Saturday, September 27, 2014

The sceptical patriot - Sidin Vadukut

Quite liked it!

Its a collection of short pieces about various 'patriotic factoids' that we have often come across, and it digs in with some research into how accurate they are ( or aren't).

Some of the better known ones are about the invention of zero, the oldest university, the first surgery, sanskrit being the super language of computers, etc. I like his casual conversational style, the occasional dollop of humor, and the approach he has taken in trying to research and analyze these. I found pretty much all the chapters quite interesting.What I didn't particularly care for were the prologue and epilogue, I thought they were too long, and somewhat preachy, something which the meat of the book isn't.

Definitely worth a read, and the approach is worth emulating. Even if we usually don't have the time or energy to check up on the gazillion pieces of patriotic forwards which bombard us everyday, it might be worth inculcating just a bit of the skeptical approach. And no, the united nations hasn't just declared the indian national anthem to be the best of all the countries. Yes really. It hasn't.