Mumbai: V.S. Naipaul has come in forstinging criticism from noted playwright Girish Karnad for his views on Muslims in India, with the latter saying the Nobel laureate has no idea of the community’s contribution to the country’s history.
“Naipaul has no idea of how Muslims contributed to Indian history,” Karnad said during a session on theatre, at the ‘Literature Live!’ literature festival here on Friday where he attacked the Indian-origin writer for his reported visit to BJP office after Babri mosque demolition, news agency PTI reported.
Referring to the fall of Vijayanagar empire, Karnad said that while history tells a totally different story, Naipaul has written in his book “India: A Wounded Civilisation” that Hampi pertained to “vibrant Muslims destroying decadent Hindus, which is a generalisation and simplification of the events to fit into his thinking”, according to news agency IANS.
Dwelling on Naipaul’s anti-Islam stance in his writing, Karnad said, “Given that music defines our daily existence… you find it in the streets, in the restaurants and so on… you would expect an exploration of India to comment on that.
“Now Mr Naipaul has written three books on India. If you read them, you find that not even one of them contains any reference to music. He has gone through the whole of India without responding to Indian music. I think that only means that he is tone deaf,” Karnad said.
Referring to the analysis of Indian culture and music by certain Indologists, Karnad said the whole matrix was already there — the foreigners came, they looked at Indian culture, they saw pristine Hindu culture, they saw that it was corrupted and it was corrupted by Muslims.
“Anyone who has read Naipaul’s books will immediately recognise this matrix, which, he claims, he arrived at himself but it is already there in any Indological study long before Naipaul, nearly 200 years before he wrote his books…
“He writes, for instance, India was ravaged by the Muslim invaders. They ruled it severely, ravaged it for five or six centuries, and they left nothing and they brought poverty to India and so on”, Karnad observed.