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Book Review: Searching for the Present in the Past by Prosenjit Dasgupta

Searching for the Present in the Past by Prosenjit Dasgupta is an explicit work of non-fiction. This book is multi-layered with its wraps of history. As the title suggests that the book is ought to be a historical one, as its primary goal is to search for present by going in the past. The book sheds light on as many as time epochs possible.

This is not the first non-fiction work of the author that unveils scores of historical insights from the roots and original points. This book is not about mythological significance of Indian subcontinent and how the country gained the label of being a Hindu nation in the current time. It rater studies, layer wise, the making of India which is proud of developing at a greater rate today, which causes envy to many countries, especially Western civilization.

Searching for the Present in the Past explores the Indian stories of existence and other patterns with the Indus Civilization, in around 2500 BC. It lays its arm for knowledge even beyond pre-christen era. It discusses Puranas, Vedas, Ancient, Medieval, Mughal and British era with such a profundity that you will be marveled at the research brilliance of the author. The author has presented a lot of facts from pre-historic to contemporary times with the help of archeological sites found across the world. It’s captivating to reel under such a vast expanse of knowledge in just one book. It is next to a wonder as how the author covered so much in one book. He cross checks the evolution of civilization of today with the dawn of humankind and that too with respect to Indian subcontinent. He also talks about various phases and facets that make civilization.

A visit to some of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) sites in India, dating back to about 2500 BCE, such as Kalibangan in Rajasthan or Dholavira in Gujarat, is equally instructive for a visitor. Here is a fireplace, there the remnants of a large jar, there a grinding stone, and, to one side is a well. One finds reflections, however crude, of life much as rural India has it even today. Then, what seemed for a time like a conjecture or a play of imagination resolves itself into palpable reality. To deny this reality would be really denying oneself the faculty of sight, as also the capacity for rational thought.

In honest views, the book is hard to shallow in one go. It’s by a scholar and meant for that elite class only. The book needs a little simplification as chunks of knowledge sounds quite big for new and young readers. But from history point of view, this book can be gauged by students and research scholars alike.  Overall, informative yet vast. Readers reviews may differ, depends on their search for subjects.

You can buy the copy from Amazon.


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