Dr Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonion Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, New York, USA, was in Calcutta in December 2005. I helped to organise a discussion with him at the Institute of Objective Studies. We had a scintillating round-table discussion touching on a range of issues, like the Muslim community in the social ecology of Kolkata; criminalisation of society and politics; electoral politics vis-a-vis grassroots protest and demands for basic needs; governance, media and civic activism. Prof Bilgrami spoke about US foreign policy and the Middle East. Very local, and serious global problems, appeared to mirror one another in their essence.
Prof Bilgrami’s talk is reproduced below.