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India's Unending Journey: Finding Balance in a Time of Change Hardcover – 3 May 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rider & Co; First Edition edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846040175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846040177
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 14 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 800,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tagesmann on 6 Dec 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book by mistake. I don't mean that I didn't intend to buy it; but that it turned out to be a very different book than the one I thought I was buying.

When I read the back cover I thought I new what the book was going to be about. Then when I read the inside of the dust jacket I realised I had been wrong and that the book was going to be about something completely different. Then I read the book.

This book is about balance. In it Mark Tully explores and discusses a number of issues that are of importance to us in the West as well as in his adopted country. In a rambling, loosely structured but well-written and easy to read way Mark Tully discusses religion, economics and politics.

He describes his Christian upbringing and India's pluralism. He discusses market capitalism and centrally managed economies. And he discusses the impacts that politics have had on these.

In a rambling (in a good way), loosely structured but well written and easy to read book; Mark Tully explores: Christianity, pluralism, the decline of the church in Ireland, fundamentalist secularism, faith in progress, sex, love, market economies, globalisation, Hinduism, Islam, business culture, nationalisation, humility and arrogance.

Although, or perhaps because this book covers so many subjects; it does not and cannot explore them in any depth but it is a fascinating introduction to them and has made me want to discuss and explore further.

As I said (or rather as the author said) this book is about balance; about finding a balance between views and beliefs. The fact that it does so - or starts to do so for this reader - is a testament to a very deeply felt belief in balance.
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By S. Yogendra VINE VOICE on 8 May 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It might be a bit much - and hubristic - to suggest that Mark Tully - who is close to my father's age - and I swapped countries, but I wish all immigrants would go native in the way he has done, while maintaining a great deal of objectivity and sensitivity towards the complex and evolving landscape of India, where he has spent over 3 decades.

Born in India, Mark Tully was brought up with an English nanny so he would 'not go native', but how his parents might react to the Mark Tully, who makes his home in India and by all counts, speaks Hindi well, now is anybody's guess.

Before I say anything about the book, I must confess my partiality to Mark Tully: I grew up with his spoken word as a child listening to the BBC and in my adult years, I have read much of his written word. His style is lucid, his argument clear and his language highly accessible. That applies to his books I have reviewed earlier and to this one.

This book, his latest, focuses on the pluralistic tradition in Indian and Hindu philosophy by weaving an autobiographical story encompassing his days as a boy at Marlborough, then at Cambridge and Lincoln, and his experiences in India. He nods to Amartya Sen's book on the argumentative and discursive tradition in India, but adds a layer of his own experience in faith. Ah, faith, that word! It is almost taboo to discuss God and faith in a scientism and commercialism focused time such as ours. But Tully does discuss it and is not afraid to discuss how his life was shaped by his experiences in absolutist traditions of Marlborough, his doubts during his theological training, his constant questioning and his observation of the possibility that no one absolute truth exists (in religion as in life), and his experience of India.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Aditya on 19 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
Most Indians and Indophiles are familiar with Mark Tully, who worked for long out of Delhi as BBC's correspondent. In the process, he fell in love with the country, and ended up settling down in India permanently.

This book is a kind of personal journey for him. The narrative is rather tentative, and covers a lot of ground. He weaves back and forth between UK and India, and offers quite a few valuable insights about religion, politics and culture of the two countries. UK is not treated independently, but more as a kind of foil to India. The book's 11 chapters are placed in various towns that he visited, which also serve as a kind of cultural emblem for what he is going to talk about in a particular chapter.

He also shares a lot of personal details, his trials, tribulations, anecdotes and triumphs. Being a journalist with a highly respected Channel, he had access to almost everyone in India. It goes without saying that his narrative is very sympathetic to Indian culture and the 'Indian way of dong things'. However, it is also reasonably balanced, so that it does not become a gushing, sentimental kind of nonsense about how great everything about India is.

Some of his comments are quite perceptive - for instance, about how India always tries to find a balance between extremes, a middle (middling?) way of doing things. He believes this is one of India's keys to longevity as a civilization.

Well, he is certainly right that this search for a balance, of avoiding the extremes, is almost an unwritten, unbreakable law in India. My late father often used to say 'ati sarvatha varjayet' - excess is to be avoided always / everywhere.
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