Shree Advani is quoted today in banner lines on the front page of The Hindu: he has “never seen so much despair in India’s people”. He has the nuclear pact on his mind, just as his colleagues who are arrayed with and against him, as also our noisy zealous media. I don’t know that all my fellow citizens are despairing, for I have not his national apparatus to sense the mood of the nation. Shree Advani is an honorable man, but I am watching the government his party runs in my province, and that government is owned and run by the mine-mafia of Bellary, and the mafia has been buying legislators and propping men of its choice as ministers with a brazenness that only Bihar has experienced. One lone man*, who used to write great literature, whose once-robust body is now frail with age, is speaking with courage of the peril this new style of governance bodes for us. The rest—the intellectuals, the politicians, the bold entrepreneurs, the software sultans—are all silent. I can confirm to Shree Advani that I’m feeling a never-before-felt deep despair, even if for another reason—that I, too, am silent.