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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Naipaul's Tattle

“I would say, from what I’ve read, that, in all India, Bengal at the beginning of the last century had such a [intellectual] life. Politics later swamped that life; what should have been a flame in independent India is now only a flicker. Without the outer intellectual life people cannot grow.”

“Communist Calcutta rots and rots in the most shameful way; but the talking people there hold fast to their ancient Marxist half-truths."

“The future of India cannot be assessed from rates of growth alone. In fact, if we go by the experience of some other countries, increasing general wealth might start laying bare many of the conflicting nostalgias and sources of the old pain that poverty and subjection half covered up. This is a potentially dangerous time and now more so than ever India needs sound intellectual life.”

"India vitally needs to arrive at an understanding of its own history. Every other great country has an understanding of itself. India doesn’t, and this lack makes it incomplete and vulnerable.”

In The Telegraph, Amit Roy offers us choice extracts from a forthcoming interview with V.S. Naipaul in the October issue of The Tatler.


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