A Bharat Ratna or not?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2001/jun/23/weekend.adrianlevy?CMP=share_btn_wa

Horrororror!Horror! was the insane cry of a Col Kurtz eerily played by Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now(based on “A Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad) on seeing the inhuman carnage in Vietnam.That moment had remained frozen in the recesses of my memory, forever.Tragically,that sense of Hell seemed to spring yet again while going through this heart – wrenching narrative graphically told of the Cellular Jail and ruthlessly brought out in this article.The barbarism of the British skewered my inner vitals just imagining the vivid details of excruciating gore.Guilty and weak I felt ,as I stood free but hollow,being more aware of an Auschwitz, Gulag and Guantanomo, blissfully distant from our very own who died bloody,undignified deaths,screaming and squealing unheard to relentless ungodly tortures.Yes,a very few scared and fearful,shaken to their marrows chose to seek pardon making this theatre of the macabre seem human in a way,profoundly weird.Savarkar

was one of them.

Having finished reading I was not very sure of my courage anymore but sanguine of a cowardice deeply embedded within.I was both unashamedly frightened and strangely inspired.

Savarkar would be lionised,to me if succeeding generations of hero worshippers admit,concede and recognise the fallibility of frail human beings- like most of us – to get scared of the consequences of rebellion and seek pardon.It is one thing to lay down one’s life regardless and quite another to seek pardon.Particularly so when only 3 out of over 140 freedom fighters incarcerated for life at “Kalapani” only sought mercy repeatedly,I would imagine,because of the pain,misery,loneliness and sustained torture befitting not even animals to undergo at that God- forsaken prison.Those 3 incidentally were the Savarkar brothers and Barin Ghosh.Instead it would be respectful to remember that it was a Mahabir Singh,

a Bihari who had led a hunger strike until death who was a first of sorts in being a true Veer.It is also pertinent to recall that subsequently Savarkar was on a lavish British pension for several decades having assured that he would remain a humble servant of the Queen forever.
So the question that is moot for all patriotic (sic) Indians,to me is do all of these frailties common to man distinguish him to be Veer and to be even considered for a Bharat Ratna.
Because if that be so then millions of freedom fighters would justifiably stake claim to this honorific which fortunately is reserved only for the Bravest of the Brave !🐾

This interpretation is very personal and it is about how I choose to see it .Admittedly,it is beyond the stated purpose (loosely worded)of the Bharat Ratna Award ,

the highest Award in the Republic of India which is, and I quote “in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order for any human endeavour”.This definition,albeit was arrived at after many tweakings up until the second decade of the new millenium which were well – meaning, creative to adjust to new unforeseen requirements in some cases but mostly designed and motivated for political purposes.The several controversies that beleaguered and diluted the importance of the very prestigious award is common knowledge mostly.

Historically speaking the context of immediate post-independent Bharat Ratna awards were based mostly on the contribution of individuals to the freedom movement and nation building.Even then some questionable selections or omissions had been made.Post the Seventies the Congress had lost much of its revolutionary elan and was fast degenerating to a power – loving anti-people,cult promoting new Party – a caricature of its founding objectives and laudable principles.Rajiv Gandhi and many other awardees were both a product and beneficiary of such times.That said – to the original question on “bravery” the changed context needs to be understood.Savarkar is being resurrected on virtues of courage,physical sacrifice and challenge to the oppressing British in which the Cellular Jail

is a powerful symbol.So bravest of the Brave is an attribution made on what you did in the face of the enemy.His wobbly integrity in dire circumstances,unflinching loyalty to the Cause in word and deed,effect on the other prison inmates’morale and camraderie and never-say-die spirit when under fire were questionable merely to seek a release from this “privileged hell-hole”.The stories doing the rounds fabled to have been done – to live and to fight for another day are wide òpen to debate – all this,despite the relaxation to the odious inhuman torture regime extended to him as a for his “mercy petitions and assurances of future good conduct.He at best was, then – a good man whose infatuation with revolutionary terrorism had run its course – a collaborator but a traitor,he perhaps,certainly wasn’t.His ideas were not in sync with the contradictions of diverse masses and the enormous challenge of their integration to make common cause with the freedom struggle and to ideate instead for making of a Hindu India as a mirror – image of a Muslim Pakistan by no stretch visionary or far sighted.Quite the contrary.India with all its limitations had chosen to be a pluralistic,diverse,multi – religious, secular democracy.In short Savarkar ‘ s vision of India was divisive and majoritarian to say the least.The atheist in him mysteriously found the Hindutva spirit sit equally well for perceived goals in the future.

