The author Shashi Tharoor on India from the opening page of his novel that is based on the great epic the Mahabharata.

They tell me India is an underdeveloped country. They attend seminars, appear on television, even come to see me. Creasing their eight-hundred rupee suits and clutching their molded plastic briefcases, to announce in tones of infinite understanding that India has yet to develop.

Stuff and nonsense, of course.

These are the kind of fellows who couldn’t tell their Kundalini from a decomposing earthworm, and I don’t hesitate to tell them so. I tell them they have no knowledge of history and even less of their own heritage. I tell them that if they would only read the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, study the golden ages of the Mauryas and the Guptas and even of those Muslim chaps the Mughals, they would realise that India is not an underdeveloped country but a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay.