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Good...but could have been so much more!
on 3 August 2009
Arundhati Roy has written several excellent, hard-hitting books and articles in the past, dissecting the very fabric of Indian society and the march towards becoming a neo-liberal, capitalist, hindu-nationalist country. I was a little disappointed though given that most of what's contained herein I have read elsewhere, e.g. on the Internet. Perhaps I'm being unfair since the book is marketed as such (a collection of past essays) but I don't think it was too much to ask that some articles be extended/re-written in light of new events. Footnotes do not serve the purpose and I believe a whole book can be written to refute some of the book's claims in light of new events etc.
However, the book is still a wakeup call, a reality check for people both within and outside India. "India Shining" is largely a facade, a select group of people who are living the high life at the expense of the hundreds of millions of poor, who yearn to own their piece of land or business, to be able to feed and shelter their children and to be free from the clutches of the authoratarian, corrupt governments. Shiny shopping malls, high-rise buildings, the all singing and dancing Bollywood...they are NOT India!