Dushyanth Sridhar: The Cool Evangelist of Hinduism

FOR TOO LONG, the world of Hindu religious discourse has been dominated by sententious old men presuming to redeem modernity from its perils, routinely incomprehensible scholars, and holy babas with unholy agendas. So when a 30-year-old BITS Pilani alumnus peppers a lecture on the Bhagavata Purana with Harry Potter references, and delivers management jargon and Sanskrit shlokas in the same breath, you sit up and listen, if not to a discourse in Chennai, Bengaluru or New Jersey, then to one on his YouTube channel with over 3.3 million views. In south India, the 150-year-old tradition of kathakalakshepam, a form of storytelling that often involves music, poetry and philosophy, is now largely propped up on the shoulders of young upanyasakas like Velukkudi Krishnan, Vishaka Hari and Dushyanth Sridhar. All three gave up their respective careers—it was accountancy for Krishnan and Hari, and market research at TCS for Sridhar, who quit his day job only a year ago—and took the stage to cater to a new generation (of mostly affluent Tamil Brahmins) that was, suddenly, hankering for spirituality. Sridhar is the youngest, and arguably the wittiest, of this new wave of storytellers. He likes to interpret the scriptures for those unfamiliar with them, but also to shock inveterate audiences with his sharp myth-busting, keeping it all as light and palatable as possible.....Read more


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