Book Review: Why I am a Hindu by Dr. Shashi Tharoor

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  • Post last modified:February 23, 2018
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I was to find my own truth.
Faith requires no reason.

Author: Dr. Shashi Tharoor
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Ratings: 4.5/5

Summary:Vidhya Thakkar- Indian blogger, Mumbai blogger, book blogger, Book blogger Mumbai

In Why I Am a Hindu, one of India’s finest public intellectuals gives us a profound book about one of the world’s oldest and greatest religions. Starting with a close examination of his own belief in Hinduism, he ranges far and wide in his study of the faith. He talks about the Great Souls of Hinduism, Adi Shankara, Patanjali, Ramanuja, Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and many others who made major contributions to the essence of Hinduism. He delves deep into Hinduism’s most important schools of thought (such as the Advaita Vedanta). He explains, in easily accessible language, important aspects and concepts of Hindu philosophy like the Purusharthas and Bhakti, masterfully summarizes the lessons of the Gita and Vivekananda’s ecumenism and explores with sympathy the ‘Hinduism of habit’ practised by ordinary believers. He looks at the myriad manifestations of political Hinduism in the modern era, including violence committed in the name of the faith by right-wing organizations and their adherents. He analyses Hindutva, explains its rise and dwells at length on the philosophy of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, its most significant ideologue. He is unsparing in his criticism of extremist ‘bhakts’ and unequivocal in his belief that everything that makes India a great and distinctive culture and country will be imperilled if religious ‘fundamentalists’ are allowed to take the upper hand. However, he also makes the point that it is precisely because Hindus form the majority that India has survived as a plural, secular democracy.
A book that will be read and debated now and in the future, Why I Am a Hindu is a revelatory and original masterwork.

This book is all you need if you want to know more about Hinduism. It is full of knowledge, politics, and about ideologies of Hinduism. The book is divided into three parts. Each part has it’s own importance, explaining different aspects. The book begins with the author’s belief in Hinduism, one can reflect so much of their childhood in that part. He delves deep into Hinduism’s most important schools of thought (such as the Advaita Vedanta).

He exemplified the Hindu idea that religion is an intensely personal matter, that prayer is between you and whatever image of your maker that you choose to worship.

The author tells about Shankara, Ramanuja, and Vivekananda. He also talks about the ideologies, stories of various gods. Ganesha story, Maa Durga, Shiva, and various other stories. He explained some verses of Gita, Veda, and shlokas. He masterfully takes the reader through the various aspects of Hinduism ranging from his own beliefs to scholarly references.

Hinduism urge you to explore your own mind and heart to discover the truths about life

The book proudly tells about the glory of the Hinduism. I loved the first part of the book most. The language of the book is solid. The vocabulary is just fabulous. This book is full of wonderful lines, quotes and verses. This book is totally an interesting read. One can get totally hooked up reading this one. It has everything that book needs to be. The author has briefly described concepts like a religion for the 21st century to a religion without fundamentals. I didn’t like the politics part much compared to Hinduism. It was something that I was connected instantly. The book is well narrated, from religion to politics, each and every aspect is beautifully explained and well constructed, it takes one to the roots of Hinduism, it’s uniqueness and a reason why one should be proud to be A Hindu. We discover the truth in each and every line of the book.  The beliefs, the myths and the politics, everything is just well written. The book is appealing in nature. It tells one to think from a different perspective, There’s so much depth in his writings. Tharoor is known for his writing style, It’s apt, convincing and connecting.

It’s a must-read for each and every Indian, to know about the real Hinduism, to know what it is all about. It’s an eye-opener book.  it is a remarkable contribution to the non- fiction category. Why I Am a Hindu is a truly a masterwork.

Though it’s a heavy read and it took me more than 4 days to complete this book but it’s worth a read.

You can get your copy here.

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*** I received this copy from the publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased review***

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