- Paperback: 218 pages
- Publisher: Rupa Publications India; First edition (21 May 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8129129035
- ISBN-13: 978-8129129031
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 1.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#59,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #6188 in History (Books)
The Sceptical Patriot: Exploring the Truths Behind the Zero and Other Glories Paperback – Unabridged, 21 May 2014
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About the Author
Sidin Vadukut is a columnist, journalist, and blogger. He has an engineering degree from NIT Trichy and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, and is currently working as an editor with the Mint business newspaper, apart from regularly contributing to other publications. He has previously written the bestselling Dork trilogy.
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It analyzes various historical facts such as India pioneering plastic surgery, never invaded another country, invention of zero etc., The author underlines the idea that in ancient times, people were not concerned about having their names on their inventions. Rather, they were only focused on making their knowledge beneficial to all, which is probably why a whole lot of western inventions could very well have been made several centuries ago by unknown non-westerners.The Chapter of Takshila as the oldest institution and Sanskrit as the best language for Artificial Intelligence or Bose invention of Radio before Marconi are worth a read.
In the closing chapter of the book, is the best. It talks about how we should contribute more to the world and think beyond boundaries rather than just forwarding the *Proud to be Indian* facts' emails to every person in contact list.
The humorous writing style is worth mentioning. A must read for everyone who blindly follows the Indian Facts ( without giving second thought 😂😂😂)
Sidin analyzes historical records to prove that India was indeed the pioneer in plastic surgery, which was performed by Sushruta several thousand years before the rest of the world. He values the exchanging of ideas while investigating the origin of zero and comments that in ancient times, people were not concerned about having their names on their inventions. Rather, they were only focused on making their knowledge beneficial to all, which is probably why a whole lot of western inventions could very well have been made several centuries ago by unknown non-westerners.
Among several other facts that Sidin affirms or negates, it was enlightening to learn that with the Cholas' great naval fleet, not only did India invade other countries but also colonized them.
In the closing chapter of the book, Sidin concludes that in order to continue to contribute to the world, we need to learn to think beyond borders. It was the porous nature of the borders during ancient times that helped India exchange ideas, leading to inventions such as the zero, set up a university at Takshashila and contribute so much to the world.
A good read and recommended to anyone who cares to learn more about the country they live and love.
This review is also posted in my facebook page.
Did India really invent the zero? Did Indians actually invent plastic surgery before the Europeans? Was India the richest country in the world before the British came? The truth is more interesting-and complicated-that you think.
The author goes about searching for these 'truths' in an inquisitive manner and along the way he gives anecdotes from his own life and peppers the journey with humour and wit. One realises that our past can be complicated and not so straightforward as we would like to think. As Sidin says "History is an enigmatic mistress who likes to keep her lovers on their toes."
The author ends the book with a thought provoking epiphany, one relevant for all of us Indians today "we need to stop asking the history of centuries past to vindicate our actions today. History is not a manifesto for action, a list of crimes to be avenged, a litany of positions to be reversed or a collection of rights to be wronged."
I am a great fan of Sidin Vadukut. Read his previous three books on his part autobiography/part fiction tales of bumbling in the the Consulting world. First rate humor, tongue in cheek, great prose, right doses of sarcasm and down right funny...so when this new book came out, bought it before I could read the reviews...you cannot go wrong after three books.
Sidin takes on the famous Indian myths...( all of us get these religiously as email forwards or on whatsapp...around Independence Day or Republic Day...telling us what a great country we WERE) ...If our current is crappy, our future shaky...we have no choice but to harp on the golden olden days...
He takes some of the most famous myths...Indians invented plastic surgery, India never invaded any country, We invented the Zero,Takshila was a precursor to the IITs etc etc.,
Interesting research, possibly field visits to most of these places where the myths originated...and we have a compact book debunking most of these myths...and in trade mark Vadukut style...the one liners are as usual funny beyond words.
Overall an interesting book, enjoyable to read and since these myths get discussed in all cocktail parties ( after the third drink), please read it so that you have enough cocktail armory disputing the myths !
While it is a good effort, give me Sidin Vadukut and his imaginary tales in the world of consulting any day...they are a class apart.