Thursday, June 17, 2010

Banerji & Bermuda

[Advance publicity Re: Jyotirmaya Sharma: Hindutva (revisited) by Jyotirmaya
on Tue 22 Aug 2006
Debashish, I suspect you haven't read my book and are commenting on the basis of Mr. Carlson's `review' of my book. In my book, I have never even indirectly imputed that Aurobindo Ghosh was a Hindutva votary. The book is about the ideas that went into making of political Hindutva. In other words, it is about genealogy of ideas, rather than suggesting that so and so was a Hindutva votary or any such nonsense. Moreover, the book contains attributions not only to the Bande Mataram period but takes the story upto India's independence and Sri Aurobindo passing on. … In the case of Sri Aurobindo, all I have suggested in the book is that whether it was the period of revolutionary terrorism or the period as a Maharshi in Pondicherry, there are aspects of Sri Aurobindo's thought that forms the genealogy and patrimony of political Hindutva as we know it today. It simply cannot be dismissed as a simple instance of appropriation, which is the line Mr. Peter Heehs also tends to take. Whether Hinduism is not fossilised, or whether it is an evelving cultural/spiritual corpus or not, this is a subject which I shall try to have my say in a book published next year.
by Debashish on Tue 22 Aug 2006 Jyotirmaya, I do not believe that any text is immune to the abuses of history. … No one can predict what will happen to his/her texts outside of their explicit polemics and before holding someone responsible for contributing to a genealogy of political ideas it is proper hermeneuic practice to establish what were the central social and philosophical concerns of such a person and what was the genealogy of ideas constituting his/her texts. I have seen the charge of "unwitting patrimony" applied in a number of cases lately such as with Nietzsche and Nazi Germany, Okakura and Japanese hyper-nationalism and Vivekananda (and now Sri Aurobindo) and Hindu fundamentalism. In all these cases, the question is seldom asked or answered what were the central or explicit concerns of such individuals and what the ambiguities in their texts meant to them and their times. The alternate genealogies of "Hindu" need first to be explored before the patrimony of the genealogy of "Hindutva" can be accurately attributed. Debashish 12:52 PM Wednesday, August 23, 2006]

Why Banerji failed to ask whether “the central or explicit concerns” have been adequately addressed in The Lives of Sri Aurobindo remains a mystery of Bermuda Triangle proportions. [TNM]

1 comment:

  1. Inspector Gregory: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"

    Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

    "The dog did nothing in the night time"

    "That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.

    From "The Adventure of Silver Blaze" by Arthur Conan Doyle