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Saturday, 7 July 2007

"I have a feeling for ritual"

It is not an easy thing to do, to live by reason alone, and in every culture there are mysterious regions that are beyond reason. Relics of the past, perhaps not always explicable, but precious to the people who possess them. All rituals are mysterious. To do away with them is to strip people of their identity (and identity is precious) along with their ritual... I have no faith but I have a feeling for ritual. I feel it leads me to the old world. It gives me a past.

--From V.S. Naipaul's lecture on contemporary India delivered last month at a summit in London organised by the Indian magazine Tehelka. An excerpt is published under the title "The Land of Wrong Wars" in the current issue of the magazine.

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