We don’t teach our culture, how will people know that religion and liberalism can co-exist: Author Anish

On atheism and his return to faith I became an atheist in my teenage years and was one for good 10-12 years. Writing the first book of the Shiva trilogy, Immortals of Meluha (2010), slowly brought me back to faith. I grew up in a very religious family. My grandfather was a pandit in Kashi. So we grew up in that atmosphere. And in a sense, it was a sort of return. Sadly, in modern India, we have lost much of our ancient wisdom. There is this assumption that atheism is somehow wrong, which is not the way our ancestors saw it. So we need to imbibe that there is nothing wrong with atheism, and, in India, atheism did not emerge as a reaction to an intrusive organised religion. So, even atheism in India was not as extremist as modern atheism in the West, where they tend to judge religious people. Our ancestors were a lot more chilled out than we are. We could learn from them, frankly. On his Rama Chandra series and why he chose the Ramayana There is this lovely line that I read once We And it It is part of our genes, part of our bones. But a part of our celebration of the adi kavya, which is what the Ramayana was, or the itihasa We The perspective was more to understand, learn and apply in your own life. So, we keep approaching those stories from different perspectives. On the Indian tradition of questioning the gods Is there a translation for the English word (Our ancestors) never had a word for it because the concept wasn Nothing was beyond question. If you read the Natya Shastra, a text which I think should be taught in our schools It Those are our intrinsic roots. Sadly, we On his new work, Raavan, being his darkest novel It But I think, modern urban understanding of Raavan has been driven a lot by television serials, which tend to look at him in a very simplistic way. We He was a deep, complex man. He wasn He was a scholar. He was a brilliant musician. Those things can He was a brilliant administrator. On a book carrying the writer So it doesn It doesn But the writer must put out his thoughts, his ideologies, his philosophies into the book. That A story is essentially a wrapper to convey the philosophies that you want to convey. At least that On the need to teach culture I keep saying this repeatedly. We need to teach people our culture. We I dislike the habit of blaming the British for everything. They have been gone for 70 years. Now the fault is clearly ours. If we change our education system, the Queen of England is not going to come and do a dharna here, right? See, nothing is stopping us from changing it, and reconnecting our education system with our roots, which will actually help our society. That brings me back to the Constitution. The Constitution is not as respectful of individual rights as we think it is. It often tends to recognise group rights a lot more. And true liberalism emerges when we can respect individual rights a lot more strongly. On distinguishing between mythology and history In many ways, both cannot lay claim to absolute truth. Mythology just takes fantasy a little further, that These are interpretations which you imbibe as a culture to give you fuel for the greatness today or give you fuel for liberalism today. Find the truth, find the theory which works for you today, which gives you the succour, the peace, the fuel, that you need for today. That