Being Indian: Inside the real India

Being Indian: Inside the real India

Author:

Hardcover, Pages: -

Genres: Cultural, India, Nonfiction, Travel

Language: English

Reads: 19

Downloads: 1147

Rating: Rated: 586 timesRate It

Being Indian: Inside the real India
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Book Summary

In the 21st century every sixth human being will be Indian. India is very close to becoming the second largest consumer market in the world, with a buying middle class numbering over half a billion. The Indian economy is already the fourth largest in terms of purchasing power parity. It is in the top ten in overall GNP. Yet at least 200 million Indians remain desperately poor. Illiteracy rates are high. Communal violence is widespread; corruption endemic. Brides are still tortured and burnt for dowries; female infanticide is common. The caste system has lost little of its power and none of its brutality How are we to make sense of these apparently contradictory pictures of India today? And how can we overcome the many misconceptions about India that are fed by western stereotypes and Indians own myths about themselves. Pavan Varma turns a sharply observant gaze on his fellow countrymen to examine what really makes Indians tick. How, for example, does the indifference of most middle-class Indians to the suffering of the poor square with their enthusiasm for parliamentary democracy? How can a people who so supported Mahatma Gandhis strategy of non-violence during the struggle for independence burn young brides for their dowries and beat domestic servants to near-death? Why do Indians have a reputation for being spiritual and other-wordly when their traditions so exalt the pursuit of material well-being as a principal goal of life? Drawing on sources as diverse as ancient Sanskrit treatises and Bollywood lyrics, Pavan Varma creates a vivid and compelling portrait of India and its people. Being Indian is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand Indians, and for Indians who wish to understand themselves.

Reader Reviews
  •    Tuzshura Erdos
    2020
    It's never too late to make discoveries. With this book "Being Indian: Inside the real India", I would have liked to have read it before working in India. As a foreigner, I had never understood this attraction of Indians to the hierarchy. It's human, the quest for power exists all over the world, but in India, there's a big complex about it and Pavan K Varma explains it quite well. For Varma, the Indians respect too much the powerful and lack the courage to emancipate themselves from the hierarchy. While examining India's assets for the 21st century, his book challenges many prejudices about the wisdom and disinterest of Indians.

    If I had to remember two things to read, it is the text of the introduction and the first chapter "power" that I find excellent. In the introduction, the author immediately asks very relevant questions about Indian stereotypes and Indianity. The first chapter "Power" is to be read, reread and studied. Everything is said about the blatant inequalities of the Indians, their relationship to power, their lack of emancipation hindered by the hierarchy, their ostentatious and apparent religiosity, their incessant quest for money.... The book is very severe but necessary for Indians first of all. (less)
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