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Mahesh Rangarajan is a researcher, author and historian with a special interest in environmental history and colonial history of British India. He is also a political commentator and a psephologist and appears frequently on Indianmarker television. He is also a columnist in the print media writing on wildlife conservation, political and environmental issues.

Early life

He was born in 1964 and finished his ICSE and ISC from St. Columba's School, Delhi. He then did a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Hindu College, Delhi University. He received the Rhodes scholarship in 1986 to do a BA in modern history from Balliol College at Oxford, which he finished in 1988. He received an M.A. in modern history from the same college and a DPhil from Nuffield Collegemarker, Oxford in 1993 on Forest policy in the Central Provinces. He later taught and lectured at Oxford and moved as the Assistant Editor of the The Telegraph for a year.

Teaching and research

He is presently a Professor of history at Delhi University.He has taught courses in environmental history and conservation at several institutions. From 2001 to 2004, he was a visiting faculty at the Department of History, hosted with the Mario Einaudi Centre for International Relations, Cornell Universitymarker, where he taught South Asian Environmental History. He has been a Visitor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science several times where he researched and wrote some of his books. He has helped design courses in wildlife conservation at the National Centre for Biological Sciences and is one of the core faculties in that course and also the syllabus for environmental studies at Delhi University.

He has written several books and articles on politics and history of wildlife conservation, forest rights and environmental history. In the book, Battles over Nature, he analyses present-day conservation conflicts and finds their roots in India’s colonial past and in the governance system that was adopted as an independent nation state. He was a member of the founding team and corresponding editor of the Cambridge-based journal Environment and History headed by Richard Grove . He is a member of the executive board of the Association of South Asian Environmental Historians.

Political commentary

He is a columnist and essayist and writes frequently in the newspapers and magazines. He also appears on television as a political analyst during elections. He is known for his bold and frank commentary on issues and writes analytical articles for Indian and international media.

Awards

In 1988, he was awarded the Martin Wright Prize at Balliol College and the Charles Wallace Scholar and Beit Scholar at Nuffield College, Oxford University in 1991. He is a fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum.

Bibliography

  • Environment and wild life (Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 1998)
  • Troubled legacy (Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 1998)
  • The Raj and the natural world (Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 1999)
  • Beyond state and market? (Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 1997)
  • Fencing the forest (Oxford University Press, 1996)
  • India's wildlife history (Permanent Black in association with Ranthambhore Foundation, Distributed by Orient Longman, 2001)
  • Oxford Anthology of Indian Wildlife (2 volumesOxford University Press 2000 & 2002)
  • Towards Coexistence, People, Parks and Wildlife (with VK Saberwal and A Kothari, Orient Longman, Delhi, 2000)
  • Battles Over Nature (with Vasant K. Saberwal, South Asia Books, 2006 Paperback)
  • Environmental Issues in India: A Reader, (Editor. Pearson Longman, 2007)
  • Making Conservation Work, Securing biodiversity in this new Century (Editor with Ghazala Shahabuddin, Permanent Black, Delhi 2007)


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