18 June, 2021

Journey Into Twilight

MIDNIGHT'S Child came of age in India in a strange world

Raghu Rai
Journey Into Twilight

MIDNIGHT'S Child came of age in India in a strange world. A world where people in America were showering napalm on Vietnam but other people were protesting on campuses expressing solidarity with the Vietnamese. A world where France's richest students were clogging up streets demonstrating against poverty and oppression. A world where millions of young people could be mobilised by an armed force in China, under the leadership of a gerontocracy, to "bombard the headquarters".

In India itself, there was a shortage of food. The famine in Bihar had brought home the ugly reality of the "ship-to-mouth" existence and the one-day-a-week cereal-less meal advocated by Lal Bahadur Shastri had already become mere symbolism under Indira Gandhi. Salman Rushdie would later talk of Miss Iron Pants in Pakistan. India was already living with her. During the period characterised as May '68, the nth French Revolution, the radical upsurge in Latin America, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, Midnight's Child in India was still living in...

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