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Being Different Hardcover – September 28, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
In Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism Rajiv Malhotra contests the self-serving universalism that is readily apparent in the `grand narrative' (whether secular or religious) produced by the West, which sees itself as the agent or driver of the world's historical unfolding and sets the template for all nations and peoples of the world. Indeed, Western religionists and philosophers have rationalized European colonial expansion to Africa, Asia, and Latin America as an expression of divine plan and will that first became apparent (manifest) and inexorable (destiny) in Britain and the rest of Europe in the sixteenth century reaching the United States by the nineteenth century.
Being Different uncovers and explores major differences that set India apart from the World in terms of its markedly distinct philosophy, culture, and cosmology.Read more ›
Incessant push to conform to Western Universalism has created an anxiety in being different. This book is a must read for modern day Hindus who have this difference anxiety.
Faced with a barrage of systematic and concerted Western criticism against Dharmic traditions, many followers of Dharmic traditions earnestly seek clarification, reconciliation, and even acceptance, by looking into the mirror of Western Universalism, not realizing that the premises which created this mirror leave no scope for positive reflection. Reversing the gaze helps one break loose of this stupor by making explicit the weakness and biases of this mirror, pointing out that this mirror is bigoted and must be shunned.
This book is intended for followers of Dharmic traditions and their Gurus who preach sameness in desperation and because of "difference anxiety from below", without understanding both sides and casually thinking through. This mindset is different from the classical Dharmic method of Purva-Paksha (reversing the gaze) which this book is advocating and applying. Prerequisites for reversing the gaze are (a) full comfort in and acceptance of being different, (b) careful understanding of the other side as well as the core Dharmic thought.Read more ›
Malhotra superbly and skilfully highlights the hollowness of the western understanding and its portrayals of India and its Hindu culture, religion, ethics etc. His chapter on the "non-translatables" is a unique contribution to those who want to undertake serious studies of India and its rich heritage in arts, sciences and philosophy. His treatment of "inter-faith tolerance" which is universally hailed as the westerner's benevolent overture to peoples of non-Abrahamic faiths, is a must reading for all students of religion, particularly those of the Abrahamic faiths. The end-notes are a treasure trove for scholars who want to delve more into the study of "Dharmic" faiths. I hope that the next edition of this book will append the end-notes to the end of each chapter rather than consign them to the end of the book which makes it cumbersome and often may serve as a deterrent as well for ordinary readers to refer to the notes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A book that makes the average white westerner re-evaluate their concept of India, and helps Indians re-evaluate the western indoctrination they have been taught. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Freedom Cole
One of the best book, putting very clearly in word how to take on western universal-ism looking on though the dharmic lens. Read morePublished 1 month ago by PRAVEEN
This book by Sh. Rajiv Malhotra ji is a must read for every Hindu. It would certainly help you shed the inferiority complex and help you in obtaining an Indian identity.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great Author. He put everything in beautiful perspective. Would like to read more of his books.Published 2 months ago by Bhasker R. Pujari
Offers great food for thought. His views on intolerance are thought provoking.Published 3 months ago by B A
Each of Rajiv Malhotra’s book is like a collection of PhD thesis. He put in enormous amount of data and fact and demystifies so many common misunderstandings and wrong notions. Read morePublished 3 months ago by rpv
Must read for all in-informed Hindus. A great book. Very well researched and fabulous example. Especially liked the Sanskrit non translatables. Thanks to RM for this book.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book. If you love reading facts, this is the one.Published 6 months ago by Rahul badghare
Book gives clarity on Identity of once faith and helps one to explore /discover oneself/faith not being bottled by Exclusive minded thoughtsPublished 6 months ago by Krishna Kishor Udayagiri