In an essay titled ‘Talking about our Modernity in Two Languages’ (1997) the South Asian historian Partha Chatterjee diagnoses the condition of Indian modernity. Writes Chatterjee, ‘Somehow from the very beginning, we had made a shrewd guess that given the close complicity between modern knowledge and modern regimes of power, we would for ever remain consumers of universal modernity; never would we be taken seriously as its producers’ (Chatterjee 1997: 275). It is precisely this assumption that Indian modernity is somehow belated or backward that Salman Rushdie seeks to challenge in his seventh novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999).
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