I thought the nation was coming to an end;' wrote Khushwant Singh; looking back on the violence of Partition that he was witness to over half a century ago. He believed then; and for years afterwards; that he had seen the worst that India could do to herself. Over the last few years; however; he has had reason to feel that the worst; perhaps; is still to come. In this fierce; uncompromising book he shows us what few of us wish to see: why it is entirely likely that India will come undone in the foreseeable future.
Analysing the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002; the anti-Sikh riots of 1984; the burning of Graham Staines and his children; the targeted killings by terrorists in Punjab and Kashmir; Khushwant Singh forces us to confront the absolute corruption of religion that has made us among the most brutal people on earth. He also points out that fundamentalism has less to do with religion than with politics. And communal politics; he reminds us; is only the most visible of the demons we have nurtured and let loose upon ourselves. Insurgencies in Kashmir and the North-East; caste wars in Bihar; scattered Naxalite movements; and the ghettoization of minorities are proof that our obsession with caste and regional and racial identity has also splintered the nation; perhaps beyond repair.
A brave and passionate book; The End of India is a wake-up call for every citizen concerned about his or her own future; if not the nation's.