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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

HT Picks; The most interesting books of the week

A study of a Sindhi community, a look at the beliefs of the Indian right wing and a book on a technique of emotional manipulation

books Updated: Jun 08, 2019 10:23 IST
HT Team
HT Team
Hindustan Times
On HT picks this week, a book on a Sindhi community, another on the Indian right wing, and one on emotional abuse.
On HT picks this week, a book on a Sindhi community, another on the Indian right wing, and one on emotional abuse. (HT Team)
         


AWAKENING BHARAT MATA; THE POLITICAL BELIEFS OF THE INDIAN RIGHT BY SWAPAN DASGUPTA

428pp, Rs 699; Penguin
428pp, Rs 699; Penguin

The rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is much more than an ordinary electoral phenomenon. It brings to the fore two contrasting views of nationhood: between those who see modern India in terms of secular republicanism and those who seek to blend technological modernity with the country’s Hindu inheritance.

The right’s ascendancy and the debates that accompanied it anticipated many of the concerns that find reflection today in the United States and Europe. The phenomenon of Hindu nationalism was also a profound intellectual challenge to the loose left-liberal consensus that has prevailed in India since Jawaharlal Nehru became prime minister in 1947. The idea of Hindutva and the political character of the BJP have been closely scrutinized by scholars, and the impulse has been to view India’s right-wing politics as either a variant of fascism or merely a collection of sectarian prejudices.

In fact, the inspiration for the right in India has come from multiple and often contradictory sources, including the influence of individuals such as Veer Savarkar, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, not to mention the Arya Samaj movement.

This collection is an attempt to grasp the issues behind the social and political aspects of Hindu nationalism. Awakening Bharat Mata seeks to identify the nature of Indian conservatism and its similarities and differences with political thought in the West and generate an informed discussion that goes beyond electoral politics and governance to focus on its continuing relevance in contemporary India.*

GASLIGHTING; HOW TO RECOGNISE MANIPULATIVE AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE PEOPLE AND BREAK FREE BY STEPHANIE SARKIS

259pp, Rs 499; Hachette
259pp, Rs 499; Hachette

He’s the charmer – the witty, confident, but overly controlling date. She’s the woman on your team who always manages to take credit for your good work. He’s the neighbour who swears you’ve been putting your rubbish into his bins, or the politician who can never admit to a mistake. Gaslighters are master controllers and manipulators, often challenging your very sense of reality. They distort the truth – by lying, withholding, triangulation a and more – making their victims question their own sanity. Dr Stephanie Sarkis delves into this hidden manipulation technique, and reveals:

• Why gaslighters seem so ‘normal’ at first

• Warning signs

• Gaslighter ‘red flags’ on a first date

• Practical Strategies for coping

• How to set boundaries.

• How to protect yourself from a gaslighter at work

• How to walk away and rebuild your life

With clear-eyed wisdom and empathy, Dr Sarkis not only helps you determine if you are being victimized by a gaslighter – she gives you the tools to heal.*

THE AMILS OF SINDH; A NARRATIVE HISTORY OF A REMARKABLE COMMUNITY BY SAAZ AGGARWAL

732pp, Rs 2000; Black-and-white fountain
732pp, Rs 2000; Black-and-white fountain

The Amils of Sindh originated in a small group of families who migrated to Sindh from the mid-seventeenth century, driven from neighbouring provinces by economic need, political forces and natural disasters. Through the centuries, the defining quality of the Amils was their commitment to education. They used their education to build careers for themselves, to lead comfortable lives and to create wealth for their families.

Watch: Bookstack: The most interesting books of the week

 

As an elite layer of society, the Amils were inspiring role models and created a fervour of enthusiasm for education among the middle class in Sindh. The Partition of India and their subsequent dispersal cost them dearly, but they focused on adapting with dignity to new lives in new places.

This book honours the silent sacrifices of the generation that left so much behind. It provides the context for present and future generations to identify themselves with pride in family grids to which they belong.*

*All text from book flap

First Published: Jun 07, 2019 20:54 IST

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