Ramachandra Guha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra guha.jpg
Guha in 2017
Born (1958-04-29) 29 April 1958 (age 63)
Alma materUniversity of Delhi (BA, MA)
IIM Calcutta (Fellowship Program)[1]
OccupationTeaching, Distinguished University professor at Krea University
Notable work
India after Gandhi
Spouse(s)Sujata Keshavan
Ramchandra Guha Signature.jpg

Ramachandra Guha (born 29 April 1958) is an Indian writer whose research interests include environmental, social, economics, political, contemporary and cricket history.[2] He is also a columnist for The Telegraph, Hindustan Times and Hindi daily newspaper Amar Ujala.[3][4][5]

A regular contributor to various academic journals, Guha has also written for The Caravan and Outlook magazines. For the year 2011–12, he held a visiting position at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs.[6] His latest book is Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World (2018), the second part of his two-volume biography of M. K. Gandhi. It is a follow-up to the acclaimed Gandhi Before India (2013). His large body of work, covering a wide range of fields and yielding a number of rational insights, has made him a significant figure in Indian historical studies, and Guha is valued as one of the major historians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.The American Historical Association (AHA) has conferred its Honorary Foreign Member prize for the year 2019 on Ramchandra Guha. He is the third Indian historian to be recognised by the association, joining the ranks of Romila Thapar and Jadunath Sarkar, who received the honour in 2009 and 1952 respectively.[7]

He was appointed to BCCI's panel of administrators by the Supreme Court of India on 30 January 2017, as part of the Lodha Committee reforms, only to resign in July of the same year.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Guha was born on 29 April 1958 at Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand), in a Tamil Brahmin family.[9] He was brought up in Dehradun, where his father Subramaniam Ramdas Guha worked at the Forest Research Institute,[10][11] and his mother was a high-school teacher.[citation needed] While he should have been named Subramaniam Ramachandra in keeping with Tamil name-keeping norms, his teachers at school, presumably while registering his name during admission, were not familiar with these and he came to be called Ramachandra Guha.[10] He grew up in Dehradun, on the Forest Research Institute campus.[12][13]

Guha studied at Cambrian Hall and The Doon School.[14][15] At Doon, he was a contributor to the school newspaper The Doon School Weekly, and edited a publication called History Times along with Amitav Ghosh, later to become a noted writer.[16][17] He graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1977,[18] and completed his master's in economics from the Delhi School of Economics.[19] He then enrolled at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, where he did a PhD on the social history of forestry in Uttarakhand, focusing on the Chipko movement. It was later published as The Unquiet Woods.


Guha delivering a talk at The Doon School's Kilachand Library in 2017.

Guha has authored the chapter The VHP Needs To Hear The Condemnation Of The Hindu Middle Ground in the book Gujarat: The making of a tragedy, which was edited by Siddharth Varadarajan and published by Penguin. The book is about the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Guha is the author of India after Gandhi, published by Macmillan and Ecco in 2007. This book has been translated into Hindi in two volumes as Bharat: Gandhi Ke Baad and Bharat: Nehru Ke Baad and published by Penguin. The Tamil version of the book is published in the name "இந்திய வரலாறு காந்திக்குப் பிறகு ( பாகம் 1 & 2)" ("Indhiya varalaaru Gandhikku pin - Part 1 & 2") by Kizhakku and translated by R. P. Sarathy. The Bengali version of the book is published in the name "গাঁধী-উত্তর ভারতবর্ষ" by Ananda Publishers Private Limited and translated by Ashish Lahiri.

Guha also published a collection of essays titled Patriots and Partisans[20] in November 2012.

In October 2013, he published Gandhi Before India, the first part of a planned two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi which describes life from his childhood to the two decades in South Africa.[21][22] Another collection of essays under the title Democrats and Dissenters was released in September 2016. Guha has authored books on a diverse range of subjects including Cricket, Environment, Politics, History, etc.[23]

In 2018, Guha published Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948, a sequel to his 2013 book, which deals with events from Gandhi coming back to India to his death. It also has an epilogue that discusses the role of Gandhi in contemporary world politics.


Guha has written extensively on cricket as a journalist and as a historian. His research into the social history of Indian cricket culminated in his work A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian history of a British Sport in 2002.[24] The book charts the development of cricket in India from its inception during the British Raj to its position in contemporary India as the nation's favourite pastime.

In July 2017 Guha stepped down from his position as a BCCI administrator, citing personal reasons.

In November 2020, he published The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind, a personal account of the transformation of cricket in India, across all levels at which the game is played: school, college, club, state, country and presents vivid portraits of local heroes, provincial icons, and international stars through the 50 years he has been following the game. The book blends memoir, anecdote, reportage, and political critique.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Guha is married to the graphic designer Sujata Keshavan, and they have two children. Their son Keshava Guha became a fiction author with the release of Accidental Magic at the 2019 Bangalore Literature Festival.[26]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Ramachandra Guha at Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad State Conference 2019, Pramadam, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India


