The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is packed with documents, diaries, reports, storytellings and re-tellings that at first seem to offer truth, but require adjustment in the light of new information. Anjum and the hijras go to the Sound and Light show at Delhi’s Red Fort, in which the Mughal history of the site is told in gloriously kitsch style. A scene set in the women’s quarters is enlivened by the “audible, deep, distinct, rasping, coquettish giggle of a court eunuch”. One of Anjum’s friends is triumphant: “Did you hear that? That is us. That is our ancestry, our history, our story. We were never commoners, you see, we were members of the staff of the Royal Palace.” When the fundamentalists take power, though, that small validation disappears from the show – along with the history of Muslim India, the poetry, music and architecture, stripped away to only leave the tale of a marauding invader.

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