Human Conditions: ‘The Intimate Enemy’ by Ashis Nandy

Pankaj Mishra and Adam Shatz

Ashis Nandy’s The Intimate Enemy is a study of the psychological toll of colonialism on both the coloniser and colonised, showing how Western conceptions of masculinity and adulthood served as tools of conquest. Using figures as disparate as Gandhi, Oscar Wilde and Aurobindo Ghosh, Nandy suggests ways in which alternative models of age and gender can provide compelling challenges to colonial authority. Pankaj Mishra joins Adam to unpack Nandy’s subtle and unexpected lines of thought and to explain why The Intimate Enemy remains as innovative today as it did in 1983.

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