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India : a wounded civilization

by V S Naipaul

  Print book  |  1st ed

Garbled Vision of India   (2012-10-18)


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by Ubalu

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Author Naipaul is no doubt a scholar and great writer, but he is also an ‘outsider’ to India. Born in Trinidad to East Indian parents does not make one an ‘insider’, or an Indian living in India. He certainly has an affection and attachment to India, like most second generation Indians living all over the globe. But that does not quality him to give an objective view of ancient or present-day India.


His personal encounters in India and the revelations that may have come with them are just that. The truth is known only by Indians raised in the Indian culture in India, who deal with everyday India every day. Many outsiders have claimed that they have not been able to understand India well.


Some of the judgments and conclusions the author has come to are truly bazaar. He seems to forget that India has been buried deeply in its religiosity and spirituality for thousands of years. And She has been attacked so many times. The healing is taking time. But Indians generally happen to be super-intelligent and are rebuilding the new India. Yes, the Indian ‘national personality’ lacks certain attributes, but these traits may be there to stay.


No, Gandhi Ji would not have been able to completely remove the caste system. No, he did not have a defective vision of India, which the author claims Gandhi Ji had. What Gandhi did was practice his experiments with Truth, and one of the results of the practice was the Independence. Of course, many Indians do not see it exactly this way.


With all due respects, the book is myopic at best. After all, the author seems to have only Western point of view, having born and studied in the West.

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