Extraordinary Indians is a collection of profiles of fifty eminent Indians (and one Pakistani) from a variety of backgrounds and professions. Published on the seventieth anniversary of India’s independence, it is intended to provide the reader with a glimpse of the kind of people who have made this country great.
Over the course of a long and prolific career, Khushwant Singh met and wrote about hundreds of people. The people in this book are those he admired deeply for their integrity, talent, generosity, vision and leadership. Included here are towering politicians like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Indira Gandhi and others; memorable characters from his family and circle of friends; spiritual teachers like Acharya Rajneesh and Guru Nanak; writers and artists like Ghalib, Dom Moraes, Qurratulain Hyder and Mulk Raj Anand; industrialists like J. R. D. Tata and G. D. Birla; and actors like Protima Bedi and Nargis Dutt. In contrast, there are profiles of two people whom Khushwant Singh admired but ultimately felt let down by: L. K. Advani and Sanjay Gandhi.
At a time when false prophets and men and women with feet of clay are being exalted, this is a book that reminds us who India’s true heroes and heroines are.