Thursday, March 15, 2012

Glorifying Gandhi unfairly

[Why Tagore was right and Gandhi was not from churumuri Author, illustrator and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik in Star of Mysore:
The British were convinced that this was proof of ‘Hindoo’ decadence. Many of our nation’s founding fathers felt ashamed. A group of overzealous social reformers once planned to raze or deface or bury such temple carvings. It is said that Gandhiji supported such action. But then Rabindranath Tagore wrote an impassioned plea that, good or bad, moral or immoral, this was a national treasure that we could not wish away. We had to preserve it. And so it has survived, continuing to baffle us as they have baffled onlookers for hundreds of years.

Mahatma Gandhi, at the height of colonial rule in India, had the audacity to assert his dharmic differences firmly but without chauvinism.  He was steeped in Indian cultural habits and experimented with dharma all his life… As the leader of India’s freedom movement, Gandhi relied greatly on the use of Sanskrit words to give voice to India’s struggle and demands… Gandhi’s life illustrates many key points that I make in my book and in my own personal journey. I continue to draw great inspiration from him.]

Rajiv Malhotra, happily, has migrated from books to blogs, but in his enthusiasm in glorifying Gandhi he has unfairly devalued the contribution of his predecessors in the freedom struggle. [TNM55 Pre-Gandhian Indian revolutionary movement (1893-1918)]

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