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The Indian Ideology

Perry Anderson takes aim at the abiding cliché of contemporary commentary on India

By Maria Misra   November 2013

The Indian Ideology by Perry Anderson (Verso, £12.99)

With this brief but pugnacious account of recent Indian history Perry Anderson takes aim at the abiding cliché of contemporary commentary on India—that it is a shining and miraculous example of democracy, secularism and unity. This “Indian ideology” is assiduously propagated by many prominent Indian writers, and by western opinion-formers eager for a postcolonial liberal success story to set against China’s turbo-charged development. Sometimes Anderson’s aim is true: he is right to ridicule the theological casuistry of much writing on Gandhi which strives,…

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