Happy Indiapendence Day

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August 15, 1947, midnight. The British ceded power to two vast semi-unified nations, India and Pakistan. The latter was separated and divided into two states, crowded in the middle by India (East Pakistan, refusing to “scooch over,” became Bangladesh in 1971, two years before we moved there).

Lisa Lemon Gloria pointed to this excellent article today:

Exit Wounds
The legacy of Indian partition.
by Pankaj Mishra

And here’s my short list of essential India books:
Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie
City of Joy, by Dominique Lapierre
Freedom at Midnight, by Larry Collins (and Lapierre)
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Gitanjali
, by Rabindranath Tagore

Ever wonder what that wheel thing is, in the flag of India?

When Indians were forced to buy their own cloth re-imported from England, Gandhi got everyone to make thread and loom clothes out of raw Indian cotton. MLK heard about this and thought, “Back of the bus? Why don’t we just just walk?”

Reporter: “What do you think of Western Civilization?”
Gandhi: “I think it would be a good idea.”

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Published in: on August 15, 2007 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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