Indian Preview: Our Top New Releases from March

 

1. The Tatas by Girish Kuber and Vikrant Pande

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The Tatas is the story of one of India’s leading business families. It starts in the nineteenth century with Nusserwanji Tata – a middle-class Parsi priest from the village of Navsari in Gujarat, and widely regarded as the Father of Indian Industry – and ends with Ratan Tata – chairman of the Tata Group until 2012. But it is more than just a history of the industrial house; it is an inspiring account of India in the making. It chronicles how each generation of the family invested not only in the expansion of its own business interests but also in nation building.

For instance, few know that the first hydel project in the world was conceived and built by the Tatas in India. Nor that some radical labour concepts such as eight-hour work shifts were born in India, at the Tata mill in Nagpur. The National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Tata Cancer Research Centre, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research – the list about the Tatas’ contribution to India is a long one.

A bestseller in Marathi when it was first published in 2015, this is the only book that tells the complete Tata story over two hundred years.

 

2. Faith by Devdutt Pattanaik 

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Why are Hindus so ritualistic? Why do they worship idols? Were Hindus always casteist? Are Hindus supposed to be vegetarian? Is divorce permitted according to Hinduism? Why is a Hindu prayer different from a Muslim or Christian prayer? Did the arrival of Muslim invaders a thousand years ago destroy Hindu culture?

Answering key questions on Hindu philosophy and associated Indian history in simple, lucid, engaging ways, and exploring the often curious customs and beliefs that are an intrinsic part of the Hindu faith, Devdutt Pattanaik’s latest book is a treasure house of information on the complex tenets of Hinduism. For many a curious reader, Faith: Understanding Hinduism will prove to be a delightful and eye-opening introduction to the intricacies of one of the world’s most practiced religions.

 

3. India Misinformed by Shaikh S. & Sidharth A. Sinha

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The propaganda of misinformation and hoaxes disseminated through print, graphics, and social media have altered the social landscape of this country. Not only has it led to multiple cases of lynching, mob violence, defamation, and riots, fake news also poses a serious threat to Indian democracy and its electoral policies. This book is an anthology of essays that expose the machinery behind the circulation of fake news, to be edited by Pratik Sinha, Sumaiya Shaikh and Arjun Sidharth from Alt News, a fact-checking website that debunks false information. To be released ahead of the elections in 2019, this volume with a foreword by noted journalist Ravish Kumar, will establish how dishonest information is spread, who is behind it, and how the ordinary reader can detect such misinformation.

 

4. Drop Dead Gorgeous by Gauri Sinh

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Twenty perfect contestants. One perfect murder.

It’s 1995. The finale of the national beauty contest, Miss Glamour Princess, hosted by the mega media conglomerate, Eye India, is only days away. In the running are twenty-one beautiful contestants, including India’s sweetheart and reigning model, Akruti Rai.

The final dress rehearsal ends on a nightmarish note as the sensuous and ambitious ‘Lajjo’ is murdered right on the ramp. Soon, Akruti and her fellow contestants become prime suspects in a case that gets increasingly macabre as bodies pile up – the gossipy, affable pageant hairdresser Doreen, the self-assured mean-girl Nuzhat …

Amidst massive public outcry and searing press coverage, Akruti is convinced by an enigmatic fellow contestant, Parvati Samant, to help her investigate the murders. But who, really, is Parvati? And can Akruti help unearth the sinister truth, clear her own name, and also keep an eye on the prize?

 

5. India 3.0 by Arun Tiwari

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On 8 November 2016, India radically changed its future course, a change that has precedent only in such momentous occasions in Indian history as the Independence (India 1.0) and economic liberalization (India 2.0). Prime Minister Modi took a decisive step to pluck the scourge of black money at its root, by demonetizing high-value currency notes, and though it caused much inconvenience the people were willing to brave it for the country.

It was a resilient India’s thirst for self-realization and heralded a new consciousness of the Indian people — one that seeks political willpower and integrity.

India’s future has been the ground of many contentions and to date, it remains the greatest and most far-reaching political experiment in human history. From being a democracy to its aspirations of being a global powerhouse — the world has looked on with curiosity the development of its rising billion.

 

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