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THE SCEPTICAL PATRIOT Exploring the Truths Behind the Zero and .. / homeranking.info>, accessed on 3 February 5. technology, he is completing a Master's in Historical Research. Sidin is the author of the DORK trilogy of office culture novels, and THE SCEPTICAL PATRIOT. Sceptical Patriot: Exploring the Truths Behind the Zero and Other Indian Glories PDF. Book by Sidin Vadukut ePub Free Download. isbn:
Indian history is particularly prone to this kind of thing. Instead I will try to find short but entertaining paths of investigation that will meander somewhat, through digression. It is astonishing that while the existence of this text is taught to most Indian school children. Hence to write an ancient Roman had to write MM. It answers the questions quite clearly.
May 08, Suman rated it it was amazing. Sidin Vadukut has found his niche methinks. And boy, has he nailed it! Writing non-fiction is easy and tough at once. It is tough because to make it engaging you need to move mountains. Sidin achieved more or less the same: And I am inclined to Sidin Vadukut has found his niche methinks. And I am inclined to believe that he moved mountains to achieve that. My maternal grandfather, G. Termites had eaten the rest. I enquired within the family and was shocked to discover that not one person had bothered to keep a copy.
This has nothing to do with the review of The Sceptical Patriot. I know. I just wanted to highlight how important History is to an average Indian. It was and I was applying for my pre-university admissions. History back in the day. I hope my grand pa will forgive me for saying this, but he made Ayn Rand look good as a writer.
I was consuming e-mail forwards, blog posts, Facebook notes, and what have you, about the wondrous, inspiring past of our great country. It took me a few years to realize that not everything the internet serves up is verified, authentic information.
I always wondered— how could a country that was so prosperous, inclusive, liberal, and diverse, fuck up so bad? What happened in-between? Well, those pages in history were never written or, they are stuck to each other. Through The Sceptical Patriot Sidin addresses these key questions. Was India the richest country in the world before the Brits came in? Did Arya Bhatta invent zero? Will Pulli Raja get aids?
Okay I made up the last one. The Vedas, Cholas, and Indus valley. To Marconi the bastard Italian hehehe , Bose, and Neuro-linguistic programming… It is one hell of a roller-coaster ride. Every Indian needs to read The Sceptical Patriot. It helps in understanding what exactly being Indian means.
I need to add that Sidin walks the tight-rope of history like Prabhudeva on steroids. It is so easy to offend people these days and it is not easy to write an honest story and also make it inoffensive. A friend from Orissa stopped talking to me because I threw a food packet at him in a house-party. So there. Stay with me da! I am almost done. There are a few things Sidin could have done better.
I think he should have dwelt a little more on the concept of India. Was it a single country hundreds of years back? Or an odd amalgam of fiefdoms and princely states? But yes, if only The Sceptical Patriot had dealt with that topic a bit more… Oh well. Each chapter has an elaborate preamble before Sidin cuts to chase.
Why is he talking about Iran here for so long? Now go buy the book and tell me what you thought of it. Aug 23, Tejsweeta rated it really liked it Shelves: 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 pr Quite liked it! 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. Jan 05, Anil Swarup rated it really liked it. The articulation is unconventional and so is the approach to revisiting some historical events. The author has the courage to term the legal system in India as "uncommonly inefficient". He goes on to add that "For most Indians, courts are bottomless pits of misery where you only go when you want to make sure that your law suit never achieves closure". He doesn't even spare his own clan, the journalists: He calls history an " enigmatic mistress who likes to keep her lovers on their toes".
One may disagree with some of the conclusions that the author arrives at but the book makes for a very interesting read.. There is a rare compliment as well before he concludes as admits "that the textbooks have vastly improved since my days in school" May 14, Umesh Kesavan rated it it was ok Shelves: The author's inimitable style of writing does make this book a breezy read. To read on Brahmagupta,Taxila,Persepolis and other such esoteric topics without yawning itself shows what the author has done here.
Yet,two major complaints 1. The author has got his basic research wrong. He laments about the lack of NCERT material on post-independence history but there is indeed a good text book on the same topic 12th standard book for political science which covers all topics from mandal politics to wars The author's inimitable style of writing does make this book a breezy read.
He laments about the lack of NCERT material on post-independence history but there is indeed a good text book on the same topic 12th standard book for political science which covers all topics from mandal politics to wars with China and pakistan. He has missed this book totally. For a book which relies a lot on research,this is a major goof up. Too much of diversions into irrelevant episodes like the Crippen case show that Sidin has filled pages up to make it a page book. With more editorial stringency, this book could have been trimmed down to around pages.
