Scepticial Patriot by Sidin Vadukut

India. A land where history, myth and email forwards have come together to create a sense of a glorious past that is awe-inspiring...and also kind of dubious. But that is what happens when your future is uncertain and your present is kind of shitty—it gets embellished until it becomes a totem of greatness and a portent of potential. Sidin Vadukut takes on a complete catalogue of ‘India's Greatest Hits’ and ventures to separate the wheat of fact from the chaff of legend. Did India really invent the zero? Has it truly never invaded a foreign country in over 1,000 years? Did Indians actually invent plastic surgery before those insufferable Europeans? The truth is more interesting—and complicated—than you think

Review : One should be always proud of the country's past and the achievements but one should never be blind or deaf to register the the limits and boundaries of the facts. This is the one message this book states and presents to the reader with every page. I am not sure if its only recently that authors started mentioning the source of inspiration for the book or I had been skipping that mostly , but the introduction chapter of this book made me sit up, nod at a few places and smile. I liked that finally some one took it upon himself to question the facts and to also try finding the answers too.

The author here explores 7 well known Indian facts that glorify Indians of the past and few of the Indian quotes in another chapter. One of the interesting part in each chapter is the score card at the end of the chapter which is not just the summary but gives you more lines of thoight to pursue if you like. The book states all the referenced material as and when mentioned and that helps in building credibility of what you are reading.

While reading , i could recall some of the history lessons from school and felt sad that no one teaches history of the country in a way that stays with you. Nor do we any more show interest in knowing the same. While more and more people are returning to mythology and are showing interest in that area , I hope this book will turn some of the readers to learn and spread about the nation's history - as true as one can find with the resources at hand. While reading the book, i so many times thought why no one has questioned like this ? Why was I not even aware of even one fourth of the story or base for any "India fact" ! Not just the history , we have forgotten to be curious or sceptical when it comes to any fact. And as the author himself says , history and scepticism alone  can not solve issues but it does help us in being aware in the present. To be well informed and to pass on correct ideas and history to the younger generation and not just our biases.

Rating : 5/5
This is a must read book for all Indians.

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