04 June 2008

Books on India

Today I will talk about the books I have read on my favourite subject: India.

1. The Idea of India – Sunil Khilnani
This was the first book on India that I read. A short but impressive work, it is written from a Nehruvian viewpoint. Khilnani uses a lot of difficult words, so keep a dictionary by your side.

2. India Unbound – Gurcharan Das
A paean to the brave new India that was born in 1991. Written in simple language. The only sore point is that the reader is subject to the story of Das and his family too, along with the story of India.

3. No Full Stops in India – Mark Tully
Though a foreigner, Tully has understood India better than many Indians. This collection of essays is a sympathetic look at our country. It had been criticised by some people for its apparent defence of the caste system.

4. Million Mutinies Now – V S Naipaul
The final book in the India trilogy. In this book Naipaul changes his formerly negative view of India. He travels across the country listening to people's stories, and narrates them to us in his masterful prose.

5. Continent of Circe – Nirad C Chaudhuri
This is a classic from the old curmudgeon. Provocative, politically incorrect and sometimes outrageous – this is Chaudhuri at his best. His analysis of India, though fanciful, is scholarly and full of insights.

6. From Midnight to Millennium – Shashi Tharoor
Tharoor is a Nehruvian secularist and an admirer of Sonia Gandhi. Still this book is worth reading – especially for its analysis of how India's institutions decayed and crumbled during the Indira Gandhi years.

Other books on India I haven't read:

a) Heart of India – Mark Tully
b) Great Indian Middle Class – Pavan Varma
c) Elephant Paradigm – Gurcharan Das
d) Elephant, Tiger and Cell Phone – Shashi Tharoor
e) In Spite of the Gods – Ed Luce

Please let me know of any good book you have read on India :-)

3 comments:

john smith said...

These book are totally telling about the india and indian culture. you are know about the indian books. Some indian books are: The Passage of India written by E.M.Forster, City of joy writtrn by Dominique Lapierre, The Dynasty: Nehru-Gandhi story written by Jad Adams, Freedom at Midnight written by Larry Collies and Staying On written by Paul scott these books telling about the india and indian culture.
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Indian said...

Update: I have now read In spite of the Gods and Elephant, tiger & cell phone.

Amit sethi said...

Argumentative Indian --Amartya Sen