them. Such behaviour is common to Indian youth but it is stronger among IITians.
Students who come from ‘sufficiently humble strata of society’ can not be very confident of themselves in such competitive and class-conscious environment. I remember how my classmate scorn at me first time I revealed that I do not know English since I studied in a rural school. They nicknamed me ‘gaonwala’ (a villager). It is not to say that I was discriminated or mocked at every time but how one suppose to increase his self-esteem and confidence when your status among your colleagues is fixed by your ability in English – a foreign language. There is often sympathy for ‘less-privileged’ student but it does not change their status among their ‘better accent Anglophone’ classmates. There is curious attitude among Indians towards English language. English is not only an important intellectual asset but also a yardstick to measure one social status. There is no easier way to put someone in his proper place than pointing out deficiency in his English. This habit of seeing English as a measure of social status is more acute in Indian females than it is in Indian males for they often change their accent to sound more ‘classy’ while visiting a supermarket or conversing in open.
I am of the view that an IITian is a highly skilled but a typical Indian youth. Most of them liked to be perceived as intellectually curious but they show little enthusiasm in knowing anything which would not be ‘valuable’ in their chosen career or to say it bluntly ‘which they can not put on their resume’. They are much more interested in foreign places (read U.S. and Europe) and  a life there than their own country. When they go to these places, during intern-ships etc., they do not seem to talk about things they have learned over there for no one seems to be much interested in them. However a bunch of photographs depicting best of places (where they themselves marginalised in the background to emphasis the grandness of the place) would circulate on social networking sites. He drools and gushes over foreign universities as strongly as a youth in Indian villages do for high-school diploma. Neither IITians or a village youth understands whether these foreign university or high-school diploma has any worth in his profession but where education is perceived a vehicle of upward social mobility, such behaviours are expected and it is naive to expect that they would be interested in building their profession before enhancing their social-profile. A few of them, however, have shown a remarkable concern for their home institute.
There are some who stays back to get another degree from IIT. Their classmates often wonder why he chose to stay. It is interesting that two explanation are put forward to explain such insanity : (a) He could not get a place after applying everywhere. (b) He is some sort of idealist. I am yet to see that someone saying that (s)he chose to stay because (s)he may have found this place congenial enough.
IITians are fast at grasping ideas. You tell them something and they often find it ‘obvious’. However how many of them are capable of producing an ‘obvious ideas’ is an open question. Consuming an idea and producing one takes different kind of skills. For a U.G., the ability to consume an idea is more rewarding in exam then producing one for one is graded how well one can regurgitate after digesting something. Exams do not give any incentive for creativity so a person who is coming out with impressive grades after his completion does not guarantee that such a person will have impressive new ideas. Creativity can not be taught, one has to keep it safe and protect it from onslaught. A culture like of IITs is capable of killing creativity, if there is any. But I can not see any other way to run an institute effectively without having an exam system. How well exams are designed and conducted is up to the professors.
The role models of IITians are successful and strong young people. Such people are often found in semi-technical (or one would say semi-literate) profession of management, media and television. They do not seem to be interested in knowing products of their own department who has excelled in other fields. If someone has come to lecture, they prefer to know ‘where he studied’ over ‘what he did’. Labelling is more important then real work he has done. Most of them do not appreciate people by their work. Perhaps, at their age, they are not able to.
IITians criticise IIT in same ways a resident Indian criticise India. When they leave IIT, one can see them getting nostalgic. They can be seen admiring time spent in IIT. Such behaviour was first seen in expatriate Indians. Our NRIs tend to be very patriotic. When they were in India, they would criticise it (why would they leave otherwise) and as soon as they land in foreign land, they turn desperately Indian and seem to be very much concerned about its political affairs. This is perhaps an extension of one derisive ethnographer commented about Bengalies, ‘All those Bengalies I knew who at twenty marched with party chanting ‘cholbe na’, are now at forty work in some U.S. university’. Can such people, no matter how loud, be taken seriously?
There are many  among IITians who do not find anything good in their fellow IITians. These IITians often claim to work in some ‘socially relevant section’. They take another point of view of education altogether that education is not a vehicle for success but a way to make able and concerned citizen.  They laments that IITians are not doing anything worthwhile for society. Why a section of them have chosen to be a self-hating activists rather than self-congratulatory whiz kids is hard to say? Perhaps they felt guilt about their own relative privilege which could be best assuaged by adherence to a philosophy which assured them that they are on the right side. Such people see things from a moral point of view and can be very caustic in their opinion. IITian point of view, like of Indian middle class, oscillates between  self-congratulation and  self-recrimination but it is largely on the side of self-congratulation and very often it sounds narcissist.
The fact that the IITs, despite of all their shortcomings, has remained floated as an island of excellence in a large sea of mediocrity in a way only a few institutes has remained so is worthy of praise. The contribution of IITians towards these institute has been immense although they preferred giving away their money rather than their experiences and skills. If some of them get frustrated by the fact that little has been done by IITians for their country then this frustration is an outcome of a high-expectation they themselves have put on IITians. Nowhere in this world, middle class has worried about someone else interests before securing its own and it is naive to believe that that Indian middle class would do otherwise.  Whenever middle class extends its own interests, it extends them as the interest of the whole society and that makes them sound selfish. Since Indian middle class is small in size, it looks more self-serving. These IITians who are shaped by social forces can not be very different. Since their size is even smaller and a high expectation has already been put of them, they face the same level of criticism as any other small and self-serving section of middle class, most notably,  politicians and bureaucrats face.
It is curious that they understand their behaviour of hypocrisy clearly – listen to them talking with their friends about it, or cartoons published in their campus magazines – but they seem helpless to make their cherished choice on the ‘D-day’. They do not do such things out of ignorance. They know what they doing and they know it very well but they would not say so in public. So a blame must be put on either system or his institute: ‘No (real) research happens in IIT’, ‘they do not pay much’ etc.. And if some of them come back later, I have my doubts whether he is plan to do that job as a vocation or simply because he was not ‘fit enough to survive’ in his first choice. Like children of Nehru, who after failing miserably in their chosen career, took their mother advice and turned to a ‘easier life’ in Congress where a place was reserved for them at the top.
[1] The definition of middle class is borrowed from this book, ‘The middle class in colonial India’. In nutshell, A middle class is a class which has a profound voice and influence public discourse like no other.
[2] Media as Echo Chamber: Cluttering the Public Discourse on Corrupption, Sukumar Muralidharan, EPW, Sep 10, 20011 Vol XLVI No 37, pp 21
[3] Is there an Indian way of Thinking? An informal essay, A. K. Ramajunan, 1959
[4] Yuganta – End of an epoch, Irawait Karve.
[5] The problems of universal in Indian philosophy, Dravid, Raja Ram 1972. Delhi, Motilal Banarisidass.

Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

1 thought on “An Anthropologist Among IITians”

  1. this is for fun(even fun must be sensible).let us see what dilwar saysss… :-)""MOST OF THE INDIANS ARE CHEATS,HYPOCRITES AND CORRUPT.""is above statement according to nivelle(i dunno who this nivelle guy is) is a fact or generalisation.what's difference between a fact and generalisation?(even oxford and webster don't have clarity what exactly they are).

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