Nevertheless, is the frequent and reflexive Whataboutery of the present rulers in defence an unconscious admission of Savarkar ‘s weaker credentials? Importantly a wrong award in the past is no vindication of a repeat of the same political manipulation,dubious motivations and historical fakery.

There is no gainsaying that the BJP and its RSS cohorts have efficiently exploited the many vulnerabilities of the Congress not to improve upon or correct imperfections,but to – instead,build on such – like weak foundations, a counter-culture of half – truths. It’s propaganda machinery is charged to impose on the popular malleable minds its dishonourable absence during the Freedom struggle to be a conspiracy of motivated historians to be redeemed emphatically with the “rajya-abhishek”(royal coronation) of Savarkar.

The consecration much like the construction of the Ayodhya Temple sadly,shall happen. Perhaps confirming the royal fakery that is afoot putting paid to all the sacrifices that the Brave had done for a nation unborn !

Hypnotic Encounters?

https://youtu.be/QUr6eN9-NIE

Aldous Huxley or George Orwell are the stuff of modern imagination on what is coming or is already here.They in different ways predicted the captivity of human thought and fantastic ways how they would virtually surrender their freedoms,almost willingly.Without granting too much of credit to such prognostications one has to listen to this illuminating talk of our dark futures -the coming of cloud computing or Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Some would say oh! this is so much sci-fi of yore and I would think this is the Western idea or interpretation of the control of human perception.What is to be made of the relatively autonomous and alternate Chinese model of AI and what would be their motivations or consequences?
An Armageddon of the heavens !?
Read on so that you may warn your grandchildren of what is “surely”coming !🧐

Orwell 1984 – revisited in 2019

BOOK REVIEW

Doublethink Is Stronger Than Orwell Imagined
What 1984 means today

GEORGE PACKER
JULY 2019 ISSUE
The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell’s 1984
BY DORIAN LYNSKEY DOUBLEDAY

OLIVER MUNDAY
No novel of the past century has had more influence than George Orwell’s 1984. The title, the adjectival form of the author’s last name, the vocabulary of the all-powerful Party that rules the superstate Oceania with the ideology of Ingsoc—doublethink, memory hole, unperson, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Thought Police, Room 101, Big Brother—they’ve all entered the English language as instantly recognizable signs of a nightmare future. It’s almost impossible to talk about propaganda, surveillance, authoritarian politics, or perversions of truth without dropping a reference to 1984. Throughout the Cold War, the novel found avid underground readers behind the Iron Curtain who wondered, How did he know?

It was also assigned reading for several generations of American high-school students. I first encountered 1984 in 10th-grade English class. Orwell’s novel was paired with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, whose hedonistic and pharmaceutical dystopia seemed more relevant to a California teenager in the 1970s than did the bleak sadism of Oceania. I was too young and historically ignorant to understand where 1984 came from and exactly what it was warning against. Neither the book nor its author stuck with me. In my 20s, I discovered Orwell’s essays and nonfiction books and reread them so many times that my copies started to disintegrate, but I didn’t go back to 1984. Since high school, I’d lived through another decade of the 20th century, including the calendar year of the title, and I assumed I already “knew” the book. It was too familiar to revisit.

Read: Teaching ‘1984’ in 2016

So when I recently read the novel again, I wasn’t prepared for its power. You have to clear away what you think you know, all the terminology and iconography and cultural spin-offs, to grasp the original genius and lasting greatness of 1984. It is both a profound political essay and a shocking, heartbreaking work of art. And in the Trump era, it’s a best seller.

DOUBLEDAY
The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell’s 1984, by the British music critic Dorian Lynskey, makes a rich and compelling case for the novel as the summation of Orwell’s entire body of work and a master key to understanding the modern world. The book was published in 1949, when Orwell was dying of tuberculosis, but Lynskey dates its biographical sources back more than a decade to Orwell’s months in Spain as a volunteer on the republican side of the country’s civil war. His introduction to totalitarianism came in Barcelona, when agents of the Soviet Union created an elaborate lie to discredit Trotskyists in the Spanish government as fascist spies.

