Anand Ranganathan, a scientist and writer, boasts an impressive literary repertoire consisting of three novels: “The Land of the Wilted Rose” (Rupa, 2012), “For Love and Honour” (Bloomsbury, 2015), and “The Rat Eater” (Bloomsbury, 2019; co-authored). Adding to his accomplishments, he is currently working on an upcoming book in collaboration with others, shedding light on India’s forgotten scientists (Penguin, 2023; co-authored).
Known for-Research on tuberculosis, opinion pieces and columns in Swarajya, Newslaundry, Twitter personality.
Anand Ranganathan’s family has a strong scientific background. His father, Subramania Ranganathan (1936 – 2016), was a prominent Indian bio-organic chemist and held the position of a professor and head of the department of chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. An equally accomplished figure, his mother, Darshan Ranganathan (4 June 1941 – 4 June 2001), was an Indian organic chemist renowned for her groundbreaking work in bio-organic chemistry, particularly in the field of protein folding.
His wife Sheetal Ranganathan, an AIIMS and XIM graduate, excels as a columnist, specializing in global health and science outreach subjects.
Following in his parents’ footsteps, Anand pursued his academic journey with great determination. He completed his BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, in 1992. Subsequently, he received a Nehru Centenary Scholarship, which allowed him to continue his studies at the University of Cambridge. There, he earned his BA (Tripos) in Natural Sciences, followed by obtaining his MA and PhD degrees.
Ranganathan embarked on his post-doctoral journey at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, where he dedicated his efforts from 1998 to 1999. Following this stint, he returned to India and joined the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Delhi as a research scientist, overseeing his laboratory for an impressive 16 years. In 2015, he became an Associate Professor at the Special Centre for Molecular Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Here, his research focuses on Directed Evolution and Pathogenesis, with a particular emphasis on Tuberculosis and Malaria.
His noteworthy contributions to the development of a new tuberculosis vaccine garnered significant media attention. Ranganathan’s expertise and research achievements were widely reported by various media outlets.
In addition to his scientific pursuits, Ranganathan worked as a consulting editor for Newslaundry and actively participated in their weekly podcasts. He also hosted several shows and interviews on their platform. However, a rift occurred when some individuals associated with Newslaundry publicly ridiculed him on Twitter for his data-driven analysis and opposing viewpoints. The situation worsened when Newslaundry mocked his Brahmin background in one of their videos, leading to controversy and division.
Ranganathan identifies as an atheist and a strong advocate of free speech. He has written numerous articles in praise of B. R. Ambedkar, showcasing his admiration for the iconic figure.
Furthermore, some of Ranganathan’s tweets criticizing the judiciary were withheld by Twitter, adding another layer of complexity to his online presence.
Anand Ranganathan achieved recognition as a Young Scientist at the World Economic Forum for the New Champions Summit in 2012.
Here are Anand Ranganathan’s achievements presented pointwise:
- Young Scientist, World Economic Forum, for the New Champions Summit, 2012
- Young Scientist Medal of the Indian National Science Academy, 2007
- Young Scientist Medal of the UDCT, India, 2006
- Associate Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, 2003-06
- Pembroke College Cambridge Scholarship, 1995
- Cambridge Nehru Centenary Fellowship, 1992
Ranganathan has written three fiction books.
The Land of the Wilted Rose
For Love and Honour
The Rat Eater (Juggernaut, 2017; co-authored with Chitra Subramaniam)
- Munawar’s mockery of the 59 Hindu individuals, including men, women, and infants, who were burned alive at Godhra is comparable to making fun of the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz by the Nazis. While he may have the freedom to do so, it is essential to recognize that finding humor in such dehumanization is a sign of being a psychopath in need of medical assistance. [Source: Twitter, Nov 29, 2021]
- Remember that Ram Guha opposed naming Delhi roads after Chhatrapati Shivaji, who founded an empire stretching from Peshawar to Plassey, by dismissing him as a “little known regional figure and a feudal lord who endorsed caste hierarchies.” [Source: Archive, Feb 19, 2022]
- Twitter suspended @BharadwajSpeaks, and it wasn’t due to fear of Modi, as his minister once boasted about not changing a single comma in their books. Instead, it was the exposés by @BharadwajSpeaks that terrified them, as they went beyond merely stopping at a comma. [Source: Archive, Jan 20, 2022]
- It has been a month since Twitter suspended @BharadwajSpeaks, and those in power seem untroubled. Fake historians and dishonest journalists celebrate this suspension because, contrary to their expectations, it is not Modi but @BharadwajSpeaks who poses the greatest threat to them. [Source: Twitter, Feb 20, 2022]
- Expressing contempt, the judges who ruled that cases of atrocities against Kashmiri Hindus wouldn’t be heard committed a crime. [Source: Archive, March 2022]