Bhaskar Parichha reviews Shashi Tharoor‘s latest book, The Battle of Belonging (Published by Aleph Books, November 2020) and explains how it unequivocally establishes what true Indian-ness is and what it means to be a nationalistic Indian in the twenty-first century.
Published by: Aleph Book Company
Year of Publishing: 2020
Price: Rs 799
Four hundred plus pages of dense prose, a provocative subject like nationalism and a best-selling author in the likes of Shashi Tharoor–that is a startling combination. ‘The Battle of Belonging–On Nationalism, Patriotism and What it Means to be Indian ’ – the latest book by Aleph–is said to be Tharoor’s magnum opus that deals with theory, evolution and practice of nationalism across the globe, but more expressly in India.
An extension of his earlier book ‘Why I Am a Hindu’, it provides the historical context to the ideas of nationalism, patriotism, humanism, democracy and their origins in the 18th and 19th centuries. The basic proposition or inquisitorial of the book is: there are over a billion Indians alive today. But are some Indians more Indian than others?