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Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism

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About the Book...
About the Book India is more than a nation state. It is also a unique civilization with philosophies and cosmologies that are markedly distinct from the dominant culture of our times - the West. India's spiritual traditions spring from dharma which has no exact equivalent in Western frameworks. Unfortunately, in the rush to celebrate the growing popularity of India on the world stage, its civilization matrix is being co-opted into Western universalism, thereby diluting its distinctiveness and potential.

In Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, thinker and philosopher Rajiv Malhotra addresses the challenge of a direct and honest engagement on differences by reversing the gaze, repositioning India from being the observed to the observer and looking at the West from the dharmic point of view. In doing so, he challenges many hitherto unexamined beliefs that both sides hold about themselves and each other. He highlights that while unique historical revelations are the basis for Western religions, dharma emphasizes self-realization in the body here and now. He also points out the integral unity that underpins dharma's metaphysics and contrasts this with Western thought and history as a synthetic unity.

Erudite and engaging, Being Different critiques fashionable reductive translations and analyses the West's anxiety over difference and fixation for order which contrast the creative role of chaos in dharma. It concludes with a rebuttal of Western claims of universalism, while recommending a multi-civilization world view.

About the Author
RAJIV MALHOTRA is an Indian-American researcher and public intellectual on current affairs, world religions, cross-cultural encounters and science. A scientist by training, he was previously a senior corporate executive, strategic consultant and entrepreneur in information technology and media. He is the author of Breaking India (Amaryllis, 2011), was the chief protagonist in Invading the Sacred (Rupa & Co.), and is an active writer and speaker. He is chairman of the Board of Governors of the India Studies program at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Introduction
`I am simply using the dharmic perspective to reverse the analytical gaze which normally goes from West to East and unconsciously privileges the former. This reversal evaluates Western problems in a unique way, sheds light on some of its blind spots, and shows how dharmic cultures can help alleviate and resolve some of the problems facing the world today.

India itself cannot be viewed only as a bundle of the old and the new, accidentally and uncomfortably pieced together, an artificial construct without a natural unity. Nor is she just a repository of quaint, fashionable accessories to Western lifestyles; nor a junior partner in a global capitalist world. India is its own distinct and unified civilization with a proven ability to manage profound differences, engage creatively with various cultures, religions and philosophies, and peacefully integrate many diverse streams of humanity. These values are based on ideas about divinity, the cosmos and humanity that stand in contrast to the fundamental assumptions of Western civilization. This book explores those ideas and assumptions.'

Book's Contents and Sample Pages








Item Code: NAQ523 Author: Rajiv Malhotra Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2018 Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ISBN: 9789351160502 Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 488 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.4 Kg
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