25 February, 2021

'Christianity Didn't Damage India Like Islam'

Widely regarded as the world's greatest living writer in English, Trinidad-born Sir Vidiadhar talks to Tarun J. Tejpal in what he claims is his "last"interview on India

'Christianity Didn't Damage India Like Islam'

India has a fractured past and a fissured present. What do you think is India’s future? Is it a civilisation in decay?
"Fractured past"is too polite a way to describe India’s calamitous millennium. The millennium began with the Muslim invasions and the grinding down of the Hindu-Buddhist culture of the north. This is such a big and bad event that people still have to find polite, destiny-defying ways of speaking about it. In art books and history books, people write of the Muslims "arriving"in India, as though the Muslims came on a tourist bus and went away again. The Muslim view of their conquest of India is a truer one. They speak of the triumph of the faith, the destruction of idols and temples, the loot, the carting away of the local people as slaves, so cheap and numerous that they were being sold for a few rupees. The architectural evidence-the absence of Hindu monuments in the north-is convincing enough. This conquest was unlike any other that had gone before. There are no Hindu records of this period. Defeated people never write their...

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