Ramachandra Guha Wiki, Age, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha is a noted Indian historian and intellectual. Guha’s research work covers the Indian history of environment, modern India, forestry, cricket, economics, society, politics, anthropology, and contemporary events. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan (2009) and Sahitya Akademi Award (2011), Ramachandra Guha was rated as one of the Top 100 intellectuals in the world by a Foreign Policy magazine in 2008 and one of the most powerful Indians in 2022 by The Indian Express.


Ramachandra Guha was born on Tuesday, 29 April 1958 (age 66 years; as of 2024) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. His zodiac sign is Taurus. He grew up in Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand), India, where a Tamil Brahmin family raised him. He did his primary education at Cambrian Hall and The Doon School, Dehradun.

The Doon School, Dehradun, where Ramachandra Guha completed his schooling

The Doon School, Dehradun, where Ramachandra Guha completed his schooling

In 1977, he graduated with a degree in economics from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and pursued a master’s degree in the same subject at the Delhi School of Economics (located at the North Campus of Delhi University).

St. Stephen's College, New Delhi, was the graduation college of Ramachandra Guha

St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, where Ramachandra Guha studied

He pursued a PhD in sociology at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta in which he researched the social history of Uttarakhand’s forestry with special emphasis on the Chipko Movement, and he published his first paper, The Unquiet Woods. He then started teaching as a visiting professor to many universities and engaged himself as a researcher at Wissenschaftskollegzu, Berlin, Germany for the year 1994-95.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 10”

Weight (approx.): 70 kg

Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper

Eye Colour: Black

Family & Caste

Ramachandra Guha comes from a well-educated Hindu Tamil Brahmin family.

Parents & Siblings

Ramachandra Guha’s father, Subramaniam Ramdas Guha, was a research professional and director at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, and the family lived within the campus premises of the institute.

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. Its campus was a home to Ramachandra Guha during his school days

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. Its campus was home to Ramachandra Guha during his school days

Guha’s mother was a high school teacher.

Wife & Children

Ramachandra Guha married Sujata Keshavan, an Indian graphic designer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Ray+Keshavan designing firm, and Varana, an artisanal luxury fashion brand. She has designed Infosys’s logo and designed and branded big firms like Reliance, Wipro, McKinsey, Dr Reddy’s, Dabur, Max Group, TVS, etc.

Ramachandra Guha with his wife, Sujata Keshavan

Ramachandra Guha with his wife, Sujata Keshavan

Ramachandra Guha and his wife Sujata Keshavan in younger days

Ramachandra Guha and his wife, Sujata Keshavan, in their younger days

The couple has a son, Keshava Guha, and a daughter, Ira Guha. Keshava is a writer and published his first fiction novel, ‘Accidental Magic,’ in 2019.

Keshava Guha, son of Ramachandra Guha

Keshava Guha, son of Ramachandra Guha

Ira is an entrepreneur who founded ‘Asan,’ a menstrual cup company with a vision to eradicate period poverty in India by providing cost-effective menstrual cups.

Ramachandra Guha's daughter, Ira Guha

Ramachandra Guha’s daughter, Ira Guha

Other Relatives

His grandfather, S. Ramaswamy Iyer, was the first Advocate-General of Mysore.

Religion/Religious Views

Although he believes in a few doctrines of Hinduism, he calls himself an agnostic rather than an atheist. [1]The Telegraph

I do not know really whether there is a God or not. And I do know individuals whose faith encourages them to be selfless rather than selfish, to put the interests of their family or community above their own. In the past and in the present, the most generous philanthropists and the most heroic social workers have often been motivated by religious belief.”


Signature of Ramchandra Guha

Signature of Ramchandra Guha



From 1985 to 2000, Ramachandra Guha worked as a professor at various foreign universities including the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, Stanford University, and the University of Oslo.

Ramachandra Guha pictured with students post lecture at the Yale University.jpg

Ramachandra Guha (Front: standing in the centre) pictured with students at Yale University

Guha joined as a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bengaluru in 2019.

Indian Institute of Science, Bangaluru, where Ramachandra Guha joined as a Professor in 2019

Indian Institute of Science, Bangaluru, where Ramachandra Guha joined as a Professor in 2019

Guha held the Philippe Roman Chair of International Affairs and History at the London School of Economics for the 2011-12 tenure, where four formal lectures were delivered by the recipient of this position. All four lectures went viral among the scholars, sparking debates around the globe. His first lecture on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was controversial, and in the second, he defended Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru from the defeat of India by China in 1962. In his third talk, he talked about ten reasons why India will not and should not become a superpower.

