India faux pas: The Sceptical Patriot

by Pooja Patel on June 27, 2014

The Sceptical Patriot by Sidin Vadukut
Author: Sidin Vadukut
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9788129129031
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Read book reviews from other readers

We all have come across that list of facts which boasts that 12% of scientists and 38% of doctors in the US are Indians, 4 out of 10 NASA scientists are Indians, India has never invaded another country, zero was invented in India etc. Without blinking, we Indians take great pride in and believe all of these as this is more convenient than actually verifying them.

In The Sceptical Patriot, Sidin has taken up the responsibility of cross verifying and challenging several of these ‘facts’. This book explains the truth behind these facts and provides evidence of research papers and various findings dating back several centuries.

Sample: India has never declared a war on any country or invaded and colonised any nation – proved wrong. This he does by highlighting historical findings that say otherwise. Some findings indicate that the Chola dynasty rulers were pretty ambitious and went on to invade and rule nations to the south of our subcontinent.

So-called facts like these are whipped and trashed. Chapter after chapter, Sidin challenges us the veracity of these facts, albeit in a very humorous way. The guy knows how to write funny and his punch lines will tickle your funny bone. However, there are many facts that are true to the word (well almost) and proudly, he’s verified them.

It’s very intriguing to imagine how he must have researched, read, written and then re-written this manuscript. Why do I saying re-written? Every day, new historic findings practically nullify previous findings. What’s also interesting is that at the end of every chapter, he gives a scorecard, which rates the probability of how much true the fact might be. Plus, he also gives pointers as to what a person must do if he/she is not satisfied with the research that backs up the fact. It points out how much further exploration can be done on the topic.

Downside- The chapters are initially fun to read, mainly because of the interesting pointers pulled out for each fact. A history enthusiast will certainly love reading it, though they should have the capacity to stomach 200+ pages of analysis. People with not much inclination for history and facts might end up dozing off by the time they reach page 10.

Want to see one of the lists that our reviewer is talking about? Check out this website’s collection. What’s true and what’s not? You decide.. Or better yet, read the book! 

Reach Sidin Vadukut on Twitter from here

Written by Pooja Patel

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

PRusty July 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Sounds very cool! As Indians, we feel as though we must defend our heritage if not our present, but we tend to repeat the same, overused facts.

Will make it a point to read this one! Thanks 🙂

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Mugdha July 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

It really sounds like a different sort of book, with a strong theme and full of interesting facts. Leave us your own opinion of the book after you read it, Paridhi!

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