Litterateur of Controversy and Nobel Prize Winner Sir Vidia Naipaul dies at 85 in London

“Government that breaks its own laws can also easily break you.” V S Naipaul in A Bend in the River




Litterateur of controversy and Nobel Prize Winner Sir Vidia Naipaul, died at 85 on Saturday in London. “He was a giant in all that he achieved and he died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour,” The Guardian quoted his wife.

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, popularly known as Vidia Naipaul was born in 1932 in Trinidad to a family that had migrated from India here in the 1880s. Naipaul in his 2001 Nobel Prize lecture Two worlds identifies himself to be paternally linked to Nepal.

I know nothing of the people on my father's side; I know only that some of them came from Nepal. Two years ago a kind Nepalese who liked my name sent me a copy of some pages from an 1872 gazetteer-like British work about India, Hindu Castes and Tribes as Represented in Benares; the pages listed - among a multitude of names -those groups of Nepalese in the holy city of Banaras who carried the name Naipal. That is all that I have.
 — Two Worlds by V.S. Naipaul

Naipaul had explored colonialism and decolonization, exile and the struggles of everyman in the developing world in his books ‘A Bend in the River’ to ‘The Enigma of Arrival’ to ‘Finding the Centre,’

“Turning from the comedy that began his career, Naipaul cast a steely eye on the shards of empire in a series of novels and travelogues. Unflattering portraits of the West Indies, India, Africa and the Islamic faith brought both hostility and acclaim. Critics accused him of holding people of the developing world in contempt even as his diamantine prose won him a series of awards including the Booker prize in 1971, a knighthood in 1989 and the Nobel prize for literature in 2001.” The Guardain described him.

Salman Rushdie, writer of Midnight Children and Satanic Verses wrote on Twitter that he had lost his older brother. “We disagreed all our lives, about politics, about literature, and I feel as sad as if I just lost a beloved older brother. RIP Vidia. #VSNaipaul”

Narendra Modi also expressed his grief over the death of this literary giant. “Sir VS Naipaul will be remembered for his extensive works, which covered diverse subjects ranging from history, culture, colonialism, politics and more. His passing away is a major loss to the world of literature. Condolences to his family and well wishers in this sad hour.” He tweeted.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala wrote his condolence message. “My condolences on the passing away of Nobel Laureate #VSNaipaul – a literary giant and a modern philosopher who entralled and influenced the world with his keen observations, creativity and often crticial descriptions. May his soul rest in peace.” His tweet said.

Odsiha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted about his death and expressed his grief. He said “Saddened to learn about the passing away of celebrated author & Nobel laureate #VSNaipaul. His works exploring colonisation, migration & unraveling of the British empire were exemplary & thought-provoking.”