25 July, 2021

Two Far Paradises

Hindus and Muslims here have a heritage that's richer than American fads and the shimmer of Arabia's sands.

Two Far Paradises
illustration by Saurabh Singh While middle America's insular ignorance about the world at large has been dented by the events of September 11, India's middle and upper classes have, since that day of infamy, gone into overdrive in their long-standing obsession with foreign affairs. Unwilling and unable to tackle our awesome economic and social crises, our dominant classes constantly turn towards an endless mental involvement with international issues which is reflected in the priorities of our pseudo-nationalist government. It's an age-old, self-deluding, psychological trick: avoid looking at the dung heaps at your doorstep by gazing at the distant stars.

The pathological fallout here of September 11 has also brought into the open a hitherto hidden fracture which has long divided us. It's considered politically incorrect to examine the Hindu-Muslim societal fracture but it's about time we faced this gap squarely, without engaging in sanctimonious humbug. Far too many upper-class and upper-caste Hindus...

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