“There are happy Indian stories. As long as they are not fully told.”

This is indeed India! The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, whose yesterday’s bear date with the moldering antiquities for the rest of nations-the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.” ~Mark Twain

While definitely orientalist in some of his rhetoric, Twain obviously has a lot of nice things to say about the world’s oldest surviving civilization. Which is more than the New York Times can say. Honestly I haven’t read this article in depth and may only respond to it later, but as the topic of this is directly how India is portrayed in the west, and how Indians and NRI’s (non-resident Indians/the Indian Diaspora) react, it is only fitting to discuss.


2 thoughts on ““There are happy Indian stories. As long as they are not fully told.”

  1. Thanks for posting this. He did have some nice, orientalist things to say about India, didn’t he? I was kind of offended at the part about India having an imperishable interest in having alien prince and alien peasant. That’s really Kiplingy, imo. Not to say that India doesn’t welcome one and all, but in offensive in terms of desiring outside rule over home rule.

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