I think of that when I hear it said nowadays, with great authority, that there is no Indian writing of worth except diasporic writing. It sounds to me like knowing there is an Athens in Ohio, and having to be told there is also an Athens in Greece. In more ways than one we are living in strange times.
…we forget it is something of a continuing miracle, when in Europe in recent years great multicultural entities have disintegrated into fragments, and here, too, we are facing the heat of a deliberate onslaught directed at destroying our diversity and shrinking us into a monoculture. Personally, I would not know how to squeeze myself into the uniformity of a monoculture. I am a Hindu by accident of birth, but half-Muslim by culture, not to mention all the Christian, Buddhist, and atheist influences that are an integral part of my Indianness.
And, here is the ending of the speech:
…there is no such divide in literature. In the end, fiction can only be divided into two categories. It is either good or bad. But what distinguishes writing here from Indian writing elsewhere is simply that the home-grown writing of any country comes out of a home-grown sensibility. And that is a priceless possession, not to be given up, at least so long as there are nation-states and national literatures.
Take a look — it indeed is a very thought provoking piece.