Critically renowned Indian author Amish Tripathi led a discussion at the Boston Public Library Saturday afternoon meant to emphasize the importance of balance in excessive political environments.
The talk, titled, “Pushing Liberalism in the Age of Nationalism,” amassed an audience of more than 90 people, and focused on the need for greater adaptability and liberalism in both collective and individual environments. Tripathi discussed the inspiration behind his popular book series and its relation to both ancient Indian mythology and the idea of balance.
Though Tripathi began his career working in financial services, he later became a full-time writer and penned illustrious Indian texts. Some of his most popular works include “The Immortals of Meluha,” “The Secret of the Nagas” and “The Oath of the Vayuputras.”
Kavita Chhibber, the moderator of the discussion, said in an interview after the talk that she is intrigued by Tripathi’s use of Indian mythology in his books because they ultimately promote the importance of stability.
“I really enjoyed Amish Tripathi’s books because he combines mythology in a readable style for the younger generation,” Chhibber said. “If there’s anything you can take from his book … [it’s] to create balance in your life.”
Karen Weber, 60, of Roslindale, said she was intrigued with how Tripathi connected Indian mythology and issues within the domestic and foreign environments.
“[I enjoyed] the opportunity to hear how some of the philosophy from India could inform our society here and the knowledge base here,” Weber said. “It’s not just enough to tolerate but to [instead] anticipate respect for each other.”
The discussion is part of the Boston Public Library’s “Author Talk Series,” a speaker series running through April meant to evoke thoughtful and insightful discussion between attendees and authors.
During the talk, Tripathi spoke about how liberalism is crucial in a diverse modern world of various communities. He said the topic of liberalism is one that needs to be discussed, not only in the United States and India, but globally.
“I think perhaps the conversation on liberalism is often getting lost in what is apparently a competition with nationalism, with patriotic pride,” Tripathi said. “I think the conversation is happening in India as well.”
Tripathi said the idea of liberalism shouldn’t be undermined by value or tradition, while excess in any form is harmful.
“There is a sense of seeing liberalism in conflict with traditions and when you swing towards an extreme of any side,” Tripathi said. “Any form of extremism is not good.”
Much of the ancient Indian wisdom identifies balance as the solution to most issues, he said. The only way to improve relations between different communities in the modern world is through liberalism.
Tripathi said adaptability in both individuals and their collective communities is necessary for community and societal growth.
“A society which becomes too traditional, becomes ‘fossil-fied,’” he said. “It loses the ability to adapt and change.”
Namrata Shah, 29, of Allston, said she hopes to gain insightful life guidance by exploring Indian folklore.
“Being connected to culture means a lot, and I think mythology has all the answers,” Shah said. “We just don’t know how to interpret those answers.”
Mitansh Tripathi, a senior at Purdue University, said Tripathi’s talk will inspire him to utilize many of the ancient Indian ideas of balance in his life going forward.
“I want to try and implement ancient Indian culture … mainly the idea of balance in my life, and apply it to any situation,” Tripathi said.