Ranjeev C Dubey
Rs. 359 pp 248
Bullshit Quotient: Decoding India's Corporate, Social and Legal Fineprint is a clear-eyed look at what the blurb pronounces is "the bullshit that surrounds aspects of modern Indian corporate, social, political and legal life".
While he does this, the author, who is the managing partner of a law firm, strips off the very many layers of hypocrisy with which the English-speaking Indian cloaks himself.
This is a refreshing book for its humour, its honest look at People Like Us, for the way it explains the complicated frauds behind common practices, and for its seemingly compulsive need to push the reader to accept his own self deception.
While the chapters on the "bullshit" in our corporates, in the legal sphere, and in politics are all illuminating, it is Dubey's insight into Indian society that impresses: "We decry the corporation that front ends the crime while thoroughly enjoying the fruits of the crime. Clearly, these corporate crimes are a downstream consequence of the choices that you and I are making; of the lifestyle and the visions that you and I are touting."
Then, there is his analysis of the Indian elite - a segment he excoriates despite belonging to it: "Every society has symbols by which it recognizes its elite. It may be membership to a club, school, college… It could even be just the logo on your sexy T shirt. What makes India truly different is that our elite are best recognized by their universal contempt for the motherland".
A must read if you'd like to hack through the hypocrisy that permeates much of Indian life.