There’s plenty to read on the Outlook website. Three stories of note:

Arundhati Roy delivers the I G Khan Memorial Lecture:

“While the word capitalism hasn’t completely lost its sheen yet, using the word fascism often causes offence. So we must ask ourselves, are we using the word loosely? Are we exaggerating our situation, does what we are experiencing on a daily basis qualify as fascism?

When a government more or less openly supports a pogrom against members of a minority community in which up to 2,000 people are brutally killed, is it fascism? When women of that community are publicly raped and burned alive, is it fascism? When authorities see to it that nobody is punished for these crimes, is it fascism? When a 150,000 people are driven from their homes, ghettoised and economically and socially boycotted, is it fascism? When the cultural guild that runs hate camps across the country commands the respect and admiration of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Law Minister, the Disinvestment Minister, is it fascism? When painters, writers, scholars and filmmakers who protest are abused, threatened and have their work burned, banned and destroyed, is it fascism? When a government issues an edict requiring the arbitrary alteration of school history textbooks, is it fascism? When mobs attack and burn archives of ancient historical documents, when every minor politician masquerades as a professional medieval historian and archaeologist, when painstaking scholarship is rubbished using baseless populist assertion, is it fascism? When murder, rape, arson and mob justice are condoned by the party in power and its stable of stock intellectuals as an appropriate response to a real or perceived historical wrong committed centuries ago, is it fascism? When the middle-class and the well-heeled pause a moment, tut-tut and then go on with their lives, is it fascism? When the Prime Minister who presides over all of this is hailed as a statesman and visionary, are we not laying the foundations for full-blown fascism?”

Dom Moraes takes apart The Last Song of Dusk:

“[Anuradha and Vardhmaan] have another son, Shloka. His parents become estranged. The father falls unnaturally silent. So does the child. Considering the general quality of the dialogue, this is perhaps just as well for the reader. I had forgotten to say that this is all set in the 1920s, for no perceptible reason except that it has enabled Shanghvi to invent a dialect for his characters. This is a mixture of English, American, and Indian slang of every decade since the 1920s, and is repulsive beyond belief, as are most of the people who employ it.”

And Lee Siegel does a delightful review of an anthology of erotic Indian writing:

“This review is being written by someone who should not be writing it…there are at least three reasons why my opinion of this book should not be taken seriously.”





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: