This book was written by Dr. Subramanian Swamy. I think it is a good one. It is worth reading. He does display open mind in general. He is willing to call upon Hindus to denounce the divisions of caste by birth and untouchability. I am yet to lay my hands on a good treatment of the origins of this and the birth-based caste system. Cannot claim that I have searched well. Will be grateful for readings and clues on this.
(1) Om Shakti vs. Rome Bhakti
(2) Nehru’s indifference to Hindi: naming only two Hindi books in Hindi literature: Tulsidas’ Ramayan and the Railway Guide
The stories on how Kashmir Pundits refused to convert a ruler from Buddhism to Hinduism and how he converted to Islam! [Is that Karma affecting the Kashmir Pundits even now?]
The story on the donation that Mother Teresa received from Charles Keating and how she did not return it – is an interesting eye-opener. His section on what defines a Hindu is a useful one. His section on Economic reforms is a disappointing for it simply rehashes McKinsey report – nothing original there. McKinsey’s sequencing of reform priorities is debatable at best and plain wrong, at worst.
He does not make the case as to why India should be close to China. He is not acknowledging the role China played in arming Pakistan with nuclear bomb. Civilisationally, India might be closer to China but Communist China is a different kettle of fish.
Similarly, the US consulate official in Chennai warned Ms. Jayalalitha against the law banning conversion. That also tells us how, in the overall scheme of things, friendship and closer relations with the US has its limits.
His call to Dharmacharyas to form a conclave and enunciate guidelines for Hindu is a good one. The book’s quotes by Swami Dhayananda Saraswati reveal Swamiji’s awareness of the political realities in the country and globally. He signed the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ – covered in another post on this blog.
The book does not offer specific steps on some of the actions it exhorts readers to implement: (1) how to start learning Sanskrit – any institutions, contact details) and (2) how to learn the correct history of India (sources, references, etc.)
[At least, a partial remedy is available in this superb blog post by Dr. Koenraad Elst. His advice to Hindus (‘Hindu survival – what needs to be done’) as to what they should do to preserve their culture, heritage, etc., must be read by all Hindus]
The list of Hindu temples destroyed by Muslim invaders is useful. Even more interesting to see that the source of the list is ‘Frontline’ magazine of THE HINDU group from December 2000! The reference to a BBC news broadcast debunking the Aryan Invasion theory is interesting.
Overall, an easy and useful read with some limitations and gaps in analysis and research.