The Babu hates real work, but there’s been plenty of it coming his way over the last few weeks, and blogging will continue to be sporadic over the next few weeks. (Translated, until he crashes all his deadlines and people get the message and STOP making him work for a living.) Plus, India went to the polls this week, and some of us were too busy cheering when the results were announced to keep up with book-related news.

Salman Rushdie sums up my feelings on the debate over Sonia Gandhi’s “foreignness” in this piece on the elections: “Those of us who are part of the Indian diaspora, and who have fought for years to have Indians recognised as full citizens of the societies in which we have settled and in which our children have been born and raised, have found the attack on Sonia Gandhi’s Italian origins highly unpleasant. Even more unpleasant were the BJP’s suggestions that her children, the children of Rajiv Gandhi, were also somehow aliens.

You can’t have it both ways. If Indians outside India are to be seen as “belonging” to their new homelands, then those who make India their home, as Sonia Gandhi has done for 40 years or so, must be given the same respect.”

Arundhati Roy offers cautious optimism, but most of this piece reads like a condensed version of her IG Khan lecture.





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