The historical and anthropological analysis of religious phenomena in
autochthonous cults like the worship of ‘Dharma Thakur’ in the western
regions of West Bengal.
Was Project Director of an anthropological ‘Field Programme’, for over half a decade under the Indian Council for Social Sciences & Research, that involved field work in 78 villages, spread in Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Midnapore, Hooghly and Howrah.
‘Making sense’ of Indian behaviour and world views as well as oddities, and sensitivities, with reference to their “cultural genes”.
Positing the role of popular media initiatives like Vividh Bharati on Akashvani, and mega serials (like Ramayan and Mahabharat) on DD in the emergence of homogeneity in a sharply heterogeneous nation.
Honors, Awards and Accolades
* Gold Medal for standing 1st in School Leave in 1970
* Debater Award twice in IAS Academy for standing 1st in 1975
* Silver Medal of GoI for Extraordinary Service in Census Operations in1982
* British Museum’s Silver Medal for Promoting Museum Reforms in 2011
* Best CEO Award (Two years after joining PB)
* Maulana Jameel Ilyasi Excellency Award – August, 2013
* News Television Network CEO of the Year ENBA 2013
* Institute Of Directors Distinguished Fellowship Award – 2014
* 6th BCS RATNA AWARDS 2015
* Recently Digital Studio Broadcasting & Production Magazine have put him among the 10 Most important people In the Broadcasting Industry along with the heads of Star, India Today, Zee, Sony & NDTV 2016
* Corporate Broadcaster of the Year, Award by Calcutta Management Association 2016
* Stylish Person of the Year 2016 Conferred by Hindustan Times
Allied Research Work
I have a wealth of materials from my field studies of autochthonous
religions, and their dialogue with formal Hinduism, which give valuable
leads even though, part of the field data is “dated”.
Delivered the Annual Address to the Asiatic Society of Kolkata, in January 2014, where I spoke before a packed audience of senior scholars, on ‘The Role of Brahmanical Class in the Unification of India’.
It presents an unusual postulate, that the sum total of Brahmanical interventions on the Indian sub-continent, for two and a half millennia, reveals some traces of a ‘grand design.’ It is fairly balanced and well researched, though it is still to be completed.
I have listed out the ‘tactics’, that may have been used, but the end result has been to forge ‘cultural’ unity amongst disparate nationalities and ethno-linguistic groups, which the British intervention only helped catalyse further.
The Construction of the Hindu Identity in Medieval Western Bengal: The Role of Popular Cults
After decades of work and notings, this is the only work of consequence
that I could publish in the preceding 40 years.
The monograph is out of print, but the PDF file is available.
I place a few comments below: