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Ramachandra Guha

"The impact that Ramachandra Guha has had on those lucky enough to share a hall with him has been profound."
Amol Rajan, The Independent

Ramachandra Guha’s time as Philippe Roman Chair offered a unique insight into India from one of the country’s leading historians.

Dr Guha explored the enduring legacy of Gandhi, in India and around the world. His lecture series examined the often overlooked Chinese-Indian conflict and the Nehru’s role in it, the continuing fissures in Indian democracy, and how the national pastime of cricket has reflected the nation’s colonial and post-colonial history. 

Guha’s tenure as Philippe Roman Chair was praised by the Guardian and The Independent.  


Arguments with Gandhi

At once a freedom fighter, social reformer, religious pluralist, and environmental thinker, Mahatma Gandhi's ideas were original and controversial.

Ramachandra Guha explores how Ghandi's life and work continue to illuminate the major social and political debates of our time.


Jawaharlal Nehru and China: A Study in Failure?

The historical reputation of Jawaharlal Nehru has been stained by India's defeat during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. This was a national humiliation, for which Nehru was considered personally responsible.

By putting 1962 in the broader perspective of China-India relations, Ramachandra Guha attempts to reassess Nehru's legacy.

Read Summary / Listen: 

Ten Reasons Why India Will Not and Should Not Become a Superpower

It is said that just as the 20th century belonged to the United Kingdom and the United States, the 21st century will belong to China and India. 

Rather than seek to expand India's influence abroad, Ramachandra Guha argues that the Indian political class and intellectual elite would do well to focus on the fissures and challenges within.  

Sport and the Nation: Interpreting Indian History Through the Lens of Cricket

How did a game played by homesick colonial administrators in front of curious native onlookers become not only a fanatic obsession with the latter, but a part of their history and cultural identity?

Ramachandra Guha explains how the Indianisation of cricket is not only a great sporting history, but an expression of societal relations in colonial and post-colonial India.

Read Summary / Listen:  

Strategic Update: Why Gandhi Matters


This Strategic Update is a revised version of Ramachandra Guha's address to the General Assembly of the United Nations to mark the International Day of Non-Violence, observed every year on October 2nd to mark Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. 

Why Gandhi Matters shows how Gandhi's message on non-violence and inter-faith tolerance resonates around the world. Read the Strategic Update now.

Other Events

While at IDEAS Guha chaired the debate Indian Democracy's Ferocious Faultlines,with panellists Sunil Khilnani, Patrick FrenchMukulika Banerjee, and Maitreesh Ghatak.  

The event explored the threats to Indian democracy; the continuing insurgencies in Kashmir and the North East, Maoist rebellions, growing inequalities, and corruption. 



Ramachandra Guha taught the seminar The Past and Future of Indian Democracy for LSE students while Philippe Roman Chair. 

Ramachandra GuhaAbout Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer. He has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and been the Indo-American Community Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

His books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods, and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field. India after Gandhi was chosen as a book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out, and Outlook, and as a book of the decade in the Times of India, the Times of London, and The Hindu. 

Guha's books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as “perhaps the best among India's nonfiction writers” Time Magazine has called him “Indian democracy's preeminent chronicler”. 

Find out more on Ramachandra Guha's website.