Advertisement
Sunday, Nov 28, 2021
Outlook.com
review

A Curzon Without An Empire

Patrick French's armchair exercise parrots the rosy Western view of India, shunning rigour and ignoring depth for shallow deftness. His 'portrait' is a catalogue of absences.

A Curzon Without An Empire
Jitender Gupta
A Curzon Without An Empire
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Cambridge economist Joan Robinson would often say that “whatever you can rightly say about India, the opposite is also true”. For a long time India was seen as poor and spiritual in the West even as the IITS and IIMS disgorged thousands of aspiring tycoons into Europe and America. The worldwide corporate hunt for new sources of profit has now created another one-dimensional image: India, we are now told, is rich and materialistic, briskly flattening the world, in Thomas Friedman’s indelible phrase.

Never mind that more desperately poor people—421 million—live in India today than in all of sub-Saharan Africa. The new western accounts of India speak of the magnates of Mumbai and Bangalore; they hail an India rising, finally, to the consumer capitalism that is apparently the summit of human civilisation, if not the terminus of history. India becomes in this 2.0 version a vibrantly democratic country full of confident tycoons, adventurous entrepreneurs and friendly English-speakers, which might even counterbalance China while assisting the economic recovery of the West.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Omicron: New Strain Of Coronavirus Escalates Need For Global Vaccine Sharing

Omicron: New Strain Of Coronavirus Escalates Need For Global Vaccine Sharing

'Despite the repeated warnings of health leaders, our failure to put vaccines into the arms of people in the developing world is now coming back to haunt us', wrote former British PM Gordon Brown.

Covid-19: Experts' Take On Omicron And Possibility Of Third Wave In India

Covid-19: Experts' Take On Omicron And Possibility Of Third Wave In India

Though the health experts and scientists in India have advised caution yet they feel that the current immune profile of the majority of the population in India makes them less vulnerable to Omicron as compared to any other country in the world.

IND Vs NZ, 1st Test, Day 4 Live: Iyer, Saha Leads India Fightback

IND Vs NZ, 1st Test, Day 4 Live: Iyer, Saha Leads India Fightback

The first India vs New Zealand Test is delicately poised with both teams having an opportunity to force a decision. Follow here live cricket scores and updates of IND vs NZ on Day 4.

What Is Omicron: All You Need To Know About The New Coronavirus Strain

What Is Omicron: All You Need To Know About The New Coronavirus Strain

After the detrimental Delta variant which took the world by storm in the second wave of Covid-19, WHO recently declared ‘Omicron’ as the latest ‘variant of concern’ (VOC).

Advertisement