The other story

From Nilanjana S. Roy, Listening to Rushdie:

Midnight’s Children tears up the textbook version of Indian Independence; one of the ways to counter, for instance, the hagiography of the Gandhi family, those full-page ads featuring Indira and her progeny is to read Rushdie’s portrait of the Widow and what she did during the Emergency. But in these times, there are other writers who continue to write against the grain of the official histories — the more official, the less likely to be true. Amitav Ghosh’s Opium War series swings the perspective around to the Indian view, Tahmima Anam’s The Good Muslim stands (as Rushdie’s Shame did some two decades ago) as a reproach to those who would deny the bloody history of Bangladesh. There are fewer writers who write against the grain of religion. Tahmima Anam is one of them, and The Good Muslim is a mercilessly accurate exploration of two kinds of tyranny — the tyranny of the righteously faithful, and the twinned tyranny of the righteous liberal who stands against the excesses of faith. In many ways, Anam writes against the backdrop of the question Rushdie asked many years ago, when he wrote The Satanic Verses. 

 Question: What is the opposite of faith? 

Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself a kind of belief. 

One thought on “The other story

  1. Before you read the satanic verses maybe watch a few Amitabh Bachchan films from the 70s? And keep in mind:
    The entire Bollywood industry was shocked in the early 80s when Rekha’s secret affair was revealed with Amitabh Bachchan, who was married to Jaya Bhaduri. Oddly enough, the three of them later starred in the film Silsila (1981), which dealt with the topic of a married man in love with woman other than his wife. This would be Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan’s last film together.

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