Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Public lectures can inform, enlighten and inspire citizens, and thus keep alive the intellect and conscience of the city so that it can grow and renew itself. Over the last 20 years, I have attended a number of public lectures at the Netaji Centre in Calcutta. Tony Benn, Ayesha Jalal, Yasin Malik, Pranab Bardhan, Amartya Sen have been among the speakers.
I attended the Sisir Kumar Bose Lecture, 2008, in Calcutta on 11 January 2008, by Dr Lin Chun of the London School of Economics. The lecture was on "China’s Post-Mao Economic Reforms: A Critical Assessment”.
I found Lin Chun's lecture most illuminating and exhaustive, and was struck by her quiet and modest demeanour, which evidently concealed a sharp mind and a big heart.
A published version of her lecture is accessible here.
Image: From Deng Xiaoping: Portrait of a Chinese Statesman by David L. Shambaugh (Editor), Clarendon Press, 1995.