Girish Karnad’s criticism of V.S. Naipaul at the Mumbai LitFest, where the Nobel laureate was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, was in bad taste. Thousands of tourists visiting the numerous historical and Hindu religious places in India can see tell-tale evidence of the destruction caused by fanatical Muslim invaders. They don’t need Naipaul to tell them that. I agree that the whole Muslim community, whose contributions cannot be ignored, should not be held responsible for the atrocities committed by Muslim rulers. Similarly, history should not be twisted in the name of secularism.
Karnad is at it again. What appears common in most of his outbursts is anger at others getting recognition as writers or artists. His diatribe against Naipaul was uncalled for.
Karnad’s rant seemed to be a clear case of bad manners and professional jealousy. He seems to be in desperate need of publicity. His criticism of Naipaul for not recognising music was most confusing. While Naipaul cannot claim to be the only well-informed foreign writer on Indian history, it is a fact that he was given the Nobel Prize for literature and is widely read.