Left-wing journalists readily accepted the fabrication, useful as it was to the cause of communism. Orwell didn’t, exposing the lie with eyewitness testimony in journalism that preceded his classic book Homage to Catalonia—and that made him a heretic on the left. He was stoical about the boredom and discomforts of trench warfare—he was shot in the neck and barely escaped Spain with his life—but he took the erasure of truth hard. It threatened his sense of what makes us sane, and life worth living. “History stopped in 1936,” he later told his friend Arthur Koestler, who knew exactly what Orwell meant. After Spain, just about everything he wrote and read led to the creation of his final masterpiece. “History stopped,” Lynskey writes, “and Nineteen Eighty-Four began.”

The biographical story of 1984—the dying man’s race against time to finish his novel in a remote cottage on the Isle of Jura, off Scotland—will be familiar to many Orwell readers. One of Lynskey’s contributions is to destroy the notion that its terrifying vision can be attributed to, and in some way disregarded as, the death wish of a tuberculosis patient. In fact, terminal illness roused in Orwell a rage to live—he got remarried on his deathbed—just as the novel’s pessimism is relieved, until its last pages, by Winston Smith’s attachment to nature, antique objects, the smell of coffee, the sound of a proletarian woman singing, and above all his lover, Julia. 1984 is crushingly grim, but its clarity and rigor are stimulants to consciousness and resistance. According to Lynskey, “Nothing in Orwell’s life and work supports a diagnosis of despair.”

Lynskey traces the literary genesis of 1984 to the utopian fictions of the optimistic 19th century—Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888); the sci-fi novels of H. G. Wells, which Orwell read as a boy—and their dystopian successors in the 20th, including the Russian Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (1924) and Huxley’s Brave New World (1932). The most interesting pages in The Ministry of Truth are Lynskey’s account of the novel’s afterlife. The struggle to claim 1984 began immediately upon publication, with a battle over its political meaning. Conservative American reviewers concluded that Orwell’s main target wasn’t just the Soviet Union but the left generally. Orwell, fading fast, waded in with a statement explaining that the novel was not an attack on any particular government but a satire of the totalitarian tendencies in Western society and intellectuals: “The moral to be drawn from this dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one: Don’t let it happen. It depends on you.” But every work of art escapes the artist’s control—the more popular and complex, the greater the misunderstandings.

Lynskey’s account of the reach of 1984 is revelatory. The novel has inspired movies, television shows, plays, a ballet, an opera, a David Bowie album, imitations, parodies, sequels, rebuttals, Lee Harvey Oswald, the Black Panther Party, and the John Birch Society. It has acquired something of the smothering ubiquity of Big Brother himself: 1984 is watching you. With the arrival of the year 1984, the cultural appropriations rose to a deafening level. That January an ad for the Apple Macintosh was watched by 96 million people during the Super Bowl and became a marketing legend. The Mac, represented by a female athlete, hurls a sledgehammer at a giant telescreen and explodes the shouting face of a man—oppressive technology—to the astonishment of a crowd of gray zombies. The message: “You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984.’ ”

The argument recurs every decade or so: Orwell got it wrong. Things haven’t turned out that bad. The Soviet Union is history. Technology is liberating. But Orwell never intended his novel to be a prediction, only a warning. And it’s as a warning that 1984 keeps finding new relevance. The week of Donald Trump’s inauguration, when the president’s adviser Kellyanne Conway justified his false crowd estimate by using the phrase alternative facts, the novel returned to the best-seller lists. A theatrical adaptation was rushed to Broadway. The vocabulary of Newspeak went viral. An authoritarian president who stood the term fake news on its head, who once said, “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” has given 1984 a whole new life.

What does the novel mean for us? Not Room 101 in the Ministry of Love, where Winston is interrogated and tortured until he loses everything he holds dear. We don’t live under anything like a totalitarian system. “By definition, a country in which you are free to read Nineteen Eighty-Four is not the country described in Nineteen Eighty-Four,” Lynskey acknowledges. Instead, we pass our days under the nonstop surveillance of a telescreen that we bought at the Apple Store, carry with us everywhere, and tell everything to, without any coercion by the state. The Ministry of Truth is Facebook, Google, and cable news. We have met Big Brother and he is us.

