book review gods and godmen of india khushwant singh

Book Review: Gods and Godmen of India by Khushwant Singh

Genre: Non-fiction

“It is not easy to explain why one is drawn towards people with whom one has nothing in common and repelled by others who share one’s values and interests.” ~~ Khushwant Singh (Book: Gods and Godmen of India)

After reading ‘The Good The Bad and The Ridiculous’ I decided to read another one of the author’s books.

I certainly have become hooked to the author’s easy writing style and witty commentary on people.

‘Gods and Godmen of India by Khushwant Singh’ is yet another collection of journal entries. The theme of this one is: religion.

The author’s an agonist, but knew quite a few religious & spiritual people in his life.

Not only that, as per him, he felt drawn to them despite not agreeing with most of what they preached. They clearly couldn’t provide him with satisfactory answers to his probing questions.

Yet he liked spending time in their company. Those people certainly kept him amused and as evident provided with enough material to write.

His unexplainable desire to be around such people was in part to find out the answers to the questions that have not been answered till date. Like why are we here? Where have we come from and where we are going? Blah blah….

In my humble opinion, none of it matters, so why waste time. Live your life and be on your way to wherever we are going.

“We do not know where we come from, we know not the purpose of our lives on earth and we do not know where we go when we die. Instead of believing in fairy tales as Genesis and the Day of Judgment or equally baseless stories of reincarnation, why not be honest and admit ‘I don’t know’?” ~~ Khushwant Singh (Book: Gods and Godmen of India)

The author is not just explores the religion, but the huge business that is religion and becoming a living god is in India. There are countless gods and goddesses in India, mostly made up of stone.

That’s probably no longer fascinating and the truth is the stone gods don’t preach or give any kind of consolation to people praying.

Life is tough and sometimes it’s good to hear everything would be fine. Yet no matter how fanatical one become in their faith, the conventional gods maintain their silence.

That probably in some part explains Indian people’s intense need for the living gods to provide them with consolation.

“No people in the world are more receptive towards irrational belief than we Indians.” ~~ Khushwant Singh (Book: Gods and Godmen of India)

The author shares anecdotes about how these Godmen/women pull each other’s legs when only their trusted people are around. How they have amassed wealth that they should not collect in the first place.

Aren’t these people anti-materialism? Yet the godmen/women are richer than probably the richest or closest to that one percent population of the world with all the wealth.

One gets to know about their wealth only when they are caught in some or other scandal and they are caught sometime almost always.  

Unfortunately, that’s not enough to shake the faith of these godmen/women’s believers’ faith in them for some strange reason.

Not just money, but these people have political clout. Why do they need all this when their main concern is to uplift people? Or teach them how to live a meaningful life?

The quote below is the reason I continue reading the author’s books. After observing people who are too religious or into gurus/babas that’s what I have concluded too.

I find it true that the more someone is facing trouble the more that person becomes religious or turn to some baba or guru citing stupid reasons such as ‘we need a teacher to learn’. It’s difficult to find a true teacher.

One example is one of my new neighbors with an unemployed husband. She spends a considerable amount of time worshiping. How do I know that she worships frantically?

Simple…Indians can’t worship without bothering (showing off to) thirty people in the vicinity. They have to make a noise that’s good enough to destroy someone’s hearing capabilities.

“I have come to the conclusion that gurus and Godmen are meant for people who are unsure of themselves, troubled in mind and faced with problems which they are unable to solve on their own efforts.” ~~ Khushwant Singh (Book: Gods and Godmen of India)

Hit or Miss: Hit.

Ratings: 4stars/5

Buy:  Amazon  

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About the author

Priyanka Sharma

Writer, Blogger | Book Reviewer | Artist |

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