ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nation, Community and Naipauls India

Nation, Community and Naipaul's India Akeel Bilgrami India: A Million Mutinies Now by V S Naipaul; Viking 1991.
THE obscurities and passions surrounding the concept of a nation afflict some populations more than others for reasons that are so complex and so entrenched that it seems almost too much to ask for diagnosis, leave alone cure, V S Naipaul, pondering contemporary India in his new book India: A Million Mutinies Now, is not depressed by this fact. And, as one has come to expect from him, does not much bother to make an effort at diagnosis. Instead he offers a series of detailed interviews with persons chosen as typical of some aspiring community or interest group (Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Kashmiris, Punjabis, Tamils, women, communists, 'untouchables' ...) and by the end of a long book he expresses a tentative optimism about his ancestral homeland on the ground that at least these passions and these ill-understood issues are being harnessed into political and social momentum

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