Peter Parker

From Scylax to the Beatles: the West’s lust for India

A review of A Strange Kind of Paradise: India Through Foreign Eyes by Sam Miller. The country provoked anger and wonder in equal measure

Colonel James Tod, travelling by elephant through Rajasthan with his cavalry and sepoys (Indian school, 18th century)

From the Greek seafarer Scylax in 500 BC to the Beatles in 1968, there is a long history of foreign visitors being drawn to India. Many have come in search of the ‘exotic’ or the ‘other’, an idea of India that persists despite the best efforts of Edward Said’s post-colonial disciples.

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