Trump’s election brought a rush of cautionary books with titles like On Tyranny, Fascism: A Warning, and How Fascism Works. My local bookstore set up a totalitarian-themed table and placed the new books alongside 1984. They pointed back to the 20th century—if it happened in Germany, it could happen here—and warned readers how easily democracies collapse. They were alarm bells against complacency and fatalism—“the politics of inevitability,” in the words of the historian Timothy Snyder, “a sense that the future is just more of the present, that the laws of progress are known, that there are no alternatives, and therefore nothing really to be done.” The warnings were justified, but their emphasis on the mechanisms of earlier dictatorships drew attention away from the heart of the malignancy—not the state, but the individual. The crucial issue was not that Trump might abolish democracy but that Americans had put him in a position to try. Unfreedom today is voluntary. It comes from the bottom up.

We are living with a new kind of regime that didn’t exist in Orwell’s time. It combines hard nationalism—the diversion of frustration and cynicism into xenophobia and hatred—with soft distraction and confusion: a blend of Orwell and Huxley, cruelty and entertainment. The state of mind that the Party enforces through terror in 1984, where truth becomes so unstable that it ceases to exist, we now induce in ourselves. Totalitarian propaganda unifies control over all information, until reality is what the Party says it is—the goal of Newspeak is to impoverish language so that politically incorrect thoughts are no longer possible. Today the problem is too much information from too many sources, with a resulting plague of fragmentation and division—not excessive authority but its disappearance, which leaves ordinary people to work out the facts for themselves, at the mercy of their own prejudices and delusions.

During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, propagandists at a Russian troll farm used social media to disseminate a meme: “ ‘The People Will Believe What the Media Tells Them They Believe.’ — George Orwell.” But Orwell never said this. The moral authority of his name was stolen and turned into a lie toward that most Orwellian end: the destruction of belief in truth. The Russians needed partners in this effort and found them by the millions, especially among America’s non-elites. In 1984, working-class people are called “proles,” and Winston believes they’re the only hope for the future. As Lynskey points out, Orwell didn’t foresee “that the common man and woman would embrace doublethink as enthusiastically as the intellectuals and, without the need for terror or torture, would choose to believe that two plus two was whatever they wanted it to be.”

We stagger under the daily load of doublethink pouring from Trump, his enablers in the Inner Party, his mouthpieces in the Ministry of Truth, and his fanatical supporters among the proles. Spotting doublethink in ourselves is much harder. “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” Orwell wrote. In front of my nose, in the world of enlightened and progressive people where I live and work, a different sort of doublethink has become pervasive. It’s not the claim that true is fake or that two plus two makes five. Progressive doublethink—which has grown worse in reaction to the right-wing kind—creates a more insidious unreality because it operates in the name of all that is good. Its key word is justice—a word no one should want to live without. But today the demand for justice forces you to accept contradictions that are the essence of doublethink.

For example, many on the left now share an unacknowledged but common assumption that a good work of art is made of good politics and that good politics is a matter of identity. The progressive view of a book or play depends on its political stance, and its stance—even its subject matter—is scrutinized in light of the group affiliation of the artist: Personal identity plus political position equals aesthetic value. This confusion of categories guides judgments all across the worlds of media, the arts, and education, from movie reviews to grant committees. Some people who register the assumption as doublethink might be privately troubled, but they don’t say so publicly. Then self-censorship turns into self-deception, until the recognition itself disappears—a lie you accept becomes a lie you forget. In this way, intelligent people do the work of eliminating their own unorthodoxy without the Thought Police.

Orthodoxy is also enforced by social pressure, nowhere more intensely than on Twitter, where the specter of being shamed or “canceled” produces conformity as much as the prospect of adding to your tribe of followers does. This pressure can be more powerful than a party or state, because it speaks in the name of the people and in the language of moral outrage, against which there is, in a way, no defense. Certain commissars with large followings patrol the precincts of social media and punish thought criminals, but most progressives assent without difficulty to the stifling consensus of the moment and the intolerance it breeds—not out of fear, but because they want to be counted on the side of justice.

This willing constriction of intellectual freedom will do lasting damage. It corrupts the ability to think clearly, and it undermines both culture and progress. Good art doesn’t come from wokeness, and social problems starved of debate can’t find real solutions. “Nothing is gained by teaching a parrot a new word,” Orwell wrote in 1946. “What is needed is the right to print what one believes to be true, without having to fear bullying or blackmail from any side.” Not much has changed since the 1940s. The will to power still passes through hatred on the right and virtue on the left.

1984 will always be an essential book, regardless of changes in ideologies, for its portrayal of one person struggling to hold on to what is real and valuable. “Sanity is not statistical,” Winston thinks one night as he slips off to sleep. Truth, it turns out, is the most fragile thing in the world. The central drama of politics is the one inside your skull.

