Volume 2 | Number 2
Online Version: ISSN No: 2709-0590
Print Version: ISSN No: 2708-2490
Price: BDT: 750.00, USD: 25.00
Publish Date: 01, January 2022
Krishna Kumar Tummala
Fred W. Riggs, whom I called as pitamaha (the great father), as the guru of gurus Bhishma in the Indian epic, Mahabharat was known. Although comparative study is not new (‘ancients’ wrote on that), Riggs made the concept his own, and advocated it very intensely. Here is a brief attempt to run the gamut of his ideas and see how they hold up in today’s world— a world that changed much and comprehensively. This is also an attempt to clear some misconceptions about is contributions as a “comparativist”. Problems may be universal, such as Covid, but the remedies can only be applied contextually and culturally—two concepts Riggs advocated. He was unjustly criticized as an ‘academic imperialist’ when he abhorred dictating to anyone. His was a ‘multicultural’ gift to be used within the ‘glocal’ context. ‘Culture’ and ‘context’ are not to be impediments to development, but essential understanding to reform, adapt and move on. The best lessons I learnt from Riggs are not to be dogmatic but to observe, adapt, protect stable political institutions and, most importantly, learn from past mistakes. In other words, remain a perpetual student.
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