Apr 02, Salil Kanitkar rated it really liked it Shelves: This book by Sidin Vadukut has a simple structure - take some of the most commonly held and the most widely believed "India" facts and methodically investigate their veracity. Was Takshashila the first University of the ancient world? We have all heard these factoids before - either via email and Wh "Sceptical Patriot", if nothing else, makes us question the bias we all carry in our hearts for our motherland.
We have all heard these factoids before - either via email and WhtsApp forwards or sometimes even perpetrated by pop culture and the media. What Sceptical Patriot tries to do is, instead of blindly accepting these factoids at face value, it subjects them to a "litmus test" of checking historical records, searching for real, verifiable and evidential proof and as far as possible arriving at an "informed" conclusion - you know, the sort of thing we all should be doing always - before "accepting" anything as truth.
The effort is definitely commendable here. The author wants to debunk the commonly held India myths - and while doing so the conclusions that he arrives at do appear logical and convincing. That being said, the book is not without its faults. The big put off for me was the unnecessary humor! Just when things get interesting and it looks like we are getting at some inconvenient truths, the author takes it all away by cracking a silly joke.
And this is a recurring pattern. In all honesty, it felt to me that the author didn't want to appear too sceptical! Secondly, with all the talk of being detail oriented and scientific when getting to the roots of something, the author chooses a hand-wavy explanation sometimes. An example of this is the Chola invasions on Myanmar chapter.
But these things aside, "Sceptical Patriot" is a breezy and an entertaining read - a mixture of some new interesting historical details about ancient India coupled with some insightful anecdotes. Aug 06, VaultOfBooks rated it really liked it. By Sidin Vadukut. Grade A. Our patriotic hearts regard Jagadish Chandra Bose as the creator of radio and not Marconi. He delves into the context, finds out the root, and then presents a radical account of the subject, dissecting it in ways more than one, often rummaging through documents and researched artefacts that he came across while working on this book.
As you move from one page to the next, you will notice the effort that has been put towards each word, annotation and quote, that has any significance to the subject at hand. The author, in an unbiased manner, unearths data and information justifying the scepticism regarding these so called facts, leading to a well versed conclusion.
Numerous topics have been examined in this book. The opening chapter deals with the belief that Sushruta was the first to invent plastic surgery. Now, how true is that? What about the notion that India had never invaded another country in 10, years? But then, the reports in this book throws light on a completely contrasting image. The concept of zero again is believed to have originated in India. Is this belief absolutely false then?
Was India among the richest nations in the world, or is this another of those myths that we love to narrate? Many would argue that J. Bose invented the radio before Marconi did, with the latter grabbing all the accolades for the invention. Also, Sanskrit is widely presumed to be the best language for computer programming. How true are these beliefs, and is it really safe to jump into a verdict without traversing the various edges attached to them?
He cites several examples to throw a clear light on his findings, his documentation serving the purpose of binding together the loose ends. This applies perfectly to the modern day context, and the readers surely are left pondering over these thoughts.
Originally reviewed at Vaultofbooks. We are looking for perceptive readers who can write well, and we are eager to provide lots of free books in exchange for reviews. Shoot us a mail at contact vaultofbooks.
Nov 16, Aamil Syed rated it liked it Shelves: It's a well written book with nicely collected facts and references with really interesting stories.
Vadukut does well to weave interesting unrelated tidbits into the narrative and manages to keep one engaged. The only places he fails to do that is when he goes too much in detail while narrating anecdotes from his own life and sometimes when he is trying to crack one of his unfunny jokes. Overall, this is a nice, brisk read that is also quite informative. I especially liked the information about It's a well written book with nicely collected facts and references with really interesting stories.
I especially liked the information about the Chola empire and the story of the zero. Good read, this one. May 22, Ranjani Srinivasan rated it liked it. Vadukut manages to touch many high points in this book that I feel otherwise ambivalent about.
I was very wary of reading a book that claimed to "debunk" "facts" without a list of references at the end. To his credit, he has added many footnotes but each chapter reads like a story with a blend of facts, personal commentary, yarn-weaving and a heavy dose of sarcasm - a rare template that I am yet to be convinced about.
He does place disclaimers and illustrates well how hard it is to do good histo Vadukut manages to touch many high points in this book that I feel otherwise ambivalent about.
He does place disclaimers and illustrates well how hard it is to do good historical research something I admit to never have spared a thought for. But he does disappoint me with a list of epiphanies at the end , where he somehow manages to water-down a lot of the complexity he strove so hard to build earlier. That said, I did enjoy many parts of the book and his humour.
