(Disclaimer: I am neither an Indian nor an NRI.)
I expected a lot from this but it was ultimately a disappointing read. Much of the book is written in the intellectual impostor's fashion, ie it needlessly uses many hard and difficult words and jargon to illustrate an argument rather than more accessible language. One small but typical example from hundreds: "The causal antecedents of this division undoubtedly deserve investigative attention." Why not write "The reasons for this have to be explored." or similar?
This seems all the more important as the book is fulsomely praised (by Dibek Debroy) with this: "Every Indian should read this book." Well-meaning and probably not a bad idea, but given the wooden and difficult-to-decipher jargon that pervades the text, this wildly optimistic recommendation seems like wishful thinking.
Even ignoring Sen's style, this book is in dire need of a stringent editor as it could have been delivered with less than half the pages it actually has, gaining more force and panache along the way. Alas, repetitions and rephrasings (sometimes of a rather pedestrian nature) abound. (OK, so the book is a collection of essays, so some repetition has to be expected... but it seems nobody really bothered with editing all those essays for the book). In fact, Sen gives fair warning about this with the first sentence in the first essay: "Prolixity is not alien to us in India." Indeed.
There are certainly some pearls to be found among all the bumph (ie the essay about Indian calendars) but they are too few and far between for a stimulating read.