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Ruminations of a Gadfly   
Ruminations of a Gadfly

Persons, Places, Perceptions 

Deena Khatkhate
Hard Bound Book (6¼" x 9¼") :   Pages : 410
2008  Edition   :   ISBN 13: 978-81-7188-657-9
Price : Rs. 795.00 ;  US $ 39.95
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Deena Khatkhate is that rare Indian intellectual who is not a captive of ideology or a slave of fashion. As this wonderfully wide-ranging collection of essays shows, he is very much his own man. In interpreting India to America and America to India, the essays operate in different registers—the sentimental and the analytical, the personal and the political, the skeptical and the critical. But they are consistently readable and often provocative. Even if one disagrees with Khatkhate—and I sometimes did—one is always stimulated by the originality of his arguments and the transparent sincerity of the man.

Ramachandra Guha, author of India after Gandhi

"[Khatkhate's] criticism of American racism is as fearless as of India's caste inequalities, and many of these articles will be read with as much pleasure as pain by old friends in both nations' capitals."

Stanley Wolpert, professor emeritus of history, University of California, Los Angeles; author of The Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India

“Few have followed India over the last three decades as closely as Deena Khatkhate... This volume is a collection of Deena’s writings on matters other than economic. They will inform the reader—and they will trigger him into thinking matters through.”

Arun Shourie, author of nineteen books; recipient of international awards including "World Press Freedom Heroes" and the ”Magsaysay Award”

"I disagree with much of what Deena Khatkhate says, but he says it well. Although he calls his book "Ruminations of A Gadfly", his trenchant, lively writings over the years often have the sting of a mosquito and have no doubt provoked fulminations on the part of many of his victims."

Selig S. Harrison, author of India: The Most Dangerous Decades

"Khatkate writes with verve and wit, and with erudition that reminds one of the best writers on public policy in economics. These essays... are both acute in their observations and enjoyable on their elegance. Buy, read, and treasure them.”

Padma Desai, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems, Columbia University, New York



This book is a collection of unusual writings of the well-acclaimed economist, Deena Khatkhate.

The volume represents different facets of the author’s intellectual personality. He is a keen observer of societies and societal changes in India and abroad. His reflections as a social scientist with “out of the box“ thinking on politics, economics, institutions, social mores, race, family, law, classes, ideology, etc. have a wide sweep. He sees in the world around him—good and bad, profound and profane, conviviality and conflict, hypocrisy and honesty, and approbation and opprobrium. The essays are written with rare sensitivity and insight; they acquire universality because the author looks at the world outside India from the eyes of an Indian national, looks at India from the eyes of an Indian emigrant to the developed land and reprises his own value system. He thus takes the readers into a world of new thoughts, emotion and experience.



Deena Khatkhate is a former director of research at the Reserve Bank of India, a former assistant director at the International Monetary Fund, and a former senior consultant for the United Nations and the World Bank. After early retirement from the IMF, he served as managing editor of the reputed academic journal World Development (earlier published by the Pergamon Press and now, the Elsevier). Dr. Khatkhate is the author of numerous articles on economic development and monetary policy, which have appeared from time to time in leading academic journals such as The Quarterly Journal of Economics, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic and Political Weekly, The Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics, and Oxford Economic Papers.

Dr. Khatkhate lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA.



Making of a gadfly

Part I

1. Bearable lightness of being

2. A tale of two cities

3. Children of a lesser God

4. Transformation of the blacks

5. Infinite majesty, infinite infamy

6. Football played with hands and mouth!

7. Million acres of darkness

8. Romance with two words

9. Law’s aim is crime

10. Parting with heroes

11. Jealousy of possessions

12. India’s prince charming

13. Indian royalty: An equal exchange

14. Differently similar

15. This picture and that

16. Trashing the Trumps

17. Whose life is it, anyway?

18. No need for defenders

19. From there to eternity

20. Heartbeats of America

21. A season of mothers

22. Metastasis of parenthood

23. Peacocks of war

24. Prometheus unbound

25. Scatological chaos

26. Wreckers united

27. A tragic odyssey

28. Family in distress

29. A society on the rampage

30. A cage seeking a bird

31. Doubting Thomases gun for Justice Thomas

32. Neither mosaic nor melting pot

33. Theatre of the absurd

34. The age of Milton Friedman

Part II

35. Nehru: The hero that was

36. When reason plays truant

37. A phantom India

38. Two riddles of India’s economic growth

39. Nothing ages like a honeymoon

40. Carrying bricks to the Tower of Babel

41. A dream of an optimist

42. Economic astrologers no more

43. I.G. Patel qua economist and policymaker

44. Jagdish Bhagwati: An economist ahead of his times

45. Manmohan as a deus ex machina

46. Let there be a tabula rasa

47. The static world of intellectuals

48. Social research boondoggles

49. A malady of reservations

50. The Indian state corrupts absolutely

51. Blossoming in a foreign land

Part III

52. Manu Shroff: Economist with pride as his carapace

53. B.S. Minhas: Prescribing rationality

54. I.G. Patel: An Equanomous economist

55. Krishna Raj: Editor of eloquent silence

56. Asok Mitra: One of a kind

57. V.K. Ramaswami: A beacon in the tempest

58. S. Jagannathan: A Friend of man

59. C.D. Deshmukh: An enigma

60. D.T. Lakdawala: Man’s truest monument

61. B.K. Madan: A ruminating and humane economist

62. B.P. Adarkar: An economist whose

present was in the past

63. Sachin Chaudhuri: A catalyst

Part IV

64. The struggle of memory against forgetting

65. The last laugh in Afghanistan

66. A waltz to war through peace

67. A new pharaoh knew not Joseph

68. Manila: The more it changes...

69. Sri Lanka: The Poya epoch

Part V

70. Old grain breaks through new husk

71. Gorbachev: Prometheus bound

72. Trading Marx for dollars

73. History unmade

74. Children of the God that failed

75. Assassins of communism

76. Forever embers

77. Ostriches of our time

78. Consciousness precedes being

79. Flying on the wings of time

80. When Karl Marx meets Indian communists


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