Skip to main content

Book Review: What is an Indian? by Tarun Deep Singh

‘What is an Indian?’ By Tarun Deep Singh is a well-thought and well-researched philosophical book that takes a firm stance on ‘Being Indian’ and possess a very relevant question - what does this country expect from us? The author has boldly taken up the issues and problems that our country is currently facing. Thus, this work may sound like a critical evaluation of the country’s persisting problems. Well on the other hand, the author has tried to summarize the ‘Indian’ context in eleven chapters followed by three appendixes.


A close look reveals that there is a lot to grasp from this book. Tarun has taken time to elaborate the issues with a fascinating kind of psycho analysis. Initially the book opens up with some common yet profound discussions, such as what is an Indian and how we fare up our ancestors for our current social, economic and political situation. It has been seen that the people of today instead of taking responsibilities to evolve together has a nation, rather go for individual gains and motifs. They care less for the change – all that matters for them is their personal growth and living standards. They, or say we, all think that being born in India is enough to prove that we are Indians and often bask in the glory of our past heritage and history. According to the author, this trait is self-destructing; it is causing us to go away from one another. This condition is well summed up in the below paragraphs, in the exact words of the author:

“India does not start or end with a name. Being Indian is not an easy task. It is a struggle. Being passionate is good but is it sufficient? A passion is like bubble, short lived entity. Being an Indian is not ephemeral state of mind. But it is that state of mind to which an individual sticks to one life and passes over to next generation ensuring traits of being Indian never fades away even after his death. No one is born or can be an Indian. Till we practice the art of being Indian, we cannot achieve the status of being called an Indian. Carrying a passport only declares that an individual belongs to India from documentation perspective. Merely talking or writing about India, does not guarantee achieving status of Indian. To study Indian history or to know about India does not certify any individual as an Indian. To love India, does not make any one Indian. But a spirit to live, to do something, to work for India, does lead to path of being Indian.”

“It is easy to blame our elder generations that they have ruined us by not teaching us the art of being Indian. But again, I pose questions how much curiosity and maturity our present generation has shown to explore the answers?”

Apart from the Indian Identity fiasco, there is more, for example topics like the condition of women in our country. Then we have the poor educational infrastructure, the author has given some critical examples where it is shown that how poor educational facilities in colleges affect the overall skill set and knowledge gaining process of our country.

In the chapter called Spiritual Content – it has been discussed as how imposters hijack the mindsets of people. Read it and you will find the kind of strategies that these people execute on masses.

Youth is a major resource of the country and it is the same youth that impact the overall future generations of our country. However, the current state of our youth is not healthy. The youth is involved into many untoward activities. As a result drug addiction and loneliness has become a salient characteristic of today’s youth. Read on to know more about the aspects affecting the youth of India. This chapter has been divided into many sub-chapters and appears longest in the book. 

Another interesting chapter is ‘Well Known Existing Issues’, where Tarun has terrifically pointed out the some of the issues that run in this country like a backdrop, for example - discrimination based on caste, extra importance to cricket which led to the death of national sport hockey and many other indigenous sports.

The book is laced with proverbs spoken by great saints or scholars that have been considered panacea for the world over many centuries. For instance, under ‘Caste Based Difference’, we get to see the famous proverb by saint Kabeer – “Don’t ask caste of Saint but ask about his knowledge.”

Who all can take up this book: people with philosophical bend of mind, students researching about being Indian or Indianism, and those who want to peep inside the modern India’s tenacity. At a broader level, in fact whosoever is interested in knowing what kind of attitude and mentality Indian people hold today. The book scores nine out of ten in scrutinizing the psychology and behavior of our people toward our motherland.  

Comments

  1. Thanks team for wonderful review. The review is really encouraging and has brought back my confidence as a writer...😊

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Book Review: The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

The Lost Child is a riveting short story by Mulk Raj Anand. A little boy and his parents are on their way to a village fair on account of a spring fair. The alley leading to the fair is alive with a vivid combination of colours and people.

The boy is happy and chirpy and walking between the big limbs of his father, between the long strides. As he can see there are toys in the shops lined along the way. He is captivated by the colourful toys of different sizes and shapes but in his observation he lags behind. So he runs ahead to be with his parents. When he expresses the desire to own one of the toys hanging from the shops, a cold stare from his father breaks his heart.
Suddenly, to break his attention from the lingering toys, his mother tenderly shifts his attention to the swaying muster field, which seems to be full of golden ripples – moving to and fro. The boy enters the field and begins chasing butterflies, black bees and dragon flies. But soon he is called back.
Once they appr…

Book Review: Grandfather’s Private Zoo by Ruskin Bond

Grandfather’s Private Zoo by Ruskin Bond is a widely held tale among children, for it depicts personal behavior of animals and birds brought home to add to the personal zoo. Rather a tale of a nature (flora and fauna) lover who loves to keep a collection of animals and birds, at time even reptiles. Grandfather’s Private Zoo is a novella consisting nine well-connected stories.

The story starts with the adventures of Toto, a monkey. The narrator is a small boy and his grandfather loves to keep a private zoo at his home, on the other hand, grandmother abhors troublemaking animals and doesn’t support him with his animals. The monkey being taken from a Tonga driver for the sum of five rupees seems to be indecent. He breaks a lot of kitchen dishes and steals food and whenever grandmother catches him red handed he too often runs away, through windows, to remain inaccessible. Fed up of his indecent behavior, grandfather sells him back to the Tonga rider for the sum of three rupees, at a loss…