The Decline of Indian Independence and the Rise of the Ayatollahs

Sixty-seven years after India's independence from Britain, the freedom of Indians has suffered ... and often, at the hands of Indians themselves, even though a few of these suppressors work for foreign-owned corporations. For me, 1993 and 1994 represented the height of Indian independence. March 1993 was when Penguin India's David Davidar accepted my novel, The Revised Kama Sutra; in early 1994, it was enthusiastically welcomed by most of the media, despite using language and daring that had not been seen before in any book published in India, in any language--possibly since the original Kama Sutra itself, which is completely clinical and unembarrassed about sex. In 2000, Impressing the Whites received considerable attention from the media--and considerable sales--at least the Indian press and public's first reactions were free and unfettered and welcoming. And then, the Indian Ayatollahs, political correctness, and the godfathers went to work, suppressing their own author. Impressing the Whites disappeared from the shelves, the debate (even the criticism) stopped, and there was no longer any welcome for any Richard Crasta book, past or present: it was as if selective amnesia had descended on literary circles (or worse, a secret fatwah had been decreed ....).

I regret to say that, in 2014, I feel that the decline of Indian independence continues (and not just with the takeover of independent newspapers and media organization by business tycoons); few dare to question power, especially the power of publishers: mostly, this silence is for selfish reasons, and the result of cowardice. 

And so, if you write a courageous book that dares the Big Boys ... you're on your own, kiddo (and when the Big Boys are aware of this, aware that it is being done in their name, by their worshippers and chelas, they become collaborators in Ayatollah-ism). I'm curious: if we had a world championship to decide on the Supreme Ayatollah, who would win: India, Iran, or the West?

But if you do care about freedom, and equal freedom for writers of all ethnic origins and nationalities, four books I would recommend, with humility (I believe that, as an author, I am a mere instrument, I write compulsively, and the inspiration comes from "above"; I take no personal credit for any of these, I was driven, often to act against my material interests)--all of these books, directly or in their execution, argue for the right of Indian writers to write like any other writers in the world, without being pigeonholed, typecast, subjected to literary apartheid, and restricted to the ghetto of "exotic" writing: 

The Revised Kama Sutra; 
Beauty Queens, Children and the Death of Sex; 
Impressing the Whites; and 
The Killing of an Author.  

By the way, a few of these books are available at Createspace, or in their paperback/hardcover first editions, at:
Writers and Books, University Avenue, Rochester, New York

Others at:

Google  Play http://bit.ly/CrastaG
Createspace paperbacks: http://bit.ly/CrastaCS
Amazon Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/iUbcHw
Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/CrastaSW
Lulu:  http://bit.ly/CrastaL.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Historian Who Believes There Are No Good Guys, Bad Guys

The Mahatma, the Goats, and Young Cats: My New Humor Collection

Muhammad Ali, the Greatest and the Wittiest