Why I Am a Hindu
Offers a profound reexamination of Hinduism, and cautions against its politicisation.
Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest and greatest religious traditions. In captivating prose, Shashi Tharoor untangles its origins, its key philosophical concepts and texts. He explores everyday Hindu beliefs and practices, from worship to pilgrimage to caste, and touchingly reflects on his personal beliefs and relationship with the religion.
Not one to shy from controversy, Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of ‘Hindutva’, an extremist, nationalist Hinduism endorsed by India’s current government. He argues urgently and persuasively that it is precisely because of Hinduism’s rich diversity that India has survived and thrived as a plural, secular nation. If narrow fundamentalism wins out, Indian democracy itself is in peril.
‘A profound book on one of the world’s oldest and greatest religions.’ — The Hindustan Times
‘An influential and thought-provoking book, shedding light on many of the contradictions and anomalies of this ancient religion and its chequered history.’ — The Bay
‘Tharoor’s book is essential for fostering a more varied political dialogue on nationalism, secularism, and democracy.’ — Eurasia Review
‘Shashi Tharoor is the most charming and persuasive writer in India. His new book is a brave and characteristically articulate attempt to save a great and wonderfully elusive religion from the certainties of the fundamentalists and the politicisation of the bigots.’ — William Dalrymple
Shashi Tharoor is a former UN under-secretary-general, a Congress MP in India, the author of twenty-five books, and the recipient of literary awards including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India was a Sunday Times bestseller and a Financial Times Book of the Year.