The Getty Center
Date: Sunday, October 23, 2016
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Past Event

 
For all of India's myths and stories, Indian history remains a curiously unpeopled place. In Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, Sunil Khilnani fills that space, recapturing the human dimension of how the world's largest democracy came to be. His portraits of emperors, warriors, philosophers, film stars, and corporate titans bring feeling, wry humor, and uncommon insight to dilemmas that extend from ancient times to our own. As he journeys across the country and through its past, Khilnani uncovers more than just history. In rocket launches and ayurvedic call centers, in slum temples and Bollywood studios, in California communes and grimy ports, he examines the continued, and often surprising, relevance of the men and women who have made India—and the world—what it is. We encounter the Buddha, "the first human personality"; the ancient Sanskrit linguist who inspires computer programmers today; the wit and guile of India's Machiavelli; and the medieval poets who mocked rituals and caste. In the twentieth century, Khilnani sets Gandhi and other political icons of the independence era next to actresses, photographers, and entrepreneurs.

Sunil Khilnani is professor and director of the India Institute at King's College, London. He is author of the critically-acclaimed The Idea of India.


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