The Shiva Trilogy followed by the Ramchandra series, has surely catapulted Amish to the list of popular Indian writers. He has come a long way, from his days as a debut writer with Immortals of Meluha. Today, Amish could be found on the invite list of almost all literary events. He is a public speaker and his opinions are sought in many forums across the country. Immortal India is his first non-fiction book. It is essentially a collection of his earlier published works in newspapers, speeches at various public events and debates that he has been part of. The book touches upon a range of topics, from LGBT, to freedom of expression, to religious conversions in the country.
INDIA … A YOUNG COUNTRY, A TIMELESS CIVILISATION. EXPLORE IT WITH INDIA’S VERY OWN STORYTELLER, AMISH
With an ancient culture, India has witnessed the dawn of civilization. The country has seen many conquests and invasions. A history that’s rich, with lessons that hold good even today. No wonder despite the different names across timelines- Ajanaabhavarsh, Bharat, Hindustan or India- the soul of the land could be considered immortal- says Amish. It is on the basis of his understating of the culture, religion, and history of India, Amish presents his viewpoints on issues currently plaguing the country. The book is split into four major sections- Religion & Mythology, Social Issues, History, and Musings. He speaks on a range of topics, about communal violence, female foeticide and gender inequality, and also brings in personal anecdotes based on his life’s experiences.
The narrative is lucid and simple, in conversational style. Subtle tones, without being overtly pushy. There is a very calm approach to topics- whether towards lawlessness or towards religious persecution. He provides a logical validation for every argument, with adequate references to factual data, and ancient scripts. I loved the clarity in his thoughts in most sections. For instance, I agreed on his argument that pronouncing judgments in haste or demarcating everything as ‘Right’ or ‘Left’ is not really the right thing for the nation. So, when something wrong happens to a Muslim, we must refrain from labeling it as Hindu extremism and the other way around too.
What could have made the book better is the avoidance of Amish’s personal stories- about his journey from a banker to a full time writer and about his family. Although heartwarming, the portion didn’t seem to fit into the book which predominantly is about India. Also, a couple of points were reiterated at various sections, which brought in a lot of repetitive reading. Probably this could be attributed to the fact that the book is a compilation of his earlier works, and isn’t actually freshly written!
If you have enjoyed reading Amish, and are keen on his views on everything Indian then this book is worth a read. Comes with a fresh take on some issues that plague the country today.
*Other books of Amish reviewed on this blog: