Purushottam Agrawal Is a renowned Kabir and bhakti scholar, and a public intellectual.
He served as member, Union Public Service Commission of India (2007-2013). Before this, he served as Chairperson, Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been a Visiting Professor at Faculty of Oriental Studies, Cambridge University (UK), and at El Colegio de Mexico.
He hosted a unique show on books called ‘Kitab’ on Rajya Sabha TV.
Prof. Agrawal writes in Hindi as well as in English. His definitive study of Kabir and his times, Akath Kahani Prem Ki : Kabir Ki Kavita Aur Unka Samay (2009) has acquired the status of a contemporary classic. His Gandhi Peace Foundation lecture ‘Majbooti ka naam Mahatma Gandhi’ ( 2005) articulates the issues of violence and power in a very refreshing manner.
His maiden novel, NACOHUS (2016 ) constructs a Kafkaesque fantasy around the politic of hurt sentiments. Its English and Marathi translations are due for publication this year.
His Padmavat: An Epic Love Story (Delhi, Rupa Publications, 2018) has been extremely well received.
His latest, ‘Who is Bharat Mata?’ ( 2019) is a selection from Nehru’s writings and speeches about history, culture and the Idea of India with an illuminating introduction. In this carefully put-together anthology, Nehru emerges as a remarkable man of ideas with an instinctive understanding of India’s civilizational spirit, and also with a clear commitment to the scientific temper and a humane, compassionate society’.