Why I Am a Hindu
"Shashi Tharoor is the most charming and persuasive writer in India. His new book is a brave and characteristically articulate attempt to save a great and wonderfully elusive religion from the certainties of the fundamentalists and the politicisation of the bigots."--William DalrympleIn a profound re-examination of Hinduism, one of the world's oldest and greatest religious traditions, India's leading public intellectual, Shashi Tharoor, lays out Hinduism's origins and its key philosophical concepts, major texts and everyday Hindu beliefs and practices, from worship to pilgrimage to caste. Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of extremism and unequivocal in his belief that what makes India a distinctive nation with a unique culture will be imperilled if Hindu "fundamentalists," the proponents of "Hindutva." or politicised Hinduism, seize the high ground. In his view, 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, written in Tharoor's captivating prose, is a revelatory and original contribution to our understanding of religion in the modern era.Shashi Tharoor served for twenty-nine years at the UN, culminating as Under-Secretary General. He is a Congress MP in India, the author of fourteen previous books, and has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Tharoor was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998 as a Global Leader of Tomorrow.