Passionate Partisan
N.S. Jagannathan
PERSONS, PASSIONS AND POLITICS by Mohammed Yunus Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1980, 333 pp., 50.00
Jan-Feb 1980, volume 4, No 1-2

Though of recent origin, political pornography is a well-established literary genre in India today thriving on what Yunus rightly describes as the ‘prevailing mood of our high-minded intellectuals to read gossip.’ What began as a mild stimulant following the news-starved years of Emergency became in the permissive milieu of Janata rule full scale pandering to political prurience. Much suppressed  truth did come out as it deserved to in the process, but so did some obscene fantasies like those from the poison pen of M.O. Mathai, in whose book a political porn became plain porn. Glossy maga­zines and hard-cover publishers soon discovered that they were on to a good thing and lent their pages and imprimatur impartially to rival muck-rakers to trade accusations and insults. And a public, sated with the cavortings of film stars, lapped it all up.

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