Some of Sir Vidia's famous remarks
Stabroek News
December 15, 2001

Dear Editor,

Sir Vidia Naipaul is being picked on because he is an Indian and a Hindu.

Here are some quotes from Sir Vidia, you be the judge of the man:

On India and Indians
"The Indians are a thieving lot." (1949) "I do not write for Indians, who in any case do not read. My work is only possible in a liberal, civilized western country." (1979)

"The thing about being an Indian, and it remains true of Indian writing now, is that it seems to work without history, in a vacuum." (2001)

"(Gandhi) was uneducated and never a thinker.... He has absolutely no message today." (1999)

"The Taj is so wasteful, so decadent cruel that it is painful to be there for very long." (1999)

"The dot means: my head is empty." (On what the bindi Hindu women wear) (1979)

On Pakistan
"The Pakistani dream is one day there'll be a muslim resurgence and they will lead the prayers in the mosques in Delhi." (2001)

On Britain
"(Britain) is a country of second-rate people-bum politicians, scruffy writers and crooked aristocrats." (1974)

On Islam
"Islam is a religion of fixed laws. This goes contrary to everything in modern India." (1999)

On the novel
"The novel is so bastardized a form, and it's so passing. Everyone writes a novel and it's so much a copy, unconsciously, unwittingly, of novels that have gone before." (2001)

On himself
"...I don't like my face. I think it looks like the face of a hedonist." (1974)

"(I) was a prostitute man...the most unsatisfying form of sex."

"...what I never read is pornography." (1998)

On others
"(Jane Austen's) work really bored me. It is mere gossip." (1949)

"(E.M. Forster) is a homosexual and he has his time in India...which his friend Keynes also did...he sodomised (people in the university)." (2001)

"What's there in (James) Joyce for me.... a man of so little, so little imagination." (1998)

Yours faithfully,

Mark Taylor