Sunday, October 23, 2011

India amended

[NOT EARTH’S GIRL - Post-colonial Kali and the alleged pathology of patriotism - Arindam Chakrabarti, The Telegraph. Sunday, October 23 , 2011
In certain quarters, not only is it ‘cool’ to deride Bankimchandra’s Vande Mataram and Sri Aurobindo’s Motherland obsession but it would be ‘positively uncool’ to be aroused by the part of Tagore’s Janaganamana where the country is hailed as a mother. ...
We have all learnt “the illegitimacy of nationalism” from Rabindranath via Ashis Nandy. We know that patriotism is one thing and nationalism is quite another. Tagore and Gandhi were patriotic, Bipin Chandra Pal and Netaji were nationalistic.]

An evocative piece exposing how deviously distoted history has been harnessed for push-selling ideology and even today the game runs unhindered. As regards Sri Aurobindo, however, it would be in order to record the amendments in his idea of India marked during his later years.

A summing up his socio-political thought clearly tilts more towards internationalism than nationalism. The concept of World Union fits nicely within his overall ontological framework as well as the teleological view of history. Hence, the emphasis on nationalism in his life can be said to be quite minor, not only in duration but also in significance. But to draw inspiration from that eventful episode can be life-changing for many. [TNM55]

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