HLF 2024 opens with Amish Tripathi in conversation about his book ‘Idols’, Hinduism and history at Sattva Knowledge Centre on January 26
Painful things of past can be remembered but from the place of love, said author Amish Tripathi during the inaugural session at Hyderabad Literature Festival 2024.
His latest book ‘Idols’ published by Harpercollins is about idol worship, and how and why it stubbornly persisted despite many centuries of prejudice, bigotry and violence against it (according to the blurb). The book Amish wrote along with his sister Bhavna approaches idol worship through interpretations of myths and religious texts.
In Hyderabad Amish Tripathi was in conversation with Vijay Kumar, one of the founders of HLF 2024 and discussed his book and about Indians in general and Hinduism in particular.
As Indians we are and have always been comfortable with multiple truths, which comes instinctively. And, this is true even for Muslims and Christians, he shared, on how we are tolerant of faiths that are not necessarily what we follow.
Amish Tripathi the best-selling author of the Meluha series followed by the Ramayana – has also written non -fiction and like his fiction his non-fiction books are conversational too, which the author says is what he has seen even with the Upanishads. He drew parallels to the west pointing out how we see divine in everything around us, which in a way explains the philosophy of idol worship. “We view earth as divine unlike the product of original sin,” he adds.
He points out how expectation of perfection leads to crime and says even the three different paths to the divine – the Gyan Yog, Bhakti Yog and Karma Yog has both good and bad side to them. He says that which ever path we take we must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the path.
To a question raised during the session on whether the plundering of places of worship or idols by the conquerors was political or religious he says that there have been instances of idols of worship being take away to be held for ransom – but in instances of Babar for example – he has written in his Babarnama and why he has done what he has done and hence there is no doubt about the intention.
Amish Tripathi said there is a fiction from him in the pipe-line, and also another non-fiction about what India could learn on its path of growth from the west.
That particular stage at HLF during the day also witnessed discussion with journalist, writer Aakar Patel, a session on Bonding with Birds with Aasheesh Pittie, and GV Prasad, a session on Writing India in Indian Languages with Madhurantakam Narendra, Praramita Satpathy moderated by writer, publisher Purnima Tammireddy.