India: A View From the Inside

India: A View From the Inside

MAY, 1965

Letters from India, as a rule, are written by “outsiders” trying to appear as “insiders.” A Westerner visits India for six weeks, is touched and appalled by the sights, sounds, and smells, and goes home to write a very feeling letter, the main purpose of which is to get India out of his system. But who am I, to write about India? Well, I am an Indian, a depressingly typical middle-middle class Indian at that, with nothing picturesque about me; however much I try to be, I cannot be really very objective or indifferent or condescending about India. And I have no compulsive urge to get the country out of my system. Still, here it goes: a survey of the contemporary situation by an “insider,” a Tamil-born, Kannada-speaking, Hindi-knowing, Urdu-loving teacher of English, who is domiciled in Assam.

Right now we seem to have only one subject that matters: language. Not that we do not have any other problems. Food- shortages, Social...

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