“…[At] a time when the Indian ruling classes and the new elites that form their support structures vie with other parts of the world to embrace the political economy of globalisation, Premchand’s relentless exposures of the brutal realities of rural indebtedness and the role of moneybags in placing an immiserated nation in economic slavery… can hardly be to the taste of our current vanguards.” Badri Raina on why Veer Savarkar shouldn’t be allowed to replace Premchand.

The Babu had to look up “immiserated” (to be made miserable; to be impoverished) and devoutly hopes that it will not gain the same buzzword status as the much-abused adjectives “writerly” and “painterly”. (He senses “authorly” and “sculptorly” lurking close behind, ready to bring about the end of the world as he knows it.) And no offense intended, but the Babu prefers using the plural of “vanguard” only in this context: ‘Mr Singh knew his grand piano would be safe on the train, but had hired two van guards just to make sure.”