He has left me thinking about how we learn and consume history and how it may have profound impacts on individual and collective identity. And a lot less obviously on literally everything we do or say. Jul 12, Rhea Roy rated it it was amazing. A few days ago I was searching for some books that dwell on ancient India..
The thing I was looking was for some concrete ideas on what is this mythical things called the 'Indian Culture'.
How much of what we today 'know' as Indian Culture can be traced back to when India was really the World Guru in everything. For instance, Indian women today are expected to wear Ghunghat. But for my recollections of watching e A few days ago I was searching for some books that dwell on ancient India..
Infact the upper body garments resembled something of a corset- infact a few inches short in length altogether. Naturally , the born-confused and curious me acquired more levels of confusion and curiosity. Was ancient India really the ultimate free, liberal society where women could wear what they like and sex could be spoken of not just in drawing rooms but temple premises as well? Can I Bitch-slap anyone who next time comes and gives me gyan about how ideal Indian women should behave and throw my newly acquired knowledge at their moronic faces?
I'm yet to gain some concrete knowledge on that front. But my efforts of finding books that pertain to such subjects or somewhere in the ballpark brought me this.
The Skeptical Patriot -by Sidin Vadukut, columnist, writer, blogger and the current managing editor of Livemint. Vadukut gives a two fuck flying rat's ass about my Bitch-slap aspirations. Yet, I would recommend almost everyone okay anyone who has a decent sense of humor to read this book.
Vadukut's journey is different from mine. Were we the nation from where some of world changing concepts in mathematics, medicine and science in general originate? Were we really the Swiss of the ancient world, not having bothered to worry ourselves in the senseless pursuits of invading other countries? The book as Vadukut explains, is not a treatise in history.
To delve into the world of ancient anecdotes, research by researchers who researched into the works of other researchers to find facts and sometimes just for the heck of it. The facts Vadukut states are not fabricated or fiction- they all are valid.
And what he infers from those facts and the statements he makes make absolute sense. Ofcourse some may differ. Then read the book to differ.
And to top it all Vadukut has some serious comic timing something I sense seasoned journalists acquire over the course of their rather boring, mundane and badly-paying careers. No seriously look at Manu Joseph and now him. So read the book. You might love it. In which case you owe me nothing because I didn't write the book.
Just keep me posted Aug 18, Gopal Vijayaraghavan rated it really liked it. The first non fiction by Sidin Vadukut tries to debunk some of the commonly held myths about India. A reading of the book will reveal that Vadukut has done a tremendous amount of research for this book. But in his attempt not to make this book another dull history book he has given too much personal details which could have been avoided. Sidin Vadukut may be having an opinion that most of the reading public and he may also be correct to some extent are not really interested in serious books.
Bu The first non fiction by Sidin Vadukut tries to debunk some of the commonly held myths about India.
But in spite of this, the book is worth reading. I am not surprised about the ignorance of many about these invasions considering the importance given in history textbooks about empires to the exclusion of small kingdoms.
The Myth of Indians never invading any country is widely prevalent even in Tamil Nadu. I held a contrary view but I had a taste of this myth when I had to watch one of those useless popular ID programmes in a popular channel when one of the professors of Tamil made an assertion of this myth.
With my understanding of Indian history which is not masterly I can point out that the year of Lord Macaulay's address in British Parliament could not have been Likewise, Sidin is also off the mark when he includes the British in the list of invaders from the North West of India. It was the British who showed to the world that the oceans cannot be a barrier for invading the country. But the invasion was unlike the previous invasions it was not outright attack but a gradual annexation of territory.
May 05, Girish rated it really liked it. The Sceptical Partiot can be categorized a history book if you are the type to categorize Rap as classical music.
This well researched book is one fast, quirky and interesting read for every one of us Internet Indians. Sidin also manages to fit in his trademark humor in this non-fiction. As to the content, the skepticism surrounding The Sceptical Partiot can be categorized a history book if you are the type to categorize Rap as classical music.
As to the content, the skepticism surrounding facts including invention of zero and plastic surgery are explored across centuries and manuscripts. Can't help but feel some point of view judgement of author finds it's way into the presentation. Not to mention anecdotes from the author's personal life, some of which serve as mere breaks from narratives welcome of course. You can disagree, debate or do your own research, but you cannot claim lack of effort from the author.
Few chapters maybe a tad slow and lesser of the showmanship of the first 3 chapters.
