From International Socialism (1st series), No.103, November 1977, p.30.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
An Eye to India
This is the first book about India which tells you what it is really like to live there. During the year that I lived in India I experienced the same loathing and disgust for the system as did David Selbourne – but he has written the best account yet the Congress Party’s State of emergency. Wisely he doesn’t rely on statistics but rather on impressions. The fact is that the real situation beggars statistical description. Figures do not tell you how horrible it is to be there.
It is also difficult to realise how rotten the ruling class is, and how this degeneration was expressed in the Emergency regime. Readers of this journal are used to, and therefore hardened to, dictatorships and their violence. But this was a degeneration which went beyond the usual standards of state violence, of mass poverty, and of newspeak. What the Congress regime inflicted on the Indian people between June 1975 and March 1977 is without parallel since World War II.
It’s this which Selbourne almost batters into you as you read the book. Read it, and then look hard at the cover for a couple of minutes and then you will begin to understand what it’s all about. A marvellous book. Buy it.
Last updated on 5.1.2008