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TheMuslim Vanishes

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SAEED NAQVI is an Indian journalist, widely known for his TV interviews with world statesmen like... Read More

Product Description

SAEED NAQVI is an Indian journalist, widely known for his TV interviews with world statesmen like Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Yitzhak Rabin, Mahathir Mohamad, Mikhail Gorbachev and others. His passion for Indian culture and civilization lurks in the columns he writes every week. Mera Bharat, a thirty-five-part short film series on India's composite culture that he produced, was a pathbreaking effort.
He is the author of Reflections of an Indian Muslim, The Last Brahmin Prime Minister and Being the Other: The Muslim in India.

"...a narrative that is controversial, explosive and unputdownable." KABIR KHAN

"...a stark, compelling portrait of our times."


The great poet Ghalib, part of a long tradition of eclectic liberalism, found Benaras so compelling that he wrote his longest poem on the holy city. If we take Ghalib and his myriads of followers out of the equation, will Hindustan be left with a gaping hole or become something quite new? The Muslim Vanishes, a play by Saeed Naqvi, attempts to answer that question.

A Muslim-free India, as a character speculates naively in the play, would be good for socialism, since what the 200 million Muslims leave behind would be equitably shared by the general population. Meanwhile, another character, a political leader, is traumatized by the sudden disappearance of the Muslim voter base and the prospect of a direct electoral confrontation with the numerically stronger Dalits and other backward classes.

Caste, the Hindu-Muslim divide, Pakistan and Kashmir-the decibel levels on these subjects are too high for a conversation to take place, with each side fiercely defending their own narrative. What is the way out of this trap?
How to douse the social and political flames? In this razor-sharp, gentle and funny play, Saeed Naqvi draws on a mix of influences-from grandma's bedtime stories to Aesop's fables and Mullah Nasruddin's satirical tales-to spring an inspired surprise on us, taking us on a journey into the realms of both history and fantasy.

This book, written in the form of a play, is a stark, compelling portrait of our times. No words are minced, nor the feelings of anguish and anger concealed. The past, the present, and the future are fused into a magical and surreal timelessness in its earnest search for truth and justice. Where does it lead to? Not surprisingly, the end, logically, tragically, and inevitably proves to be dystopian.I know of no one of our generation who has written about the ways, values, beliefs, arts, about the very life that we share with each other: all with a knowledge as wide, feelings as deep and commitment as enduring as Saeed Naqvi. The Muslim Vanishes is a play we should all read, and whose lesson we should let percolate into our hearts.A fantastic fable. A deeply disturbing view of India today. A dire warning about the future if the true wisdom of the past is ignored.This sardonic, intellectually challenging play, with sections written in verse, is a marvelous invocation of the Indic civilization with its unimaginably plural, multicultural and multiethnic legacy, now suddenly threatened by a new form of politics of hate, suspicion and fear in a Muslim-less India. Though the author calls it a fable, the tone is that of a lighthearted farce, in which characters like Amir Khusro, Tulsidas and Kabir have roles. Yet, none can miss the underlying feeling of hurt and the sense of betrayal of a proud Indian and a proud Muslim.

Product Details

Title: TheMuslim Vanishes
SKU: BK0443164
EAN: 9780670096350
Language: English
Binding: Hardcover

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