19 October, 2020

Well-Mannered Scriptures

For much of the book, Tharoor seems to be taking his eloquence for a test drive, without taking us anywhere new.

Well-Mannered Scriptures
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Shashi Tharoor is a man of many parts, as is his latest book India Shastra: Reflections on the Nation in Our Time. Covering a wide variety of subjects, it showcases Tharoor, the politician, man of letters, diplomat, and as is inevitable for anyone who seems to have passed through that institution, Stephanian. Putting together a collection of one’s writing is always a hazardous task, and India Shastra does not quite bypass these pitfalls. The book is a trifle too long, and there are many bits that feel repetitive. Tharoor has a tendency to be too correct at times, and while this is a sterling quality to possess otherwise, it does make a lot of the essays little more than well-written homilies. This is particularly true of his shorter pieces, most of which never get around to offering much by way of insight, so busy they are in ticking all the right boxes. As a result, for much of the book, he seems to be taking his eloquence for a test drive, without taking us anywhere new.

Then there are exceptions, pieces where he says what needs to be said,...

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