26 November, 2020

Right Planets In The Old Ken

Overall, this is a book that is original, insightful and quirky.

Right Planets In The Old Ken
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Ever since the breakdown of the Nehruvian consensus that shaped the country after 1947, a growing number of scholars have agonised over the ‘idea of India’. In part, this concern was a response to the rise of Hindu nationalism and a fear that India was being transformed into something fearfully different. Equally, it was also an attempt to grapple with the changes a market economy, particularly globalisation, would herald.

Ananya Vajpeyi’s contribution to this debate is refreshingly different. It is neither a comprehensive political history nor a thorough dissection of the Indian mind. It draws from these as well as theology and aesthetics to paint a tantalising picture of the ferment that gripped leading Indian minds in the 20th century.

The book proceeds on the assumption that major historical developments are accompanied by an introspection of the self, both at an individual and collective level. India, in her view, experienced this process sometime after the Swadeshi movement hit a brick wall and the...

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