Incarnations: India in 50 Lives

By Prof Sunil Khilnani

On Going since May 2015 • Updated weekly

Over the course of 50 episodes, Sunil Khilnani, director of the King's India Institute in London, takes listeners on a whirlwind journey from ancient India to the 21st century through the prism of the life stories of 50 remarkable individuals. He will also explore their surprising afterlives, which illuminate both the astonishments and urgent conflicts of India today.

He begins with the Buddha, exploring the story of his life and how he has been reinvented in modern India by those who oppose the caste system. "Buddha's solution to suffering lay in the individual mind. But he was also sketching a new form of society," says Professor Khilnani. "He was a moral meritocrat, and to an extent a social one too."

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  Direct Link   Download 0 Minutes 25 Feb 2016

Professor Sunil Khilnani explores the life and legacy of the industrialist Jamsetji Tata, one of a series of remarkable individuals who have made India what it is today. Tata played a vitally important role in establishing India's manufacturing base and went on to create the conditions for the country's future industrial development. Tata companies now constitute around five per cent of India's gross domestic product from hotels to power generation and IT. In the days of empire, the British dreamed of 'making the world England'; Tata helped to make the world more Indian. Listeners can catch up with the series and see the list of remarkable Indians featured on the Radio 4 website. Producer: Mark Savage Readings: Sagar Arya.. . .