India: The Hungry Generation

A thousand years ago, India was the land of Vātsyāyana's Kāma Sūtra, the classic volume that so thoroughly detailed the art of love that its translators still usually leave several key words in Sanskrit. Last week, in a land that has become so straitly laced that its movie heroines must burst into song rather than be kissed, five scruffy young poets were hauled into Calcutta's dreary Bankshall Court for publishing works that would have melted even Vātsyāyana's pen. The Hungry Generation had arrived.

Born in 1962, with an inspirational assist from visiting U.S. Beatnik Allen Ginsberg, Calcutta's Hungry Generation is...