Press release

Remembering Rajni Kothari, Indian Political Scientist Who Defended Basic Freedoms

The death of Rajni Kothari has deprived India one of its most eminent public intellectuals and defenders of fundamental rights.

Washington

Following the death of Rajni Kothari, the Indian political scientist who tirelessly defended civil liberties throughout India, Freedom House released the following statement:

“The death of Rajni Kothari has deprived India one of its most eminent public intellectuals and defenders of fundamental rights,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs.  “Kothari was a courageous, outspoken critic of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s government after its suspension of the democratic process, and he embraced people-centered social movements as essential both to the country’s economic development and the reinvigoration of Indian democracy.”

Background

Kothari, who died January 19 at age 86, founded the Centre for Study of Developing Societies, whose work extended to the fields of caste, identity and politics. He was long considered India’s most esteemed political scientist.

India is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2014