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

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Quick Fix to ‘Explaining India’

Superfast Primetime Ultimate Nation: The Relentless Invention of Modern India by Adam Roberts, Gurgaon: Hachette India, 2017; pp xxi + 313, ₹ 599.

There are probably few countries that evoke stronger opinions than India. Especially among foreigners, this can sometimes result in an almost competitive atmosphere of who understands the country better and who has learned its lessons the hardest way. India means “maximum experience points.” If India were a computer game, levelling up could not be more of a challenge. There always seems to be one more quest to embark on, one more bastion to conquer, and one more beast to slay. It is perhaps no surprise that in recent years, there has been a burgeoning of literature focusing on “explaining” India. A frequent starting point here is the economic liberalisation of 1991, which not only ushered in a new economic era but also saw a speeding up of all sort of related developments of a political, social and cultural nature. Change is clearly of the essence in such studies. India is assumed to be changing and not just that, this change itself seems to be a deviation from what India was held to be in the past: unchanging, at a standstill, and worse, locked up in its own past and history, with the keys seemingly having been tossed into the Ganga. Authors even propose to see this as having resulted in anew India, one that neatly juxtaposes with anold India and one that heralds a departure of sorts.

Explaining India

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Updated On : 5th Feb, 2018

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