The Psychoanalysis of Sudhir Kakar

Speaker Bio:

Sudhir Kakar is a psychoanalyst, novelist and scholar in the fields of cultural psychology and psychology of religion. He has been a Lecturer at Harvard, Research Fellow at Harvard Business School, Professor at IIM, Ahmedabad, Head of Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT, Delhi, Visiting Professor at Chicago (1989-93), McGill, Melbourne, Hawaii, Vienna, Harvard, INSEAD, France (1994-2013), and a Fellow at the Institutes of Advanced Study, Princeton (1983-84), Berlin (1994-95) and Cologne (2011-14). His many honours include the Bhabha, Nehru and ICSSR National Fellowships, Kardiner Award of Columbia University, Boyer Prize of the American Anthropological Association, Tagore-Merck Award, Lotte Koehler Prize for Psychoanalytic Developmental, Cultural and Social Psychology, Germany’s Goethe Medal, Distinguished Service Award of Indo-American Psychiatric Association and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. As the ‘psychoanalyst of civilizations’, the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur listed Kakar in 2006 as one of the world’s 25 major thinkers.

Kakar is the author/editor of twenty-three books of non-fiction and seven of fiction. The Mind in the World: Collected Papers of Sudhir Kakar, 4 volumes (Culture and Society, Psychoanalysis, Biography, Religion) will be published in Spring 2022 by Oxford University Press. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages around the world. He lives in Goa.

Bio of the Discussant, Dr Anurag Mishra:
Dr. Anurag Mishra is a psychiatrist and psychoanalytical psychotherapist trained in India and Europe though no one country is to blame for him. He is a serial founder – the founder of Psychoanalysis India which helped to organize the International Psychoanalytical Conferences in Delhi along with the annual Sigmund Freud Talks; the founder of Livonics Publishing which has been publishing books on Psychoanalysis, Mental Health, Organizational Dynamics and Economics among other; the founder of Livonics Infotech and he is the academic advisor to the University of Latvia International Institute of Indic Studies in Riga. He is the founder of Livonics Institute of Integrated Learning and Research ( which is engaged in interdisciplinary research and education. He is the co-editor of “Psychoanalysis from the Indian Terroir” along with Prof. Anup Dhar who is on the panel and Manasi Kumar though he did most of the wine drinking purely to research the concept of Terroir- he says. He is continuing this research every evening in the Latvian countryside where he presently resides.

In an era of psychological universalism Prof. Sudhir Kakar has produce and meticulously aged a fine psychoanalytical wine from the Indian terroir. He writes, “I believe that the traditional Indian view of the person who is open, porous and connected to all of existence is an intangible human heritage that needs to be preserved and defended against those adherents of the modern model who would not brook the existence of a competing model of the person.” Visualizing the unconscious as an engine that runs on parallel tracks of desire and the divine he writes, “Empathy, and the meditative state that underlies it, may well be the sluice through which the spiritual enters the consulting room, where the art and science of psychoanalysis flow together in the practice of psychotherapy.” Kakar’s writings over the last five decades have illuminated the rainbow of passion, creativity, mysticism, empathy and compassion aching and arching between desire and the divine. His bringing Compassionate Knowing and Being centre stage is not only of metapsychological interest but is important for the praxis of Psychoanalysis wherever one may be situated.