Naipaul claims that he differs from previous writers who report from abroad in that he is himself an outsider who can see without European prejudices. That does not mean he sides with the opinions of those he writes about, but he claims to understand the issues, has felt similar emotions and tries to see the world through their eyes, a skill he has been practising since his teens. He feels free to be critical without the sentimentality and guilt of a European. Often his perspective is complicated by the position of Asiatics (his ironic term for Indians) in relation to dominant groups or by the history of Hinduism.
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