It wasn't just about standing up for freedom of expression in India: maybe I was doing something more humble and honest. I was trying to restore a sense of balance to my own personal practice of literary criticism.
The courts may have effectively circumscribed Sec 153A and 295A of the IPC by limiting the circumstances under which they may be invoked, yet as long as they exist in a form that allows for anyone to file a police complaint, their job is done.
He was indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger. He never published a classic text nor did he achieve anything like fame. The publication of his Selected Writings is an occasion for sorrow as well as celebration.
Fidelity to his interlocutors, and to their detail and circumstance, as much as the intelligence and brightness of Mehta's own prose, makes it an extraordinary debut--a debut that will rival Arundhati Roy's in fiction.