Contents: Preface. I. Religions and Ideologies: Hinduism, Christianity and Islam: 1. A scientist looks at Hinduism. 2. Faith and freedom. 3. Faith and politics. 4. Science on prophets and revelation. II. Historical Themes: Correcting Distortions: 5. Indus script and the myth of the Aryan invasion. 6. Vedic Dravidians. 7. The meaning of Ayodhya. 8. From Somnath to Haj. 9. Dead sea scrolls shatter the Christian myth. 10. The real Mother Teresa. III. The National Scene: Conflicts and Values: 11. A country at odds with itself. 12. More education, less politics. 13. The historic role of caste. IV. The Kshatriya Spirit : Recovering Cultural Nationalism: 14. Sri Aurobindo on the Kshatriya spirit. 15. Needed : a new national vision emphasizing heroic virtues. 16. Contrasting visions: Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo. Selected bibliogrphy. Index.
"A feature of the current Indian intellectual scene that strikes an outside observer (as I consider myself) is its excessive inhibition. There appear to be certain boundaries that most Indian intellectuals will not venture to cross, choosing rather to work within a self imposed framework bounded by taboos. One of these taboos is raising questions about the claims of certain religions and their icons on humanistic grounds; this is simply not done. Another is a re-examination of the role of Mahatma Gandhi in modern history, especially his position as the pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism. A few others have been brought forward and discussed in this book.
"This is not a healthy situation. It is fifty years since India became independent--a passage of time long enough to allow a re-examination of her past. If this calls for breaking some taboos, it is time we did so even if it makes some people unhappy. A few ruffled feathers cannot be allowed to stand in the way of truth and progress." (jacket)
[N.S. Rajaram is a mathematician, Computer Scientist and Linguist and historian of Science. His books include The Politics of History : Aryan Invasion Theory and The Subversion of Scholarship and Vedic Aryans and The Origins of Civilization : A Literary and Scientific Perspective.]