The curious lack of fiction set in rural India

during my tihi days, i felt for the first time that only fiction could do justice to the immense changes that this village was seeing. it is a feeling that has been reinforced over time.

for instance, at the contested site where posco’s industrial complex is supposed to come up, only two of the three panchayats whose land is involved support the industrial project. in the process, the space between the two panchayats supporting the project and the panchayat opposing it has become a no man’s land. surely, there is enough grist for a story in such a conflict within communities that had amicably coexisted till now.

in this little column, i wonder why we see hardly any fiction, either written in english or translated into english, about present-day rural India?

note: the definition of the role of journalism — to monitor the centres of power — is from robert fisk’s ‘the great war for civilisation’. it is what israeli journalist amira hass tells fisk.

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