Why I Am a Hindu
Why I Am a Hindu offers a profound reexamination of Hinduism, one of the world’s oldest and greatest religious traditions.
Opening with a frank and touching reflection on his personal beliefs, Shashi Tharoor untangles Hinduism’s origins and its key philosophical concepts — including Vedanta, the Purusharthas and Bhakti — before focusing on key texts such as the Bhagavad Gita. In captivating prose, he delves into the ‘Great Souls’ of Hinduism, from Adi Shankara to Vivekananda, and explores everyday Hindu beliefs and practices, from worship to pilgrimage to caste.
Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of ‘Hindutva’, an extremist, politicised Hinduism. He believes unequivocally that, if such narrow fundamentalism seizes the high ground, this will imperil India’s distinct national character and unique culture. Tharoor argues urgently and persuasively that it is precisely because of Hinduism’s rich diversity that India has survived and thrived as a plural, secular democracy.
A book that will be read and debated now and in the future, Why I Am a Hindu is a revelatory and original contribution to our understanding of religion in the modern era.
Shashi Tharoor served for twenty-nine years at the UN, culminating as Under-Secretary-General. He is a Congress MP in India, the author of fifteen previous books and has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. His Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India was a Sunday Times bestseller and was named as a Financial Times book of the year.