Passage to India

indiantrain-300x237Amitav Ghosh is a novelist, a journalist, a star among postcolonial writers. He’s a child of post-Independence India who sees all too clearly the dangers of empire — both in the past, in its indelible effect on present-day India; and in the present, in the Bush Administration’s war in Iraq. US news coverage of India seems to focus on outsourcing and economic globalization; Ghosh is headed back to India, and he’ll show us the full postcolonial Indian reality — the political, religious, social, and environmental changes in this country of 1 billion souls.

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  • Somebody should get in touch with Dilip D’Souza ( — he’s amazing, just go visit his blog, you’ll see what I mean. He’s been doing long-form journalism on the destruction of “illegal” shantytowns near where he lives. Also, have you looked at Sepia Mutiny? It’s the Boing Boing for the desi-aspora (“desi” is a term for American-born people of Indian descent).

  • Katherine

    Hi Lisa — yes, Dilip’s very interesting, as is the Sepia Mutiny blog — this is exactly how we’re trying to track down guests for shows. Great ideas!

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  • MarthaB

    What was the name of the book about modern Bombay recommended by a caller at around 7:30 pm?

  • Potter

    Wow! What a great show! I’m pregnant!

  • sleepyhead

    I would also like to know the name of the book about modern Bombay recommended by the caller. Could someone help?

  • Katherine

    MarthaB and sleepyhead, the caller talked about a book by Suketu Mehta called Maximum City.

  • Potter

    Martha and Sleepyhead – I believe the book is Maximum City: “Bombay Lost and Found” by Suketu Mehta.

    By the way Amitav Ghosh ( had some great essays on his own web site. I just read one on Satyajit Ray. The show made me want to finish Ray’s Trilogy.

  • P&N Lydon

    Haven’t been able to listen to the Ghosh broadcast yet, but glad to see the mention just above of Satyajit Ray. Recently went back through the three films of the Apu trilogy on DVD–they just get better with the passage of time. Both they and the original Banerjee novels give an incredible distillation of Bengali culture, with its many subtle and marvelous aspects. Will check out the Ghosh website, but in the meantime would urge Americans who have enjoyed the Jhumpa Lahiri writings on Bengalis in the U.S. (esp. “Hell-Heaven” in the NYer 5/24/04) to go back to upstream sources, such as Banerjee, on this extraordinarily intelligent culture in its home setting.

  • Diamond Dave

    you might not like him thou he writes well but V.S Naipaul “India a Million

    Mutinies Now” is a great read though a decade old or so A big Book

    about a big country eye opening

  • Where are my comments on the Ghosh program. What is this no Passage to India.

  • bft

    fconte, they are under “Tonight: India”

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