Khalid Umar, Portsmouth, UK
Every open-minded person appreciates ancient Indian wisdom. If one fails to see greater
meanings in ancient scriptures, that means they have either misread them or have been under the sway
of bad influences.
No doubt, the English educated Indians have a huge inferiority complex about Indian heritage.
They suffer from severe self-hatred syndrome, which they even infect unsuspecting kids. To them,
anything Indian seems frivolous and puny. Being westernized alone is considered synonymous with
modernity, progress, and intelligence, by that class of elite Indians.
Against the backdrop of the increasing self-loathing sickness, Mr Gewali’s book – ‘Know Your
India’ has come up as a quick remedy. But one must be ready to swallow the bitter pills in it. It argues
with logical assertiveness about the vast literary treasure trove of India. A renowned research scholar,
Gewali’s dedication to the country is highly commendable. His previous book – ‘Great Minds on India’
has made a huge impact worldwide, with its fourteen translations and a foreword by a NASA scientist. It
has kindled keen interest and awareness among the youth about how the great intellectuals, particularly
from the West, praised India and called it the fountain source of knowledge. The book is an asset to the
As early as the 9th Century, a versatile Arabic scholar Al-Jahiz proclaimed: “The Hindus excel in
astrology, mathematics, medicine and various other sciences. They have developed to perfection arts like
sculpture, painting, and architecture. They have collections of poetry, philosophy, literature, and science
of morals. From India, we received the book called ‘Kalīla wa-Dimna’.” Mark Twain applauded India as —
“Cradle of Human race, the birthplace of human speech, great grandmother of tradition”. Indian
treatises had talked about the existence of the infinite number of galaxies when Modern science was
just beginning to toy with the idea of the planetary position within our solar system alone. India’s ‘laws
of karma’ and rebirth awestruck countless rationalists across the world.
No matter what the biased groups of intellectuals may want to spread, India’s wisdom is
unfathomable and secular in its essence. It is too unfortunate that mainstream academia still wants to
teach Indian kids – “The Mughal the great”! They continue to ram ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ down the
throats of school children. But this farfetched hypothesis has long been logically discredited by unprejudiced researchers, including western scholars. In fact, it was all ploy to show the rich culture and
the spiritual heritage of India in a poor light.
Until UNO’s recognition of YOGA, the Indian media tried hard to label it as a communal exercise.
The proclivity of Indian intellectuals even touched a raw nerve of the former president of India – Dr APJ
Abdul Kalam, who once thundered: “Tell me, why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so
embarrassed to recognise our strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so
many amazing success stories, but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?”
Mr Gewali has very aptly subtitled this book – “India misunderstood by Indians”. It really
touched me, and I hope it will touch the heart and soul of each youngster. No Indian should any longer
lose sight of their glorious heritage. Everyone should embark on a journey to know India and let Salil
Gewali be one of the guides. Paths across India are intellectually so inspiring they certainly make you see