Letters | Feb 20, 2012
  • Born in the USI?
    Feb 20, 2012

    Surprisingly for one writing on present-day Indian politics, Sunil Khilnani pays scant attention to the severe problem of corruption (Programmed to Survive, Feb 6). Post-1970s, India has been defined by an unequal relationship between a rapacious conglomerate of politicians, babus and police on the one hand, and the rest of the nation on the other. Of late, our people have gone from mute submission to the conglomerate to despair to disgust and anger. But the article gives no sense of this relationship, its tensions, the forebodings of a potential upheaval.

    Shyam Sethi, New Delhi

    Khilnani’s prose is hard to read and boring because his sentences have so many qualifiers, clauses and sub-clauses. Meaning is hard to find; I suppose one is to take it for profundity. This is a characteristic of many Indian writers. Maybe they have little to say. Khilnani is a safe writer for the West: he sells them the idea of India as a second-rate western democracy.

    M.K. Saini, Delhi

    Snap out of your hubris and self-importance, Mr Khilnani. You’re right, India has moved on. Unnatural nation, you say? According to whom? Your conclusions would have been different if you looked at the history of the country from a non-Eurocentric point of view.

    Sumedha, Geneva

    Democracy is the biggest illusion in India. Outlook must publish something more sensible than Khilnani’s swill. If the magazine’s low on ideas, may I suggest it report on the human cost of keeping India intact?

    Pankaj Vaishnavi, London

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