Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In that essay hid the seed of India’s independence

1893: Sri Aurobindo, just returned from England, publishes an essay, “New lamps for old.” The Congress has been around for barely 7 years and its leaders scamper at the hard hitting criticism. It took 14 years for the message to gather momentum when the Congress split in 1907. Not many historians give much weight to that essay and its impact, most are not even aware of it. But it will not be wrong to say that in that essay hid the seed of India’s independence, its democracy and freedom of speech.

Lamenting, “It wasn’t only Marxism. Politics failed India,” Pritish Nandy in TOI blogs, “When I began my life as a journalist, it was possible to expose a corrupt neta and see him sacked or punished. Today, if you expose a corrupt neta, you are more likely to get sacked yourself.” In fact, the journalists failed India and not merely politics. [TNM]

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