The last few chapters on why this book and the relevance of History, sure touch a chord with the sleeping patriot. The author has much more depth to writing and definitely better at presenting palatable non-fiction at least compared to his fiction Brave effort by the entire team Oct 16, P rated it really liked it.
A crisp read. Have been following the author's soundcloud channel which is very informative and entertaining. Not digressing much about the book here, but as the title suggests, the author has done a "malcolm gladwell" on indian history.
As soon as i write that, it appears to me that the book does not have the "chic" factor that a gladwell book has, nor is it make controversial claims like the " hour" rule. The book reads more like a collection of articles published as a book which is expec A crisp read.
The book reads more like a collection of articles published as a book which is expected since the author has been one in the past. What i particularly liked was the questionairre and open-ended statements at the end of each article along with the footnotes from the author. To summarize, this is a highly comfortable book to read. A novice in history will enjoy it, and so will a person who is well acquainted with the topics. The reader can read the entire book and choose to not think about the topics mentioned and be satisfied with the knowledge that he has gained from reading of the book.
Have given 3 stars for the content and writing, one for the footnotes and the epiphanies in the end which is highly relatable to any history enthusiast. May 07, Pratik rated it it was amazing. A welcome addition to the India-themed books hitting the market. Sidin offers a different more-serious look into the common myths of 'India facts' and yet sprinkles in enough of his typical humor to keep you going.
A worthy read not only for anyone obsessed with forwarding those 'India is always great' emails and Whatsapp messages but also for those who're tired of receiving those messages.
But don't worry, it's not an India-bashing book either but be prepared for some truths. The last chapter o A welcome addition to the India-themed books hitting the market. The last chapter offers plenty of lessons and we all will be better off if half of our countrymen heeded even half of those. Completed reading it in 1.
I have been a fan of the author since his Dork series. I loved the humor in this too. There are quite a few facts in this book that I didn't know much about before. No, I knew about them.
I just didn't take the time out to care about them. I never even read the "proud Indian" email forwards I get. I saw flaws in everything. But never thought to question them. I guess this book has made me want to start questioning again. Thank you f Completed reading it in 1. Thank you for that. Jan 05, Joseph rated it really liked it. I was a little sceptical to buy this book, after the DORK series, but ended up liking it more than I expected.
Although the book has a 'blog'-y feel here and there, Sidin has done a nice job of keeping the reader interested till the end. The conclusion is an interesting piece, where the reader has the choice of investigating further on the "facts" of India. Would be happy to read a sequel to this, if any, comes. Dec 28, Dayanand Prabhu rated it it was amazing. Sidin Vadakut through this book might have just spawned a genre of 'Indian Popular history'.
I really do hope that it has and it wouldn't be wrong naming it Vadakutan history ;. There is so little written about Indian history which is neutral, in depth and fun that it was about time some one came up with Vadakutan history. If you hate history you should read this book and realize why people love history and that it is indeed fun. May 18, Sadiq Kazi rated it really liked it. Witty and at times insightful. Wish the author takes up this subject in greater detail in his next book and goes on busting many more myths spread around us.
Especially, now with an establishment in place that is notorious for spewing out a lie so insistently that it begins to be perceived as a truth! May 18, Pratibha Pratibha rated it really liked it.
Jul 15, Ashish Chakravarty rated it it was ok Shelves: Well researched, but the jazz like impromptu diversions makes it take itself lightly.
Quick airplane read. Apr 13, Aditya rated it really liked it Shelves: This book had me hooked from the blurb itself. I have come across many statements that celebrate past glory of India and have dismissed most of them as hyperbole or fantasy. Some of them like Prof J C Bose have piqued my interest but I never found anything substantive online. A bunch of these have been pushed for a "some day" project.
So when the blurb claimed to deep dive into veracity of some of these, I picked up this book. Sceptical Patriot is such a good description for what I felt. The book This book had me hooked from the blurb itself. The book delivers on its promise. It answers the questions quite clearly. If at all, Sidin has been drifting towards the mean in his rating at the end of each chapter. In other words, based on his description, I would give higher scores on the cases he scored high and lower on the ones that he scores low.
I love the questions he raises for further study. I particularly loved the chapter on Chola Empire. The Constant Goddess by Anuja Chandramouli. Charles Sobhraj: Ramayana Versus Mahabharata: My Playful Comparison by Devdutt Pattanaik. Mohan Bhagwat: Influencer-in-Chief by Kingshuk Nag. Awaken the Durga Within: India Ahead: Shades of Truth: A Journey Derailed by Kapil Sibal.
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