Ramachandra Guha held the Philippe Roman Chair in 2011-2012

Ramachandra Guha held the Philippe Roman Chair in 2011-2012


Ramachandra Guha’s first historical research was in the field of environment. Some of his popular books on the environment are:

  • The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya (1989) – This book gives a peep into the history of the Chipko Movement.The Unquiet Woods by Ramachandra Guhas was his first book on the history of environment
  • This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India (1992) – This book is a collaboration book of Ramachandra Guha with Madhav Gadgil which traces the changing ecological patterns in India from early humans to modern humans. This Fissure Land
  • Ecology and Equity (1995) – This book highlights the use and abuse of nature in contemporary India. It talks about how the crisis in India is rooted in the exploitativeness of the ecology. Ecology and Equity analyses envirenmental destruction as a Third World Problem


Ramachandra Guha is known for his books on the history of modern India. He is the third Indian historian (after Romila Thapar and Jadunath Sarkar) to be honoured by The American Historian Association (AHA) with the Honorary Foreign Member prize. Out of many, his famous history books are:

  • India after Gandhi: The History of World’s Largest Democracy (2007) – This book was selected as the book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and as a book of the decade by the Times of London and The Hindu. In 2007, Ramachandra Guha’s book, India After Gandhi was selected as book of the year by the Economist.
  •   Latest Edition of 'India After Gandhi,' which was selected as book of the year by the Economist
  • Makers of Modern India (2010)
  • Rebels Against the Raj: Western Fighters for India’s Freedom (2022) – chronicles the story of 7 foreigners, who worked for India’s freedom struggle- four Brits, two Americans, and one Irish. This book crowned Guha with the Elizabeth Longford Prize in 2023Coverpage of 'Rebels Against the Raj,' book by Ramchandra Guha that crowned him with the Elizabeth Longford Prize in 2023

Cricket Analyst

As a writer of cricket, the analytical writings of Ramachandra Guha got him the U.K. Cricket Society’s Literary Award. Guha is a big cricket fan and his books on cricket have got him an international reputation as a cricket journalist. In his fourth lecture during his tenure as the Philippe Roman Chair of International Affairs, he spoke about cricket as an expression of colonial and post-colonial India. His three famous books on cricket are:

  • Spin And Other Turns: Indian Cricket’s Coming of Age (2000) – Ramachandra Guha wrote this book at the time of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. He wrote this book in a week. The underlying theme shows how cricket during those days was taken as religion and the players as Gods.
  • A Corner of a Foreign Field (2002) – In this book, Ramachandra Guha covers cricket history with an undertone of biographies of important cricket players both Indian and British who played for British India. This book won the Daily Telegraph Cricket Society Book of the Year prize in 2002. 'A Corner of a Foreign Field' by Ramachandra Guha won the Daily Telegraph Cricket Society Book of the Year prize in 2002
  • The Commonwealth of Cricket (2020) – This book is written in the tone of a memoir and charts the life and history of Indian cricket. Commonwealth Of Cricket by Ramachandra Guha is a memoir of his obsession with the game
  • The Picador Book of Cricket (2001) – This book is an anthology of the finest cricket writings by popular cricket writers. Ramachandra Guha has edited this book.The Picador Book of Cricket


He is known for his historical accounts of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, which sparked the worldwide debate on Gandhi. His notable biographies are:

  • Savaging The Civilized: Verrier Elvin, His Tribals, and India (1999)Savaging the Civilized by Ramachandra Guha is his seminal work on anthropology
  • Gandhi Before India (2013) A Coverpage of 'Gandhi Before India'
  • Gandhi: The Years That Changed The World (2018) Gandhi - The Years That Changed The World, a famous biography by Ramachandra Guha

Critic and Columnist

Ramachandra Guha is an avid commentator and columnist on contemporary issues. As a columnist, he contributes to many prestigious newspapers and magazines. He writes for newspapers like The Hindu, The Telegraph, The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Hindi Daily, and Amar Ujala. He has also been a columnist for the Outlook and The Caravan magazines. His famous books as a critic include Patriots and Partisans (2012) and Democrats and Dissenters (2016).

Patriots And Partisans by Ramachandra Guha

These works made him a prominent public intellectual figure.

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  • Padma Bhushan (2009)
  • Leopold-Hidy Prize (2001)
  • Sahitya Academy (2011)
  • Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (2015)
  • Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography (2023)
  • R. K. Narayan Prize at the Chennai Book Fair (2003)
  • Ramnath Goenka Prize (2007-08)
  • Malcolm Adideshiah Award
  • Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society Prize
  • The New York Times has described Guha as ‘the best among Indian non-fiction writers.’
  • The Time Magazine has marked Guha’s achievement as Indian Democracy’s Pre-eminent Chronicler.’
  • Got listed as 44th among one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by the Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines (2008)


  • Leader: Mahatama Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Sport: Cricket


  • Ramachandra Guha was influenced by Marxism theory and was a Leftist during his school times.
  • Guha considers food scientist K. T. Achaya, popular as ‘Thammu,’ as his Godfather.
  • In his book ‘The Cooking of Books – A Literary Memoir,’ which was published in January 2024, Guha talks about his close friendship with his editor Rukun Advani.

Ramachandra Guha (left) with Rukun Advani (right)

Ramachandra Guha (left) with Rukun Advani (right)

  • Ramachandra Guha was interested in writing since childhood, and he would contribute to his weekly school magazine ‘The Doon School Weekly.’
  • The famous Indian writer, Amitav Ghosh was a schoolmate of Ramachandra Guha, and they edited a publication called ‘History Times’ together.
  • On 4 December 2019, Ramachandra Guha was detained for protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

  • The American Society for Environmental History awarded Ramachandra Guha with the Leopold-Hidy Prize for the essay “Prehistory of Community Forestry in India.” [2]India Weekly
  • Guha refused to take the professorship at the Gujarat University as a sign of his opposition to the construction of the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

  • The hobbies of Ramachandra Guha are travelling, reading, and writing.


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