Being Indian: Inside the Real India and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Being Indian has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Being Indian Paperback – 30 Sep 2006


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 30 Sep 2006
£9.99
£9.64 £0.01
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Frequently Bought Together

Being Indian + In Spite Of The Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India + Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
Price For All Three: £30.97

Some of these items are dispatched sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (30 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143033425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143033424
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,594,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

"Pavan Varma is one of India's most admired and widely-read writers of non-fiction, and in Being Indian he has excelled himself . . . Brilliant . . . Varma shows how India's self-image has been distorted by simplistic myth-making, and sets out to find instead what it really means to be Indian" (William Dalrymple)

"A well-researched and urgent inquiry that is informed as much by allusions to Hindu mythological texts as it is by a knowledge of current affairs and popular culture" (New Statesman)

"A stimulating and readable polemic" (Sunday Times)

"Elegantly written . . . Being Indian is one of the most subtle recent attempts to analyze the continent-sized mosaic of India" (The Economist) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A compelling journey through the paradoxes, myths and realities of India, by 'one of the country's most perceptive writers.' (Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Richmond on 1 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for people who want to try and capture some of the Indian psyche, and understand where India is going in the next century. I guess, to understand that, you need to know the context. That's what Pavan Varma tries, successfully, to do. He touches on the desire to create a better life and the focus on wealth being huge motivating factors for most Indians. The issues of language, politics, religion and family are also discussed at length. The mix of modernity and tradition is one that most Indians sit at ease with. Indians can embrace new technologies, but yet, cling to marrying within their caste and, in some cases, having a dowry. Social India is highly conservative still.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By julie on 31 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
I won't shy away from the fact that this is not an easy read but it is worth investing time in it. I recently moved to India and have spent the last 5 months experiencing and being puzzled and frustrated by the mass of contradictions that there are within the country. Reading this book has been a revelation - its not answered all the questions, but many things, in particular the persuit of power, have suddenly explained the actions of so many around me. Can't recommend it enough.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A. Gupta on 3 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the first book which ( I have read or found easy enough to read)attempts to examine /explain the cultural and philosophical underpinnings of Modern India and its recent economic success. Especially insightful is the explanation for the success and surival of democracy - the fact that it was seen by the masses as a way to get a step onto the POWER ladder ( power being one of the prime aims /drivers of the Indian polity/culture, according to the book ) i.e a means to an end. It is aptly summed up by the author when he writes " India has a democractic process, but we dont have a democractic temperament". All in all , a great read with several great insights!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CatDee on 2 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book based on previous reviews and wasn't disappointed. I've travelled to India many times and the more time I spend there I realise just how complex and paradoxical the country and its people are. This book goes some way to attempt to explain certain things that have puzzled me about India, for example that religion is such an important aspect of their lives yet corruption is as pervasive and accepted in the temples as elsewhere. I found the book a really interesting and engaging read and very accessible.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Stephenson on 11 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an easily readable book (not too long or academic) that attempts to give insight into what first appears to be a baffling and complex country. It is made quite clear from the outset that as the majority of Indians are Hindu, it is really a book about Hindu culture.

The author tries very hard to give a balanced view however I sometimes got the impression that he was having to stifle his natural enthusiasm and promotion of his country that was probably developed whilst working for the Indian diplomatic corps! Also, some of the conclusions made about Indians today based on their history I found difficult to believe.

The positive thing that I took away from the book is that human nature is the same in India as in the West.

I recommend this book if you want an introduction to the subject.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Wusstogo on 2 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
India is a vast and complicated subject and we would make a big mistake in thinking that Indians are people "just like us". After three visits I wondered why things did not follow the same paths as in the UK, why people's thought processes and attitudes were completely different. Some things I had worked out for myself but this book suddenly made everything much clearer. When you see something happen in India it now becomes a lot more obvious what is really happening and what the subtexts to that situation are. The introduction is a little heavy but well worth reading on as subsequent chapters are easily digested. Highly recommended for anyone thinking of visiting or working in India. Mr Varma has rendered valuable service.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback