Hello and welcome to Episode 50 of Desi Books—news and views about desi literature from the world over. I’m your host, Jenny Bhatt. Thank you for tuning in.
In today’s #DesiCraftChat, we have Venkataraghavan Srinivasan discussing his book, The Origin Story of India’s States. In this conversation, we talked about the genesis of the book, how he approached the required research, why writing this book changed him as a writer, what he’d like readers to take away from it, and more.
#DESICRAFTCHAT WITH VENKAT SRINIVASAN — INTRODUCTION
Venkataraghavan Srinivasan is a writer, actor, and strategy consultant from Bengaluru, South India. The Origin Story of India’s States is his first non-fiction book. His short fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review and his children’s books have been published by Pratham Books. He is an alumnus of the Helter Skelter Writing Residency 2021 and the Dum Pukht Writers’ Workshop 2019. He also acts on stage and screen and narrates audiobooks.
The story of the birth of India’s states is the story of the birth and continuing rebirth of India, the nation. It is a story that everyone in India and across the Indian diaspora should know. This rigorously researched book lays out the fascinating political and historical circumstances of the birth of India’s states and union territories.
As Venkat writes in his introduction and says in this interview, we often think of August 15th, 1947 as the date when India was formed. That was when India got its independence from the British and the partition of India and Pakistan happened. But that was only the date when the first process of India’s formation began. As the book describes, there have been several other formation processes and India is still very much in a formation process even now.
On a personal note, despite having gone to high school and grown up in India, I learned a lot from Venkat’s book that wasn’t in our history textbooks growing up. And he’s written it in an accessible manner so that it can be read by people across a wide age range. In fact, I intend to give the book as gifts to my nieces and nephews who were all born in the US and only know India as a tourist destination they get to visit during school holidays.
Enjoy this chat. Here’s Venkat now.
#DESICRAFTCHAT WITH VENKAT SRINIVASAN
You’ve been listening to episode 50 of Desi Books—news and views about desi literature from the world over. I’m your host, Jenny Bhatt. Thank you for tuning in.
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