Saturday, October 02, 2004

A Class apart!

I've been reading VS Naipaul of late and I must say that he is by far the best writer I've ever stumbled upon(with the possible exception of PG Wodehouse !). What makes him so special?
If I were to cite 1 reason, it has to be his fidelity to truth. If an intellectual is the one who is unflinching in his pursuit of truth, then Naipaul thoroughly deserves that appellation. It
comes as no surprise that the Swedish Academy was impressed with his ouevre.
After having read him, one finds it hard to believe that he is one of the most detested expatriate novelists among the Indian 'liberals'. His views may be politically incorrect,but are seldom off the mark.Take for example his claim that in most Islamic societies,history is often
distorted, nay effaced,in order to ensure conformity with the fundamentalist view of the world.
The liberals retort by saying that the author is playing into the hands of islam-baiters,but refrain from disproving the claim itself.This is because the claim is not a conservative fancy,but a plain truth. Is it not true that in today's Shia Iran , people don't even have the remotest racial memory of their Zoroastrian past. I do aver that saffronites in our country must not try and appropriate Naipaul's writings to meet their narrow political objectives.But people who brand him as an acolyte of the far-right just haven't read him carefully enough. One would urge them
to read his acclaimed Indian trilogy in which he is unsparing in his criticism of the Hindu way of life as well.
Naipaul, as a writer , transcends narrow ideological affiliations.Like a true intellectual,he does not subscribe to ideologies. He writes what he considers to be right and minces no words in his musings.

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