A book carrying essays by eminent writers in recognition of life and works of Ashis Nandy — an intellectual, a political psychologist, social theorist and critic — was launched at the Indian International Centre here on Monday. The 384-page volume — ‘Ashis Nandy: A Life of Dissent’ — has been edited by Ramin Jahanbegloo and Ananya Vajpeyi and brought out by Oxford University Press.

The book was launched in the presence of former Attorney General of India Soli Jehangir Sorabjee; Emeritus of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, TN Madan; Executive Director of Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies, OP Jindal Global University, Sonepat, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Associate Professor at Centre for Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, Ananya Vajpei; and many other distinguished personalities.

The book carries 23 essays in addition to an introduction by Ashis Nandy, titled The Art of Thinking Differently.

This is a tribute to Ashis Nandy on his 80th birthday from the eminent contributors, most of them his admirers. It especially underlines the voice of dissent and unconventionality that is characteristic of Nandy’s work.

This volume is a reflection on his work as a thinker, where noted social scientists, humanists, a novelist, and a musician — spanning generations and multiple nationalities — come together to celebrate the ideas, life and work of Nandy.

They locate the key insights of his approach to human history and cultural diversity within the themes of the dynamic relationship between theory and practice, between social questioning and alternative knowledge-making. The essays offer fine insights into the thoughts, writings, and life of the maverick called Ashis Nandy.

The event ended with a interactive session where Nandy responded to the questions from the guests, which ranged from riots, the Partition, to the current political regime. And Nandy was at his honest best as he admired some and detested many, but all with a sense of optimism. That’s what Nandy is admired for!