This lucid and absorbing book explores many facets of communalism and its growing threat to the social fabric of the nation. Ram Puniyani argues that one of the main reasons for the ascendancy of communal politics is the misconceptions and distortions spread by those bent upon constructing an identity based on suspicion and hatred. These misconceptions (or myths as the author calls them) are drawn from different arenas such as history and culture and are built upon a partial projection of events and 'facts'combined with a skewed assertion of norms and practices of the 'other' community. A mountain of hatred, says the author, is then built upon these totally selective 'facts' which misinform and mould common perceptions. Overall, this fascinating book dispels, in a novel and logical manner, many distortions which have been responsible for arousing communal passions and which have created an external or 'enemy' image of religious minorities and the socially disadvantaged.