A rare collection of essays that invites the reader to revisit a vanished era of sahibs and memsahibs. From Lord Mountbatten to Peggy Holroyde to Maurice and Taya Zinkin, Britishers who lived and worked in India reminisce about topics and points of interest as varied as the Indian Civil Service and the Roshanara Club, shikar and hazri, the Amateur Cine Society of India and the Doon School, Rudyard Kipling and Mahatma Gandhi.
Selected from a series of articles commissioned by Khushwant Singh when he was the editor of the 'Illustrated Weekly of India', these delightfully individualistic and refreshingly candid writings reveal a fascinating array of British attitudes, experiences, observations, fond memories, the occasional short-lived grouse and, above all, a deep and abiding affection and respect for India.
On 22 November 2007, the city of Kolkata came to a rude screeching halt as a virulent mob of religious fanatics took to the streets of the city. Armed with a fatwa from their ideologues the mob demanded Taslima Nasrin leave the city immediately.
While the Kolkata Police stood watching, mere dumb witnesses to such hooliganism, a morally, intellectually and politically bankrupt Left Front Government, tottering under the strain of their thirty-year-old backward looking rule, decided to ban her book and drive her out of Kolkata, a city she has always considered her second home.
This inextricable nexus of petty political conspiracies, votebank politics and minority appeasement saw her being hurriedly shifted, first to Jaipur and then to Delhi, only to be
confined to an obscure 'safehouse' in an undisclosed location and left to face incessant pressure from senior officials and politicians to leave India.
Dark, provocative and at times surreal, Exile is a moving and shocking chronicle of Taslima Nasrin's struggles in India over a period of five months, set against a rising tide of fundamentalism and intolerance that will resonate powerfully with the present socio-political scenario.