Sankarshan Thakur

A Functioning Anarchy

India After Gandhi

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India confounds most Indians. None, for instance, can even hope to read the banknotes they use daily; there are eighteen scripts embossed on each one and more linguistic constituencies are agitating to be represented. Differences of caste and creed mean that most Indians are unfamiliar with the lives of most other Indians. Imperial eminences – John Strachey, Winston Churchill, et al – weren’t the last ones to flag the impossibility of India or to predict the collapse of the entity that emerged from colonial rule in 1947, sundered and bloodied: as recently as the 1980s, Indira Gandhi was trotting out the threat of ‘Balkanisation’ to rally support.

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