Huffpost Books

Yann Martel, 'Life Of Pi' Author, Insults India, Is Asked To Apologize

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
YANN MARTEL INDIA
AP

Yann Martel, the author of the hyped book-turned-blockbuster Life of Pi, called India a "horrible place" in a recent interview.

"In some ways, India is a horrible place. It's corrupt, violent; there are inequities that are disturbing," he told the Hindustan Times. "At the same time, the place gave us Mahatma Gandhi. It's a place of idealism and corruption."

Now Rajan Zed, the chairman of the Indo-American Leadership Confederation, is asking Martel, a Canadian author, to apologize for his statements, calling the writer's criticism of "such [a] culturally, religiously and philosophically rich country" "highly illogical and irrational."

Martel's book tells the story of an Indian boy who survives many months at sea after a shipwreck, accompanied by a slew of animals. The film was directed by Ang Lee, and was filmed in India, Canada and Taiwan.

This isn't the first time Martel has dished out criticism of India. He also called the country horrible in a 2002 interview with Outlook India, explaining, "It's horrible in the sense that the rule of law is so arbitrary. But the upside is that given the diversity, it's amazing how it still holds itself together. It's a country that dazzles me because it's all of life."

Related on HuffPost:

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

'Life of Pi' Author Calls India 'Horrible' but Where he Also Considered 'Faith'

'Life of Pi' Author Yann Martel Weighs in on Ang Lee's Film

Book buzz: Lena Dunham signs $3.5 million deal

Yann Martel Endorses Ang Lee's Life of Pi Film Adaptation

NYFF Review: 'Life Of Pi' Is An Inspiring & Visually Stunning Tale Of Faith ...

'Life of Pi' review - New York Film Festival 2012

'Life of Pi' International Trailer Has An Amazing Tale To Tell

Life of Pi film an 'international' project

'Pi' Whirls Tiger, Boy in Sea; Dark 'Caesar,' 'Amour': Movies