In an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire Shashi Tharoor says the book is his response to people who support the BJP and its Hindutva ideology and consider themselves more Indian than their opponents. He says the present day BJP considers hindus to be true Indians and people of all other faiths as lesser in terms of their Indian-ness. One of the threads that runs through the book like a leitmotif is a debate about the strengths and weaknesses of patriotism and nationalism. Shashi Tharoor makes clear that patriotism is his preferred emotion and sentiment. However, the book does not mention the famous criticism of patriotism, made by Samuel Johnson over 245 years ago and centuries before nationalism was thought of, ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’.