Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India. - Edward Luce

In Spite of the Gods is to quote is "an unsentimental evaluation of contemporary India against the backdrop of its widely expected ascent to great-power status in the 21st century". Edward Luce without coming across as patronizing, discusses the many contradictions in India's society; the lopsided growth of the economy; the enduring legacies of leaders like Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar; the repercussions of the caste conflicts; the often-peculiar nature of Indian modernity in the new century. What I loved about the book is that its given an un-emotional view of India, A view mostly denied to us because of our own sets of prejudices which have risen as we live inside this beautiful country.

The books well written and  for each pattern observed, Luce has relied on interviews (with number of prominent people), events (historical and current), anecdotes, and other observations. His anecdotes and event summaries are to the point and entertaining. 

Edward Luce is the Financial Times chief US commentator, so the book reflects his is journalistic background. The book is more of his opinion rather than the result of any detailed study. But I feel that's fine cause in the end I was looking for an unbiased view of India which I have got from the book. He has touched on many controversial topics like the riots, hindu terrorism, child labor etc in this book which might lead to indigestion in some people. But I feel all Indians should open their eyes and see that India is not perfect yet. 

The point we Indians have to understand which is nicely put by Luce "India isn't on an autopilot to greatness, but it would take an incompetent pilot to crash the plane." We should know what our strength and weakness are and keep an eye on both. I would recommend this book to all Indians. 

 Overall I feel this is an book backed with extensive research and provides some fascinating insights into the workings of the Indian political and economic system. This book was released in 2006 and like all knows India has changed a lot in last 7 years. So please count for that when reading the book. Overall I give the book an rating of 3/5 

No comments:

Post a Comment