Another foreign correspondent falls for clichés in his haste to explain a country he has scarcely understood: Prayag Akbar in Open
Elliot, a former Financial Times correspondent, is the latest in a line of foreign writers that have produced big books seeking to make a large and definitive pronouncement on India. This is not to tar all with the same brush: there are some nuanced and relevant accounts that have benefited from being written with an outsider’s perspective. This book is not one of them. India, it seems, has gone past the ‘ignore’ stage, survived the ‘laugh’ stage (what a quaint democracy, filled with film star politicians and illiterates voting and manipulated elections), and is now at Stage Fight. I wonder when we will win. Perhaps, when Mr Modi is vetting all the copy himself.