News & Events

The NLS Public Lecture Series | Between Hope and Despair:100 Ethical Reflections on contemporary India


Room No. 201 (Krishnappa Memorial Hall)1st Floor, Old Academic Block, NLSIU


Thursday, March 23, 2023, 5:00 pm

The next public lecture will be delivered by Prof. (Dr.) Rajeev Bhargava on his book titled “Between Hope and Despair: 100 Ethical Reflections on Contemporary India”.

About the speaker

Prof. (Dr.) Rajeev Bhargava is a well-known political theorist whose work on individualism and secularism has  received international acclaim. He is currently an Honorary Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi (CSDS), and Director of Parekh Institute of Indian Thought, CSDS. He was also CSDS’s Director from 2007 to 2014. Rajeev Bhargava has been a Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and University of Delhi, apart from teaching at several international universities.

About the book

“India’s collective ethical identity is under duress. We don’t seem to currently agree on what our collective good is. Some groups believe that India is finally rediscovering its Hindu identity and becoming a great nation-state. For others, this change has brought us on the verge of losing our civilisational character of being inclusive but not any less Hindu.

Is it possible to bring these groups with divergent views to discuss each other’s point of view? And do so reasonably, with an open mind? Rajeev Bhargava thinks it is. He believes that the legitimate concerns of all those disenchanted with the idea of an inclusive, pluralist India can actually be addressed within the basic framework of India’s constitutional democracy.

Through these short, elegant and lucid reflections on contemporary events, he takes the readers to the founding narrative of the republic and clarifies its ethical ideals. Readers are asked to join the process of reflection, to criticise with empathy, particularly where the moral compass to properly guide individual and collective action is lost and offer positive appraisals where due. If we get the fundamentals of our original ethical vision right, then, Bhargava subtly suggests, we might yet save our country from further polarisation and may even heal some of its divisions.” (Source: Bloomsbury)