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The View from Malabar Hill

Amit Chaudhuri: My Bombay, 3 August 2006

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found 
by Suketu Mehta.
Review, 512 pp., £8.99, September 2005, 0 7472 5969 0
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... Like Suketu Mehta, I was born in Calcutta, a city ‘in extremis’, in Mehta’s words, and, like him, grew up in Bombay. His father, who worked in the diamond trade, and mine, then a rising corporate executive, probably moved to Bombay from Calcutta for the same reasons; to do with the flight, in the 1960s, of capital and industry from the former colonial capital in the east to the forward-looking metropolis in the west, in the face of growing labour unrest and radical politics in leftist Bengal – the troubled context that ‘in extremis’ presumably refers to ...

How to Write It

Sanjay Subrahmanyam: India after Independence, 20 September 2007

India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy 
by Ramachandra Guha.
Macmillan, 900 pp., £25, April 2007, 978 0 230 01654 5
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The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence and India’s Future 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Belknap, 403 pp., £19.95, June 2007, 978 0 674 02482 3
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... much of Africa. The violence of a city such as Mumbai, dramatised in recent years by, for example, Suketu Mehta in Maximum City, does not really compare with São Paulo, Mexico City or Lagos. To explain this, some would stress the complementary relationship between India’s political system and its social and economic dynamics. To writers such as the ...

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