Being Indian

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9780143033424: Being Indian

India is nearly the second-largest consumer market in the world, with a buying middle class of over half a billion. Yet at least 200 million Indians remain poor, illiteracy rates are high, communal violence is widespread, and corruption endemic. This book examines what makes Indians tick and what they have to offer the world.

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About the Author:

A member of the Indian Foreign Service, Pavan K. Varma has served in Moscow, in New York and in Cyprus. He has been Press Secretary to the President of India and is currently director of the Nehru Centre in London.

Review:

"Pavan Varma is one of India's most admired and widely-read writers of non-fiction, and in Being Indian he has excelled himself . . . Brilliant . . . Varma shows how India's self-image has been distorted by simplistic myth-making, and sets out to find instead what it really means to be Indian" -- William Dalrymple "A well-researched and urgent inquiry that is informed as much by allusions to Hindu mythological texts as it is by a knowledge of current affairs and popular culture" * New Statesman * "A stimulating and readable polemic" * Sunday Times * "Elegantly written . . . Being Indian is one of the most subtle recent attempts to analyze the continent-sized mosaic of India" * The Economist *

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Varma, Pavan K.
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Book Description Penguin, New Delhi, India. Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. This book is a new and dramatically different inquiry into what India and being Indian mean in the new millennium. Such an inquiry is especially relevant today when the world's largest democracy is also a nuclear power, a potentially major economic power poised to emerge as the second largest consumer market in the world, and a growing force in information technology. Misconceptions about India and Indians abound, fed by the stereotypes created by foreigners, and the myths about themselves projected by Indians. In Being Indian, Pavan K.Varma demolishes these myths and generalizations as he turns his sharply observant gaze on his fellow countrymen to examine what really makes Indians tick and what they have to offer the world in the 21st century. Varma's insightful analysis of the Indian personality and the culture that has created it reaches startling new conclusions on the paradoxes and contradictions that characterize Indian attitudes towards issues such as power, wealth and spirituality. How, for example, does the appalling indifference of most Indians to the suffering of the poor and the inequities of the caste system square with their enthusiastic championing of parliamentary democracy? And why do Indians have a reputation for being spiritual and `other-worldly' when their philosophy and tradition exalt the pursuit of material well-being —artha—as a principal goal of life? The book also examines India's future prospects as an economic, military and technological power, providing valuable pointers to the likely destiny of a nation of one billion people. Drawing on sources as diverse as ancient Sanskrit treatises and Bollywood lyrics, and illuminating his examples with a wealth of telling anecdotes, Pavan Varma creates a vivid and compelling portrait of Indians as he argues that they will survive and flourish in the new millennium precisely because of what they are, warts and all, and not because of what they think they are or would like to be. This book, which will stimulate reflection, discussion and controversy, is a must read for both foreigners who wish to understand Indians and Indians who wish to understand themselves. Printed Pages: 325. Size: 14 Cms x 22 Cms. Bookseller Inventory # 024759

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2005. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Misconceptions about India and Indians abound, fed by the stereotypes created by foreigners, and the myths about themselves projected by Indians. In Being Indian, Pavan K.Varma demolishes these myths and generalizations as he turns his sharply observant gaze on his fellow countrymen to examine what really makes Indians tick and what they have to offer the world in the 21st century. Varma?s insightful analysis of the Indian personality and the culture that has created it reaches startling new conclusions on the paradoxes and contradictions that characterize Indian attitudes towards issues such as power, wealth and spirituality. How, for example, does the appalling indifference of most Indians to the suffering of the poor and the inequities of the caste system square with their enthusiastic championing of parliamentary democracy? The book also examines India?s future prospects as an economic, military and technological power, providing valuable pointers to the likely destiny of a nation of one billion people. Drawing on sources as diverse as ancient Sanskrit treatises and Bollywood lyrics, and illuminating his examples with a wealth of telling anecdotes, Pavan Varma creates a vivid and compelling portrait of Indians as he argues that they will survive and flourish in the new millennium precisely because of what they are, warts and all, and not because of what they think they are or would like to be. This book, which will stimulate reflection, discussion and controversy, is a must read for both foreigners who wish to understand Indians and Indians who wish to understand themselves. Printed Pages: 248. Bookseller Inventory # 22453

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Book Description Penguin Books India, 2005. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Misconceptions about India and Indians abound, fed by the stereotypes created by foreigners, and the myths about themselves projected by Indians. In Being Indian, Pavan K.Varma demolishes these myths and generalizations as he turns his sharply observant gaze on his fellow countrymen to examine what really makes Indians tick and what they have to offer the world in the 21st century. Varma’s insightful analysis of the Indian personality and the culture that has created it reaches startling new conclusions on the paradoxes and contradictions that characterize Indian attitudes towards issues such as power, wealth and spirituality. How, for example, does the appalling indifference of most Indians to the suffering of the poor and the inequities of the caste system square with their enthusiastic championing of parliamentary democracy? The book also examines India’s future prospects as an economic, military and technological power, providing valuable pointers to the likely destiny of a nation of one billion people. Drawing on sources as diverse as ancient Sanskrit treatises and Bollywood lyrics, and illuminating his examples with a wealth of telling anecdotes, Pavan Varma creates a vivid and compelling portrait of Indians as he argues that they will survive and flourish in the new millennium precisely because of what they are, warts and all, and not because of what they think they are or would like to be. This book, which will stimulate reflection, discussion and controversy, is a must read for both foreigners who wish to understand Indians and Indians who wish to understand themselves. Printed Pages: 248. Bookseller Inventory # 22453

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