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Rohinton Mistry's 1995 novel captured the grand tragedies of Emergency

A Fine Balance is also a ludicrous sketch of a nation, its grand tragedies and political misadventures, specifically during the Emergency of 1975, which was declared 45 years ago on June 25

Demolitions and resettlement during the Emergency
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IT ALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN: Demolitions and resettlement during the Emergency. Mistry’s novel captures the human cost of this political misadventure which was declared 45 years ago on June 25.

Radhika Oberoi
A procession of the city’s most grotesque inhabitants makes its way through busy streets. Beggars, their limbs amputated, their wounds oozing poison, hobble along as the mutilated body of Shankar — one of their own — is carried on a bamboo bier to the cremation grounds. The cortège is attacked suddenly by a contingent of riot police that has received misleading information on the wireless. The commanding officer, who instructs his troops to withdraw when he realises the error, explains the swift act of violence: “They were mistaken for political activists in fancy dress — troublemakers indulging in street theatre,

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First Published: Jun 19 2020 | 9:37 PM IST

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