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India: A Wounded Civilization by V. S.…

India: A Wounded Civilization

by V. S. Naipaul

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I have just finished chapter six of this book. Being somewhat interested in science and technology/research, I connect with this chapter the most. The author speaks about the lack of scientific inclination, the lack of humility that encourages learning and experimentation with due diligence (which is replaced by a nonchalant arrogance behind a veil of age or seniority) and of an "intellectual parasitism" that has hampered India's forays in research and development of new technology. I cannot stop myself making a connect between this and modern India's inclination to manufacturing rather than research and design, the poor management of intellectual property rights and aspects that relate to encouraging innovation and invention and the insecurity inventors and researchers face in India. The author rightly points out that most research and development in India is based, even today, on mimicry and/or a sluggish inertia that clings on to archaic design and hapless efforts to increase the functionality of old tools with minimal and/or impractical modifications which sometimes are no longer applicable to the productivity needs modern world. Rightly claimed, hypocrisy and arrogance are rampant in India (especially among the "intellectuals") along with a lack of civic sense and concern for society or collective development. A segmentation of society based on cast, religion and language, though disregarded by the constitution, is hard wired into the thought process of the masses. The book is an eye opener to the underlying psychology that has driven India for most of the past millennium; Naipaul captures its many facets without being stereotypical and provides a truly damning (as Time magazine puts it) account of contemporary India. ( )
  devings | Mar 28, 2014 |
Naipaul is perhaps not my cup of tea. He has knack of making the simplest of sentenses into the most obscure and confusing statement which fails to provide any meaning to the reader. Even after reading 50 pages, I have no idea what he is talking about. Constant blame to Hinduism without reason didn't help in getting my sympathy. COULDN'T EVEN FINISH. ( )
  ashishg | Jul 6, 2010 |
"India will go on." Perfection of non-doing.
Excellent book in helping to understand East Indian culture. ( )
  lgaikwad | Jul 20, 2007 |
Naipaul on India . . . naturally this is full of interest, but it's also true about everybody's quality control being most absent when they're writing about what they most love. This book makes you want to sit down with him and ask "Why couldn't you see the signs of renewal? Was it some kind of insane racial Hindutva freakout against imagined decadence and decay all fascist-styles? Or is the rest of the world wrong, and seeming progress is merely an illusory structure growing out of the same old feudalism of the soul?" He's super good on Gandhi being all about personal purity, though, even if I don't know whether what's needed instead is really that racial sense. And spot on wi that fuckin Vinoba Bhave cunt. I'm watching "The Acid House." ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Jun 18, 2007 |
The author, an Indian ex-patriot from Trinidad, travels through and critiques the nation of his grandparents origin. ( )
1 vote JBreedlove | Dec 10, 2005 |
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Naipaul's visit to India recounts his feelings of a colony wounded by a thousand years of foreign rule which has not yet found an ideology of regeneration.

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