This article appears in the July 2019 print edition with the headline “George Orwell’s Unheeded Warning.”

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

George Packer is a staff writer for The Atlantic. He is the author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America and Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century.

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The Babu : never good enough !

From someone who has been there and seen it mostly.A good read that is both honest and sympathetic.yet critical.https://medium.com/@kbssidhu1961/ias-individually-brilliant-but-collectively-mediocre-4a7085428235

I would have, however, firstly liked to hear on the popular failing of the love for power and lack of scruples of quite a few – especially those looking to make easy money in the past four-odd decades generally speaking.
Secondly, in the post-independence years, a large cross-section of communities, regions, areas, languages with various levels of development finding merited representation upon selection how well have they integrated themselves with the purported indigenous elite or delivered catering to the job description.
Thirdly, one is also interested in the performance of those from the science or technical streams compared with the more popular recruitments from the social sciences.

Notwithstanding, the current policy of the present dispensation for a certain number of lateral entries at Joint Secretaries level by direct recruitment has made the relevance and likely impact of this elite service even more intriguing.
I have deliberately kept the intra-service Central Services disputes or contentions out of the observations or remarks made primarily because, for me, they are but family quarrels
likely to resolve themselves by default after the larger “threat” now at its privileged and closed doors – what with the corporate experienced, expertly educated and exposed managerially trained paradropped entries.

not so blue skies

 

Yes Balakot is done and dusted.But the adversaries instead at a different venue are arraigned today. People die as usual in K and bus loads in an AN-32 https://kaypius.com/2019/06/15/an32-crash-3rd-jun-2019-tombstone-imperatives go missing only to be found done to dust after almost a week.
Business is pretty much back to the usual.The gladiator slaves shall be always there at the Collosseum.And so shall the galleries be full always – a crazed community baying for each other’s blood.

With all of it still going on behind and in front of us comes this deep and dark analysis from a former Naval Test Pilot telling quite a related tale of our mindlessness and infantile imagination with reminders on what-to-do if we collectively not wish, to be defeated,yet again by man-made disasters.

We owe it to them who died for no fault of theirs !🌹

The seduction of the working class in India and beyond

These https://www.epw.in//engage/article/how-globalisation-diluted-workers-rights are arguments wherein you notice the polemical debate within the socialist world globally trying to understand its own defeats or weaknesses.They acknowledge the intelligent adjustment or structural updations being made by market capitalism in the new age of advanced and specialised technologies.

As an aside the modern tariff wars and the Chinese welcoming of multilateralism and globalisation and willing implementation of existing international laws and agreements also seems to be a belated negotiation with a reworked capitalist ideology.But whether or not it is pro- international labour or working classes and instead is a developing and inverted protective nationalist model are questions that also emerge disconcertingly.

However,personally these collated opinions gives me hope that there are academician-activists still who believe in not just understanding histories but are also committed to the struggles of changing it.
A serious read surely.🔆

In ‘Stalingrad,’ Jochen Hellbeck uses forgotten interviews to take us inside the battle that turned the tide of World War II

The Great Patriotic War needs to be read by all:military strategists,historians,lovers of heroism and valour and importantly by the milennials who seem to obsess with science and fake objectivity.It is not important whether you are left, right or somewhere in the moderate middle.To understand truth we must know what,where and how to find! Much respects for those that lay their lives for the freedoms that we live to enjoy.Never Forgotten!

Weapons and Warfare

By Alan Cate

Stalingrad
By Jochen Hellbeck

PublicAffairs, 512 pp., $29.99

Yorktown and Gettysburg rank highest among American martial epics of valor and victory. Most Brits would probably choose the World War II aerial Battle of Britain as their “finest hour.” To the French, Verdun – with its defiant cry, “they shall not pass” – represents a national Calvary of agony and endurance in World War I.

For the Russian people, even more deeply engraved on the national psyche, it’s Stalingrad, “the most ferocious and lethal battle in human history.” This titanic five-month encounter, with roughly a million casualties – dead, wounded, captured or missing – on each side, culminated in a shattering defeat of the Nazi invaders by the Soviets.

Military historians universally recognize it as the turning point of the Second World War, or, as it’s known in Russia, the Great Patriotic War.

