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Mahesh Rangarajan
Born 22 April 1964
Nationality Indian
Education DPhil (Modern History)
Alma mater Hindu College, Delhi University & Nuffield College, Oxford University
Occupation Professor
Employer Delhi University
Known for Environmental history, Political analyst, Psephologist

Mahesh Rangarajan is a researcher,[1] author[2] and historian with a special interest in environmental history and colonial history of British India. He is also a political commentator and a psephologist[3] and appears frequently on Indian television. He is also a columnist in the print media writing on wildlife conservation, political and environmental issues.[3]


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 College, Oxford in 1993 on Forest policy in the Central Provinces.[4] He later taught and lectured at Oxford and moved as the Assistant Editor of the The Telegraph (Kolkata) for a year.

Teaching and research

He is presently a Professor of history at Delhi University[5].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 University, where he taught South Asian Environmental History.[4][6] 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.[7] 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[8] 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[9]. 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.[1] He was a member of the founding team and corresponding editor of the Cambridge-based journal Environment and History headed by Richard Grove [4]. He is a member of the executive board of the Association of South Asian Environmental Historians.[10]

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.[3] He is known for his bold and frank commentary on issues and writes analytical articles for Indian and international media.[11][12]


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.[4] He is a fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum.


  • 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)

See also


  1. ^ a b "RAMACHANDRA GUHA, MAHESH RANGARAJAN, MICHAEL LEWIS". Infochange. Retrieved 2009-07-23. "Mahesh Rangarajan, an independent researcher, also writes in a similar vein but his work is specifically about the politics of wildlife conservation."  
  2. ^ "Books by Mahesh Rangarajan on Openlibrary". Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  3. ^ a b c "Mahesh Rangarajan - India's No.1 political analyst". Times Now. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  4. ^ a b c d "CV of Mahesh Rangarajan". Ben-Gurion University. Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  5. ^ "University of Delhi South Campus Faculty Page". Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  6. ^ "Spring Semester details at CIPEC". Cornell University.  
  7. ^ Saberwal, Vasant K; Mahesh Rangarajan. Battles over Nature. Orient Blackswan. pp. 412. ISBN 81-7824-141-2. "Acknowledgements"  
  8. ^ "Core Faculty in the PG Course in Wildlife Biology and Conservation". National Centre for Biological Sciences. Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  9. ^ "Books by Mahesh Rangarajan". India Environment Portal. Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  10. ^ "Official Website of the ASAEH". Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  11. ^ Roy Chaudhry, Pritha (19 July 2007). "Presidential candidates unsuitable". Retrieved 2009-07-23.  
  12. ^ Rangarajan, Mahesh (2009-03-20). "Decline of India's political leviathans". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-07-23. "...Mahesh Rangarajan analyses the decline of the country's national parties"  

External links



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