Book Reviews - Honest Indian History - In 80 Questions
by T. A. Basubramanian
Murad Ali Baig is well known as a motoring enthusiast and the editor of Auto magazine – which focuses on automobiles and travel writing, but he has written articles on marketing, history, and religion.
Why was there no Bronze Age in India? Why is there such violence in puranic myths and how has this affected India’s future generations? Can Hinduism legitimately claim to have had the longest tradition of continuous religion? Why is Islam so intolerant and fanatic today?
That’s just a sample of the ’80 Questions’ – all provocative and intriguing – that Murad poses and answers with commendable erudition and equanimity. In his introduction, Murad explains. “Every religion has its bigots and wider knowledge about the real foundations of faiths is the only way that religious extremism can be countered.” So while exposing the distortions that have accumulated over centuries and turned into convenient dogma and superstitions by professional priests of all religions, he also counters these with facts and research – and enlightened opinions – drawn from reliable and unbiased sources.
The result is an absorbing collection of insights into Indian history and culture retold in even-handed terms with a non-accusatory voice that both informs and demystifies. It is, according to Khushwant Singh’s Foreword, a “fast Bharat Darshan” from the hoary past to the present … covering the Aryans, a thousand years of Buddhism, the revival of Brahminical Hinduism, the impact of Islam and the spread of Christianity …
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