Gargi and her husband Nachiket sit down to eat with her parents, Lopamudra and Dharma Raj. They have wine with their missal pav. As they banter, they quote Sigmund Freud and Jaggi Vasudev. There’s something artificial about the way they speak, something contrived about how their conversations shift from the Chinese Communist Party to Icarus and then to the Mahabharata. The imagined exchanges of this family—hammy as they are—make up the pages of Dharma, a book the author Amish has written with his sister Bhavna Roy. Aimed for self-help shelves, the book aims to decode the epics and give our life meaning. Sadly, it patronises you so much in the process, you only feel irate.
The Hindutva project has for long reduced the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to a set of convenient edicts we are expected to live by. Dharma does something similar. Stories don’t satisfy Amish and Roy. They want to penetrate the surface and find “wisdom” that lurks below. Characters like Bhishma and Yudhishthira are summarily castigated. Rather than accept the limits of their moral and literary universe, the authors impose on their actions a structure of modern virtue that seems pedantic and supercilious. Blame often flies thick and fast. Gandhari, for instance, is even declared “adharmic” once.
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THE RUMBLINGS WITHIN
EVEN AS THE BJP’S EXPANSIONIST DRIVE CONTINUES AT A NATIONAL LEVEL, IT IS BATTLING ATTRITION IN SEVERAL KEY STATES IT RULES, INCLUDING SOME THAT GO TO POLLS EARLY NEXT YEAR
THE RACE AGAINST TIME
BATTERED BY THE SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19, THE GOVERNMENT RECALIBRATES ITS VACCINATION STRATEGY IN THE HOPE OF INOCULATING INDIA’S 900 MILLION ADULT POPULATION BY DECEMBER 31. HOW REALISTIC IS THIS TARGET?
THE YOUNG SURVIVORS
On April 8, Deepak Solanki, resident of Bagratawa, a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district, tested positive for the coronavirus. Two days earlier, Solanki and his wife Anita developed a fever and other flu-like symptoms, but they thought it was likely just about of common flu—it hadn’t yet sunk in that Covid was no longer the urban phenomenon they imagined it to be. However, an RT-PCR test, done on the insistence of Deepak, 45, a district medical representative, proved otherwise. Deepak was admitted to a private medical facility the same day and Anita two days later. Their children—two daughters, aged 18 and 15, and a son, 12—were left in the care of their nephew Shrikant Solanki. All three children, too, had tested positive.
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A New Era Begins
Between History And Mythology: Amish Tripathi
After six mythological works & one non fiction, Director of the Nehru Centre in London and a columnist, and author, Amish Tripathi is back with his book "The Legend of Suheldev: The King Who Saved India".How this journey unfolded for him, Amish tells us in an exclusive interview.
‘Those In The Centre Of The National Debate Must Speak Out'
Amish, the author who made mythology cool, is a bestselling Indian writer in English whose books have sold five million copies. His new book, Raavan, the third in his Ramachandra series, after Ram and Sita, is the darkest and deals with a complex character. Amish talks about villains in our stories, how India is not proud of its culture and extreme religious positions with Satish Padmanabhan. Excerpts: