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Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh, a Rajya Sabha MP, was Union Minister between 2006 and 2014, holding several key portfolios, including Environment and Forests. He is the author of several well-known books, including Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature and Intertwined Lives: PN Haksar and Indira Gandhi. His latest book, A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon, won the Kamaladevi NIF Book Prize in 2020.

Session

Book Launch: The Light of Asia: The Poem that Defined the Buddha

Jairam Ramesh in conversation with William Dalrymple

The JLF First Edition is delighted to host the virtual launch of Jairam Ramesh's latest work, The Light of Asia: The Poem that Defined the Buddha, published by Penguin Random House India.
The epic poem 'The Light of Asia' by Sir Edwin Arnold first took the world by storm in 1879. Sir Arnold’s rendering of the Bhagavad Gita was one of Mahatma Gandhi's abiding favourites.

Rajya Sabha member and author Jairam Ramesh’s book, The Light of Asia: The Poem that Defined the Buddha, makes an attempt to understand this important narrative poem that has now become a milestone in Buddhist historiography. Weaving together literary, cultural, political and social history, the book not only helps us understand the Buddha but also explores the life of the multifaceted poet who himself was steeped in Sanskrit literature. Ramesh’s other books include A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon and Intertwined Lives: PN Haksar and Indira Gandhi. In conversation with author and festival co-Director William Dalrymple, Ramesh inspects the form and style of this iconic poem and its everlasting impact on world history.