Tag: Indian writing

  • A Matter of Taste

    A Matter of Taste

    “Uncharted continents began opening up before our dazzled eyes, great landscapes where Allan Sealy’s Smarmite shared the same table as Kesavan’s all-inclusive, nationalist feast from Looking Through Glass, and Daniel and Ramdoss made a mango pilgrimage of India (and, in the literary magazine Biblio, a controversy broke out over whether ‘Blue Mangoes’ was really a […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Freedom For The Thought We Hate

    (A shorter version of this was published in the Business Standard, 4th February, 2013. This is only a brief and partial look at some judgements on free speech and artistic expression in India, and does not claim to be comprehensive.) The problem with this country’s vast throngs of would-be censors, from the genuinely easily offended […]

  • Writers, October: Amrita Pritam

    Amrita Pritam’s short story, Wild Flower, from The Little Mag:    Angoori was the name of the very new wife of the very old servant of the neighbours of my neighbours. One reason for her being new was that she was his second wife. In Punjabi, they call a man who marries a second time […]

  • Writers, October: Ismat Chughtai

    The Lihaf trial, from The Journal of Urdu Studies: http://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/15/28naqviExerpt.pdf  “There was a big crowd in the court. Several people had advised us to offer our apologies to the judge, even offering to pay the fines on our behalf. The proceedings had lost some of their verve, the witnesses who were called in to prove that “Lihaaf” was […]

  • Writers, October: Aravind Adiga

    From ‘City of The White Tiger’, carried in Live Mint: The white tiger was locked up in the heart of the city, like the biggest secret in Delhi: like an Iqbal poem behind black bars. And the secret that the white tiger knew was this: Beauty is freedom. All through south Delhi runs a red […]

  • Writers, October: RK Narayan

    RK Narayan on the naming of Malgudi, from interviews with N Ram and Susan Ram, Frontline: I had an idea of a railway station, a very small railway station. You’ve seen the kind of thing, with a platform and trees and a station-master. The railway station to which Swami goes to watch the trains arrive […]

  • Writers, October: Premchand

      A clip from Shatranj Ke Khiladi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zCsn-he5Kk The complete short story, Poos Ki Raat, from the Doordarshan series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv6loTEoMvg (Premchand: died, 8th October, 1936)

  • Banned Books Week: Rules For Citizens, Jeet Thayil

    RULES FOR CITIZENS A poem by Jeet Thayil Let us govern those who undertake the telling of stories. Censorship is good governance. Self-censorship is an attribute of the highest civilization. If an actor speaks of God, he will be chastised. He will be refused an encore. If he repeats the speech, he will have his […]

  • Banned Books Week: The Freedom To Read

    To mark Banned Books Week, held worldwide from September 30 to October 7, this blog will carry a few posts every day for the next week on the freedom to read (and book bans).  Beyond book bans and clear-cut instances of censorship, Banned Books Week is about, “the value of free and open access to […]

  • Banned Books Week: Deepanjana Pal reviews The Satanic Verses

    “I actually started re-reading The Satanic Verses well before I’d got my hands on a copy of Joseph Anton, all because of Mihir Sharma who wrote in a column that The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s “most unreadable” work. Once I’d stopped hissing indignantly, I wondered whether Mihir was right and a particularly potent attack of youthful adoration had made […]