Democratic societies take pride in the freedom of expression. Indeed, the right to dissent and tolerance of diverse viewpoints distinguish a democratic society from a dictatorship. In his new book, Prof. T.T. Ram Mohan profiles well known dissenters Arundhati Roy, Oliver Stone, Kancha Ilaiah, David Irving, Yanis Varoufakis, U.G. Krishnamurti and John Pilger to illustrate how, in practice, dissent tends to be severely circumscribed. It is only the celebrity status of these dissenters that has kept them from being actively harmed. Through an exploration of the lives and ideas of these personalities, the author argues that, while one may not agree with their positions on various issues, their views merit discussion and debate. Engaging with them and responding to their analyses holds out the prospect for substantive reform within the system. Yet, the dominant elites prefer not to do so, instead marginalizing and even ostracizing dissenters precisely because they find change of any sort threatening.
Rebels with a Cause is a book that asks hard questions to challenge the way we view, and live in, the world—an important book for anyone who refuses to accept the status quo.
T.T. RAM MOHAN, professor of finance and economics at IIM Ahmedabad, graduated from IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta and obtained his doctorate from Stern School of Business, New York University. He has been, at various points in time, a management consultant, banker, investment banker and financial journalist.
Prof. Ram Mohan has written for several publications, including The Economic Times, Business Standard, The Hindu, The Wire, BloombergQuint and Quartz. He has served on the boards of several companies and been a member of committees of the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India. His earlier books include Privatisation in India: Challenging Economic Orthodoxy; Brick by Red Brick: Ravi Matthai and the Making of IIM Ahmedabad; Rethinc: What’s Broke at Today’s Corporations and How to Fix It; and Towards a Safer World of Banking: Bank Regulation after the Sub-Prime Crisis.