In “Stalingrad: The City That…

View original post 667 more words

Perfect Crimes

The author, a practicing lawyer for over three decades puts all his experience on the line to piece together the shady world of dispensing justice in his expose”Great Judicial Tamasha”.Careful about not taking names, he narrates events and instances in great detail which the professionals can identify, the laity can get scandalized about and the protagonists squirm or ignore.Like it or not, you shall hate the guts of this brave, no-nonsense man.An Insiders expose of the murky interiors of the corridors of justice, it is.

Bravo, to begin with, I must say!
The able lawyer makes you laugh at the Theatre of the Absurd, not the macabre, being enacted as the noose gets to the thickly layered dark necks of the fat and fluffy. He makes you see how Alibaba and his forty thieves enter the cave of limitless fortune only to leave with the entire treasure each day to the comforts of a home, wife, children or who knows; to little dens of forbidden pleasure.Sanguine.Protected.Secure.These are some of your honorable dignitaries also known as “Judges.” Contrary to the Arabian Nights, there are no secrets, no conspiracies or mysteries.They do by the day which you shudder to think by night. The cynical, however, just shrug with a tongue in cheek aside. All remain nude in the public harem and who cares!
The author is appalled like all honest: few and far between as they might be. Does he mock at our own ignorance in being invited to a Stand-Up Comedy? Or does he scream, in terror and disgust at the blatant trade of lives and livelihoods of the common, of big money and illicit exchanges between thieves or on the institutionalized falsehoods that keep the myth of people’s democracy alive and well? I will never know. I shall wait for the innocent to rise out of the learning’s of a systemic rot, on the why’s and what’s. I would be relieved, not happy if the elaborate and heart rending narrative illuminates enough to awaken the singed and harmed for they are countless… Lest the humor in the day’s work of sweat, toil and hope are lost in the alleyways of the tragic and farcical.

Ms Romila Thapar,Why do dreams Die?

On the matter of the recent book and the article in Deccan Chronicle, I shall come to later. I rather hurriedly post this link only to make up for the surprise, shock, disbelief and utter dismay at the disgraceful conduct shown by the Directors of the Sameeksha Trust(EPW) in having capitulated to the “corporate bullying” without any visible sign of resistance vocal or otherwise.They have not only gone on to admit, tacitly that Adani’s and their kind are invincible but also that the so-called leaders of the academia and the intellectual world had better save their books from burning: by implication, their jobs.
(The article which is in the crosshairs for having been brought down or removed is this one.)
But why this extravagant sense of hopelessness and frustration?Personally, Romila Thapar, Andre Beteille, the two Directors,(the former was at JNU and the Latter at Delhi School of Social Work in the mid seventies) part of this now infamous Board were my childhood memories of intellectual sovereignty, of inspiring moral courage and impeccable integrity in the face of naked power, authority, and aggression.I continued adoring them as I have aged to be over sixty years of age, when I used to read their scholarly articles,in various newspapers, magazines both Indian and foreign,Podcasts and Video recordings on the You Tube, well held rational and scientific views on history and its various interpretations, the need for independent research and methodologies, religion, communities on the margins and of regressive nationalism and many such things.Romila Thapar had refused governmental recognition of any kind to avoid being stigmatized as a “Sarkari historian.”And now during their watch, the already fragile fort of defiance has crumbled.As someone said even before the sound of “boo” was even heard.The Editor of Economic and Political Weekly, Mr Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
was literally shown the door for having eye balled the mighty corporate in a manner of speaking.In fact, he was the person who had exposed the systematic penetration into governmental power mechanisms and patronage by the Ambani’s, the collusion of greedy bureaucrats, corrupt politicians, international cartels in the “Gas Wars”, causing mega losses of precious public money ; the publishing of which also had run into serious trouble.
The Board of Directors of Sameeksha Trust, since have gone into a kind of geriatric damage control which is neither convincing nor spirited.But my concern here is what happened to my childhood icons?Are they as feeble as all of us, who went about spreading the message of hope, faith, rights, and justice? or worse still, have those intellectuals now become stale and old to retain even the spunk necessary to shake a hand…Much less to help him/her to rise? I dread to search for cowards anymore.The complicity of the idols is a tragedy.Heroes are once again difficult to come by.
So what of this book now! I have not read it.All that one reads are extended extracts of the review of this book by the editors of Organiser,(the RSS Mouth or foot-speak) given free advertisement by The Deccan Chronicle, in their daily.At least, one gets to read, as of now, about what was Nationalism instead of what it should be.