India, in today’s time, is reeling under various pertinent issues that require persistent debates and discussions to understand the new India.

However, even after 70 years of Independence, our country still witnesses dreadful caste system, attacks on fellow beings over bovine issues, raising doubts on one’s patriotism, coercion of chanting slogans and much more.

Nihilism has never been a way for a secular country like ours, but nowadays the communal violence is being inflicted in the society, which is by and large politically motivated. Giving insights into these significant topics, Amish Tripathi, one of India’s well-regarded authors, shares his perspectives on these contemporary issues in his latest book Immortal India. He delves deep into the ancient culture of our country by providing contemporary outlook to it. Being widely known for his fascinating narrative style, called the “hyper-link”, and his love for mythology, religion, tradition and history, the author has now entered the non-fiction genre.

Amish never fails to impress his readers and has, in fact, made a huge impact on the booklovers with his Shiva trilogy and now Ram Chandra series. InImmortal India, he has touched upon serious topics like LGBT rights and Section 377, Uniform Civil Code, bane of casteism, religious violence and many more.

The book contains a collection of the author’s thoughts on various subjects and gets conveyed by articles, nuanced speeches and debates. He provides his standpoint on these topics by taking the readers through the history as well.

The introduction part of the book has a quote from the epic Ramayan by Lord Ram, “Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargadapi Gariyasi. (Mother and motherland are superior to heaven)”.

Amish explained, “In this book, through my articles and speeches, I have tried to answer questions like, what is it that makes India special? What is it about our ancient culture that still animates how we live today? What can we learn from our ancestors? And equally importantly, in what way can we be critical of our ancestors? Through all these questions and answers, I try to explain modern issues facing India, the way I see it. For we are a relatively young country at seventy years but our nation has the soul of an age-old civilisation.”

He further adds, “We have had a few bad centuries. It happens. Many corruptions also seeped in, like the heinous caste system. It’s time for us to learn from our ancestors, put our shoulder to the wheel, reform what needs reforming, build what needs building and make this country worthy of its history once again.”

On LGBT rights and Section 377, he writes, “Even the conservative Manu Smritidoes not view homosexuality as an abomination. Culturally, ancient India had a liberal attitude towards non-mainstream sexual practices. Section 377 does not reflect the traditional Indian attitudes towards sex. It is, in fact, a reflection of the British colonial mindset, influenced by medieval interpretations of Christianity. This attitude gradually seeped into the colonised people over the centuries. This cultural debate is an ongoing process in society and laws, on the other hand, cannot, and should not, be circumscribed by religious or cultural restrictions.”

In all, he unflinchingly takes on several topical issues and with an easy-to-understand language and simple vocabulary, the book keeps the readers engrossed right till the end.

About the book

 Immortal India by Amish Tripathi

Westland publications ltd

Pp: 188 ; Price: Rs.275