The Indians: Portrait Of A People
(Sudhir Kakar ,Katharina Kakar)
In this bold, illuminating and superbly readable study, India?s foremost psychoanalyst and cultural commentator Sudhir Kakar and anthropologist Katharina Kakar investigate the nature of ?Indian-ness?. What makes an Indian recognizably so to the rest of the world, and, more importantly, to his or her fellow Indians? For, as the authors point out, despite ethnic differences that are characteristic more of past empires than modern nation states, there is an underlying unity in the great diversity of India that needs to be recognized.
Looking at what constitutes a common Indian identity, the authors examine in detail the predominance of family, community and caste in our everyday lives, our attitudes to sex and marriage, our prejudices, our ideas of the other (explored in a brilliant chapter on Hindu-Muslim conflict), and our understanding of health, right and wrong, and death. In the final chapter, they provide fascinating insights into the Indian mind, shaped largely by the culture?s dominant, Hindu world-view.
Drawing upon three decades of original research and sources as varied the Mahabharata, the Kamasutra, the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, Bollywood movies and popular folklore, Sudhir and Katharina Kakar have produced a rich and revealing portrait of the Indian people.