The latest addition to my website is Upamanyu Chatterjee‘s The Mammaries of the Welfare State. This is a follow-up to Chatterjee’s English, August and continues the story of Agastya Sen, an Indian civil servant. I say that it continues his story, which it does, but the book is essentially a long, vicious, occasionally witty satire on Indian government, with Chatterjee outlining the corruption, incompetence, laziness, at times viciousness and malice of those who govern India. He does not hold back; indeed, he goes overboard all too frequently, with long, tedious facetious memos, pointless regulations, silly acronyms, boards and committees which seem to serve no purpose but to provide employment for some civil servants, a whole range of venal politicians and civil servants and a government which does anything but serve the people it is meant to serve. Everyone is on the make, eager to feather his or her own nest or protect his/her interests (to be fair most of the miscreants are male) and eager for their own advancement. I felt that Chatterjee could have taken a fine scalpel to dissect the problem but, instead, takes a massive sledgehammer, scattering all in its wake but leaving us overwhelmed and, to be honest, too often bored.
- Post author:tmn
- Post published:24 January 2014
- Post category:India / The Modern Novel website
- Post comments:1 Comment