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India in Slow Motion Hardcover – 7 Nov 2002
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"India in Slow Motion" provides an account of a journey that, for Mark Tully and his partner Gillian Wright, has no true beginning or end. Covering a diverse range of subjects - from Hindu extremism to child labour, Sufi mysticism to the crisis in agriculture and the persistence of political corruption to the problem of Kashmir, this book challenges the preconceptions others have about India, as well as those India has about itself.
About the Author
Mark Tully was born in Calcutta and educated in England. He worked for the BBC in South Asia for twenty-five years and now works as a journalist in New Delhi. His books include NO FULL STOPS IN INDIA, THE HEART OF INDIA and LIVES OF JESUS.
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The idea of this book seems to be to give a flavour of several aspects of indian life and in this it suceeds. The last chapter on Kashmir has had entire books written on it.
Certain themes emerge throughout the book; political corruption and wretched human selfishness are just two. It doesn't seem to taint Tullys affinity for this country of such rich diversity, but by the end I felt very lucky be governed in England.
In summary, reading this book will give a fascinating insight into a unique way of how a huge country has been ruled, but would be described as important rather than uplifting reading.
In this book he tackles the problem at the heart of Indian Government and Democracy - that the Constitution has not been modernised as the Nation has evolved. For many and various reasons - the "Emergency Powers" of the Raj Era Constitution have proved irresistible to modern rulers whether in the Indian Parliament, Regional Government or the Civil Service. In telling of his own experiences through interviews you are left to consider how this could change.
Using several different interviews - from what appear to be widely disparate topics - the theme builds up. So while you may be learning about the difficulties in Indian Hand made Carpet weaving one minute, and dam building and irrigation for the farming communities the next - you are given the data to help shape your own thoughts. This is the antithesis to the usual polemics that follow the reporting of anything that one group thinks is "not right" about India.
Any attempt of "serious analysis" of say, the issue of the destruction of the 16th Century Babri mosque will almost certainly split readers since conclusions depend on your background, cultural bias, your perception of history and what you mean by "ownership"..... This may explain why despite reporting through decades of upheaval and conflict in India (and with his employers at the BBC), that Mark Tully has retained such a loyal following.
Understand this writing style - and your appreciation of Tully's books may change from the perception of "unfocused" flimsy and superficial" to a wiser, more thoughtful and satisfying approach! I understand that this will not appeal to all who want analysis with one answer - but potential readers should know why Mark Tully's books are so different from others (and ultimately perhaps a more satisfying read).
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