Thursday, May 31, 2012

Savitri Era Religion is for 21st Century

Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan has likened Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Shikhandi , the man-woman of Mahabharata , whom Bheeshma refused ...]
It is utterly stupid of the so called “anti-corruption” campaigners to apply the “shikhandin” label to the Prime Minister, and not so for reasons you might think. If the reference was to “shikhandin’s” effeminate masculinity, that would be historically inaccurate. If the reference was to waging a righteous battle with “shikhandin” as a shield, that would be the wrong parallel. Read more]
Bhisma's decision to not fight against Shikhandi was voluntary, he was neither unarmed nor in a position of disadvantage when he choosed not to fight in the battlefield.]

This controversy over a metaphor shows how volatile mythological symbols can turn and why religious connotations need to be avoided. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is not a good idea, but the way Hinduism is wedded to countless mythological texts with conflicting narratives, a safe distance is most suitable for the Savitri Erans. Can’t help if this infuriates the Perennial-Philosophy/Neo-Hindu/Sanatan-Dharma votaries. [TNM55] 

Update: [Of Ancient Metaphors and contemporary Indian Politics – OpEd in The Pioneer Author:  Shashi Shekhar from Offstumped - Commentary on Indian Politics by Admin Originally published in the Pioneer on 4th June 2012 Background reading The poorly understood story of Shikhandin - Knowing when to leave – a story from Bala Kaanda Neither Shikhandi nor Caesar fits into the scheme of things. Both are inept reminders. Politics is in need of another Rama who can restore the country’s pride
The political discourse in Delhi these days, it would seem, has run out of modern-day metaphors and parallels.]
Or maybe, the advent of social media and the pernicious notion of “sound bytes” served as a catalyst to raise it to epidemic proportions… What I am rambling about is the wanton abuse and molestation of the English language and of History by political commentators in India. With complete disregard for meaning or context, words like “fascist,” “Nazi,” and “storm trooper” are thrown about.]

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