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India in slow motion: Excellent Book that tries to find ‘Why?’

India, my motherland, has a very special place in my heart. Just like every patriot would have. She was freed from colonial rule after a lot of struggle and spending blood, sweat and tears by various groups of armed revolutionaries and non-violent satyagrahees. Their contribution is equally important even though there is a continuous and ongoing political one-upmanship to take full credit of winning the independence. May be that’s one of the reasons why we are progressing in slow motion instead of running on the track. But this is based on my two cents on the subject. Mark Tully is very knowledgeable person on this subject and has been observing India’s progress through journalistic eyes. He has been Bureau Chief for BBC at New Delhi over two decades of important time-span of India’s post-independence journey.

What to expect from this?

This is a collection of essays written by Mark Tully when he was working for the BBC. and I read this book in 2017 and it has changed a lot ever since. India in 2023 is not the way she used to be. Yet it’s important to know how it was to live in those past decades. These essays cover a wide spectrum of subjects just like a wide diversity of our country. Just like us, our problems are diverse too. Some of them are solved now but some still exist.

Religious extremism, bonded child labours in carpet weaving industry, heavy corruption in the government, poor condition of our farmers and the burden of ever-increasing debts are few pain-points in our progress as a nation. Mark has done extensive work for these essays. He interviewed many people who are stakeholders of the situation. Research the statistics and numbers before writing these pieces.

There is a essay which talks about progressive steps of creating a Cyberabad giving a new identity to Hyderabad as an IT city. He traveled with Chandrababu Naidu for a day hopping from meeting to meeting and taking his short interview at the end. This interaction was the base for this essay which highlighted the hopeful picture with a new direction to increase the speed for our progress.

Last essay dedicated to Kashmir is titled ‘Paradise Lost’. It covers religion, the India/Pakistan conflict, and politics and the tendency of maintaining the status quo in this area. Much has changed in this context in recent past and I hope it has changed for better. I wish that we regain this lost paradise soon.

From the blurb

Mark Tully is incomparable. No one has a greater understanding of the passions, the contradictions, the humour, the tragedy and the staggering resilience that constitute India. In his long awaited new book, he delves further than ever before into this country of one billion people. Covering subjects as diverse as Hindu extremism, bonded child labour, Sufi mysticism, the crisis in agriculture, the persistence of political corruption and the problem of Kashmir, he paints a picture of India at once poignant, funny, startling and deeply humane.

About the book

  • Book Name: India in Slow Motion
  • Publisher: Penguin Group
  • ISBN 13: 9780143030478
  • Length: 320 pages
  • MRP: ₹ 399.00

My Ratings

Stories: 3.5/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Cover: 3.5/5

Overall Rating 4/5

Where to get your copy

Check the bookstores near you cause physical copy book is listed for unusually high price on online platforms.

if you are looking for an eBook, check here.

Should you read it?

If you are keen in understanding post-independence history of our country, I think you will like this one. Even though this is non-fiction book, you will not get bored because of his writing style. Mark has written these essays in very engaging ways. There’s a bit of humour which keeps the startling and serious issues readable.


This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023. For more about my views on books, click here.

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