"India is no longer a constitutional democracy but a populist one", this is one of the hard hitting ideas which this book puts forward. No doubt such...more"India is no longer a constitutional democracy but a populist one", this is one of the hard hitting ideas which this book puts forward. No doubt such a commentary has not been written about India after its independence. Detailed and lucid this book is a treat to all those who are interested in the "idea of India". You will never be bored with this book. With all the surprises, the setbacks and, the pandemonium that is associated with Indian's freedom, we can surely say that democracy has not lost in India. It has become weak, but not lost. I can only hope that India becomes more secular, with poverty less pervasive and "where the mind is without fear and the head is held high". The biggest challenge to our democracy comes from within, in the form of corruption. Many tend to believe that ills like overpopulation, illiteracy, etc. are the bane of the Indian society. I tend to think it's corruption. Last year we saw mass movements by groups led by apolitical people unified against corruption. We saw a union minister going to jail, the CM of a state resigning and many such events. But in a state where majority of the employees are corrupt all this is like a drop in the ocean. The Lokayukta bill (Ombudsman law) has not seen the day of light, since first being introduced many decades ago. Majority of politicians across party lines are conjoined to this evil of corruption. The government portrays itself as the saviour of the common man, only to forget its own manifesto once voted to power. Corruption is the evil, the virus, which kills everything and the society as a whole disintegrates. An analogy can be drawn with the AIDS virus, which does not kill, but renders the immune system too weak to defend against anything else. I have met people who talk about the old days of glory, when public servants were honest and politicians more austere. Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake. Predictions are thick and fast to come, I won't predict, only hope that my country becomes what the founding fathers of freedom wanted it to, and take back its rightful place in history. (less)
Revealing. French talks about India in a refreshing way, he offers insights into situations that many would not know about. His perspective about Indi...moreRevealing. French talks about India in a refreshing way, he offers insights into situations that many would not know about. His perspective about India is similar to what many Indians would have about their country. He deals with some topic in detail,(Aarushi Talwar murder case being one of them). Who should read this book? If you know a little about India, the current affairs which strangle the country every day, then you should read this book. This work is refreshing and easy to read.
When he disagrees with the Maulana in the context of a uniform law for everyone(including the Muslims of India), it is hard not to accept his viewpoint, given the old archaic laws which govern Indian Muslims till date. (less)
Mahabharata contains all the elements of a great story( which it is), but in this book Das looks at different aspects of this epic and how they relate...moreMahabharata contains all the elements of a great story( which it is), but in this book Das looks at different aspects of this epic and how they related to the modern world. The chapter on Karana's status anxiety is really riveting. You don't really need to know anything about Mahabharata, even a complete novice (like me) thoroughly enjoyed this book.(less)
Mistry is a genius. This book is too engrossing to put away. the characters and their tribulations are the symbols of the exile of Indian democracy. A...moreMistry is a genius. This book is too engrossing to put away. the characters and their tribulations are the symbols of the exile of Indian democracy. And don't be mistaken to consider the events as pure fiction, because some of gross human rights violations were done during the emergency period. Mistry is no make-you-feel-good writer, he writes with utmost sincerity and his characters are powerfully real. This book opened my eyes to a vast difference between us Indians born in the 90s and those who faced the emergency. (less)