  • Guha, Ramachandra (1992). Wickets in the East. India: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195628098.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2000). Spin and Other Turns. India: Penguin India. ISBN 9780140247206.
  • Guha, Ramachandra; Vaidyanathan, T.G. (1994). An Indian Cricket Omnibus. India: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195634273.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2001). The Picador Book of Cricket. India: Pan Macmillan. ISBN 9780330396134.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2004). A Corner of a Foreign Field: An Indian history of a British sport. Picador. ISBN 978-0330491174.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2005). The States of Indian Cricket: Anecdotal Histories. Permanent Black. ISBN 9788178241081.
  • An Indian cricket century (Editor, works of Sujit Mukherjee, 2002)
  • Guha, Ramachandra (1989). The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya. Berkeley; Oxford University Press (OUP): University of California Press. ISBN 9780520222359.
  • Guha, Ramachandra; Gadgil, Madhav (1993). This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India. Berkeley; Oxford University Press (OUP): University of California Press. ISBN 9780520082960.
  • Guha, Ramachandra; Gadgil, Madhav (1995). Ecology and Equity: The Use and Abuse of Nature in Contemporary India. India: Penguin India. ISBN 9780415125246.
  • Guha, Ramachandra; Alier, Joan Martinez (1997). Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and South. India: Penguin India. ISBN 9781853833298.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (1998). Social Ecology. India: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195644548.
  • Guha, Ramachandra; Arnold, David (1998). Nature, Culture, Imperialism: Essays on the Environmental History of South Asia. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195640755.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (1999). Savaging the Civilized: Verrier Elwin, his tribals and India. Berkeley; Oxford University Press (OUP): University of California Press. ISBN 9780195647815.
  • Guha, Ramachandra; Krishnan, M (2001). Nature's Spokesman: M. Krishnan and Indian Wildlife. Picador. ISBN 9780195659115.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2006). How Much Should a Person Consume?: Thinking Through the Environment. Berkeley; Oxford University Press (OUP): University of California Press. ISBN 9789350092590.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2014). Environmentalism: A Global History. United Kingdom: Penguin UK. ISBN 9780321011695.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2012). Makers of Modern India. India: Penguin India. ISBN 9780143419242.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2007). India after Gandhi: The history of the world's largest democracy. Picador. ISBN 9780330505543.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2012). Patriots & Partisans . Penguin. ISBN 9780670083862.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2013). Gandhi Before India . Penguin. ISBN 978-0670083879.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2000). An Anthropologist Among the Marxists, and other essays. New Delhi, India: Orient Blackswan. ISBN 9788178240015.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2004). The Last Liberal and Other Essays. Permanent Black. ISBN 9788178240732.
  • Guha, Ramachandra; Parry, Jonathan P (2011). Institutions and Inequalities: Essays in Honour of Andre Beteille. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198075523.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2018). Gandhi: The Years that Changed the World, 1914-1948. Knopf. ISBN 978-0385532310.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2020). The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-9390327287.


  1. ^ "Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (also referred to as IIM Calcutta or IIMC) website". www.iimcal.ac.in.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Ramachandra Guha (9 February 2017). "Why there's no need to be nostalgic for an undivided India". Hindustan Times.
  4. ^ "Not the Emergency by any stretch of the imagination". Hindustantimes.com.
  5. ^ "India Together: A managed mediaRamachandra Guha - 20 May 2006". Indiatogether.org. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Dr. Ramachandra Guha". London School of Economics and Political Science. 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  7. ^ FP Staff (8 October 2019). "Ramchandra Guha receives Honorary Foreign Member prize from American Historical Association". Firstpost. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Ramachandra Guha accepts SC’s nomination to BCCI’s panel of administrators", Hindustan Times, 30 January 2017.
  9. ^ https://www.newslaundry.com/2017/06/14/response-ramchandra-guha-gandhi-caste
  10. ^ a b Bhandari, Bhupesh (8 May 2007). "Lunch with BS: Ramachandra Guha". Business Standard India. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  11. ^ Gadgil, Madhav (9 April 2018). "Ram Guha: A Radical Progressive". Outlook India. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  12. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (19 November 2012). "Who Milks This Cow?". Outlook India. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  13. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (27 October 2007). "A Unique Trail - Twist in the tale of the search for an elusive book". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  14. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (30 January 2016). "Why the Dalai Lama may be India's noblest resident". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  15. ^ Chopra, Jaskiran (12 July 2016). "'Dosco' Amitav Ghosh celebrates his 60th Birthday". The Pioneer. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  16. ^ Chopra, Jaskiran (29 October 2017). "Of nature, cricket, literature and history". The Statesman. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  17. ^ 'History of the Weekly' published by The Doon School (2009), p. 36.
  18. ^ "The shrinking of St. Stephen's".
  19. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (25 June 2007). "St Stephen's: Murder In The Cathedral?". Outlook India. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  20. ^ Patriots And Partisans. Penguin India. ISBN 978-0-1434-2114-6. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  21. ^ Gandhi Before India. Penguin India. 2014. ISBN 978-0-1434-2341-6. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  22. ^ Peer, Basharat (21 October 2013). "A Conversation With: Historian Ramachandra Guha". The New York Times.
  23. ^ "Ramachandra Guha". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  24. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2003). A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport. Picador. ISBN 9780330491174.
  25. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2020). The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-9390327287.
  26. ^ Vidya Iyengar (11 November 2019), "Could have been compared to my father if he wrote fiction: Author Keshava Guha", The News Indian Express. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  27. ^ Foreign Policy: Top 100 Intellectuals Archived 25 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Padma Bhushan for Shekhar Gupta, Abhinav Bindra". Retrieved 26 January 2009.
  29. ^ "POETS DOMINATE SAHITYA AKADEMI AWARDS 2011" (PDF) (Press release). Sahitya Akademi. 21 December 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  30. ^ "Guha wins it for narrative history". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 December 2011.
  31. ^ "Yale Awards 12 Honorary Degrees at 2014 Graduation". YaleNews. New Haven, Connecticut. 19 May 2014.
  32. ^ "Historian Ramachandra Guha Selected for Japan's Fukuoka Prize". NDTV. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  33. ^ "Honorary Foreign Member Recipient". historians.org. American Historical association. Retrieved 1 March 2021.

External links[edit]