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Amartya K. Sen, The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity (Picador 2006).

Abstract: The Argumentative Indian brings together a selection of writings from Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen that outline the need to understand contemporary India, including its thriving democracy, in the light of its long argumentative tradition." "Understanding the political, social, cultural and economic challenges that contemporary India faces demands an adequate appreciation of its pluralist, interactive and dynamic heritage. Sen argues that external views also affect the national perception of identity through an interactive process, especially in the post-colonial world. The West has often perceived India as a place of endless spirituality and unreasoning mysticism. Yet it has a long tradition of scepticism and reasoning, with perhaps, of all ancient civilizations, the largest body of agnostic and atheistic literature, in addition to secular contributions in mathematics, astronomy, linguistics, medicine and political economy.