As in the blind men and the elephant story, there are various ways of ‘doing’ India. Each author comes with her own vision. None is perfect and none wrong. Misra has written a Mandir (Masjid?)/ Mandal account of what makes India so complex and yet so vibrant. Thus she puts at the front the Dalit and lower-caste movements for dignity, led by Periyar and Ambedkar, even as Gandhi was busy insisting that entry to temples for his beloved Harijans needed unanimous approval of the caste Hindus.
Misra blends together the story of a move towards a liberal modernity with its values of equality and democracy with the tensions caused by the revival/reform movements in Hinduism and Islam as well as the struggle for inclusion by lower castes and Dalits.