The Defeat Of A Congressman And Other Parables Of Modern India

In This Review

The Defeat Of A Congressman And Other Parables Of Modern India

By Mark Tully
Knopf, 1992
317 pp.
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Known for his evenhanded reporting and quick wit as a BBC correspondent for the past 25 years, Tully has written a fascinating book about India. In a collection of wonderful vignettes he conveys his obvious knowledge and love for the country and its people-an affection tempered with a rare objectivity that does not blind him to India's poverty or corruption and the contradictions between tradition and modernity. India's failure to shake off its immediate colonial past and to build a nation on the foundations of its own culture is what concerns Tully and what provides the most compelling part of the book. Instead of looking toward the West, he argues, the future of India lies in its own traditions and resources. He ends the book on an optimistic note and envisions a future India that "is not held up by the crumbling colonial pillars left behind by the raj but is genuinely India."