Thursday, October 20, 2005

"The Argumentative Indian"

Every once in while you come across a book which does to the mind what chocolate does to the mouth. Amartya Sen's "The Argumentative Indian" is one such book. I have barely completed the first chapter and my apetite for it has been whetted.

The book quotes the Pundit Javali from the Ramayana, who says...

"There is no afterworld, nor any religious practice for attaining that. The injunctions about
the worship of of gods, sacrifice, gifts and penance have been laid down in shastras by
clever people, just to rule over other people."

And all that is in the preface to the book! There are excellent reviews of the book by Ramachandra Guha and Sabyasachi Battacharya in the Economic and Political Weekly .

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