Playlist

  • Eyes on Fire - Blue Foundation
  • Rooster - Alice in Chains
  • Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
  • Quien Fuera - Silvio Rodriguez
  • La Tortura - Shakira

Friday, March 06, 2009

Modern Indian History

Ramachandra Guha's "India after Gandhi" about India's postwar history is absolutely fascinating. The man's writing style is thoroughly engaging and mostly devoid of bias. It's funny that I decided to pick up the book after reading a favorable review of the author's works on Cricket. A man as versatile as Guha deserved to be read - and my 800 page gamble has been vindicated.

It is an interesting complement to Tariq Ali's - "Duel" about Pakistan. While the former is a work of history (100 pages of references) and celebrates the exemplary leaders (Gandhi, Nehru, Patel) and officials (Menon, Munshi, Sen) who literally cobbled together India against all odds, the latter - a much shorter work spun from a wellspring of the author's experience with the Pakistani establishment - is equally engaging and offers a contrasting view of the endemic broken-record behavior of Pakistan's political and military leaders starting with Jinnah himself.

That most post-Independence generations of India like mine have a hard time reconciling with the fact that there was no "India" as we know it before Independence is a testament to the work of the founding fathers and more than anything else, the majority of the vastly illiterate and indigent populace who had the maturity to unite as a nation in spite of the multi-dimensional differences. Against all odds (and I only have an appreciation for it now), India came to be - it is something to be celebrated and must serve as a source of inspiration for every Indian.

Ratzinger under fire

Ratzinger has come under Fisk-Fire this time around in one of his typically firebrand articles where no quarter is spared .. but there was still room for some humor.

"ex-Cardinal Ratzinger (anti-divorce, anti-gay and anti-aircraft, as I always remind myself)"

Read this for the anti-aircraft reference.