Lapierre throws light on other half of India

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Kochi, Dec 13 (UNI) Applauding the strides made by India in recent years, celebrated author Dominique Lapierre today said there should not be ''two Indias -- one shining and the other not''.

At an interactive session organised by DC Books here, the noted French journalist and author, best known for his book ''Freedom at Midnight'' and ''The City of Joy'', said there were parts of India which were still deprived of basic amenities like healthcare and education.

''While I am the first to applaud the 'shining' India with its nine per cent economic growth, I am also concerned with the other not so shining India,'' said Lapierre, who had sponsored several charitable projects in West Bengal and Bhopal.

Lapierre, who was here to mark the release of first English edition of his book ''Once Upon A Time In The Soviet Union'', said the book was a travelogue of his sojourn through the Soviet Union of the 1950s.

''That was an era of iron curtain. We had to seek permission from Nikita Khrushchev himself to travel through Soviet Union. We kept our eyes and ears wide open and wrote without prejudice about the life of the people under the Communist regime,'' he said.

Lapierre said ''the book was no longer journalism but history''.

Talking of the film version of 'O Jerusalem', which is expected to be released in India soon, Lapierre hoped that peace would return to the embattled city.

Describing Kerala as the ''Jewel of the World'', the author said the people should be alert to the damage being done to the state's famed coastline by reckless construction activities.

About his next work, he said it would be out in two years' time and added ''it has something to do with the capacity of human spirit to face adversity.'' UNI ARC MIR DB2127

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