Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How we God-ify: Facebook Conversation

India is in the process of "GODifying" Gandhiji. For today's intellectuals, everything Gandhiji said or did makes sense. Anyone who tries to evaluate Gandhiji does not understand him.
In a nut shell, you could say only good things about him. No bad things. No No! The politicians would eat you up.
A hundred years from now, Gandhiji, the Mahatma, would already be a God.
PS: Gandhiji is just an example. Nothing against him e

  • Subhrojyoti Sarkar I disagree... Gandhi is not above scrutiny... He himself said that... But there is a difference between critically analyzing on one hand and dismissing or deifying him completely on the other hand... Just as the team which deifies Gandhi is wrong, the team that vilifies Gandhi, which is equally strong, is also wrong... I believe we should always take the best from him and learn from the worst... That's what role models are for...
  • Himadri Haksar the last line was stated by Einstein .. " no one would believe that a man like Gandhi walked on this earth " .. He will become another demigod . Other than Father of our nation .. we currently have many in line .. be it any baba, madam or son of madam or even the PM .. The problem with people is their interest in illogical and frivolous arguments PS - It is a curious case of fanaticism " The God I made is more God-err than yours ", nothing more 
  • Anand Shankar Subhro 
    The post is not so much about Gandhiji than it is about the process of godification.

    Coming to Gandhiji, you are right in pointing out what "should" be the case; but in reality, it isn't. Critical evaluation of Gandhiji exists, but it isn't common. Neither does our education system inculcate a critical understanding of our national heroes, particularly Gandhiji. 
    Look at what's happening today. If you criticize Nehru, you are right wing Hindu. Dare criticize Patel in Modi raj!

    This becomes the trend as it is with Gandhiji. This becomes the process. 
    Sociologically, the very anointment of Gandhiji as Father of the nation takes him beyond criticism because pita is parameshvar! (Remember that it was 1947). Why do we have hihis face on the note? Ever wondered its implications!
  • Subhrojyoti Sarkar Exactly... What is at play here is our transition from an immature nation to a mature democracy... It will take time as well as patience... The world has a curious way of balancing out... Deification of Gandhi was one extreme. It was countered by vilification of Gandhi... Both are incorrect but are necessary to make us think if the direction we are heading to is correct or not... Let's take one more example... Moral policing is one extreme. Kiss of love is another extreme... They are forcing us now to think that was it really necessary to allow the situation to go so out of hand... What I mean to imply by this is, I agree critical analysis of Gandhi is not common... But I also assert that his vilification is as prevalent as his deification, a process which came into being as a reaction to mindless hero worshipping we Indians are so notorious for...
  • Anand Shankar Moral policing or kiss of love are extremes, but they are not analogous to the process I am talking about. 

    It is so because neither of them have the support of the intellectual elite- the political parties, the media, the social scientists etc. Neith
    er do the common people attach importance to them. (except certain pockets where Khap Panchayats etc exist)

    The case of deification (thanks for the word) is different because it has the intellectual support as well as the support of the common people. This makes it much more serious.

    Let me exemplify. Look at Swami Vivekananda. The PM refers to him time and again to vindicate his developmental agenda. He says "swami vivekananda ji ke vachan kabhi galat nahin ho sakte". This is deification, whether the PM intends or not. 

    Social legitimacy for deification of Swami Vivekananda is greater because of the way he lived - like a yogi, and his sermons were spiritual as well as social. Comparatively, Gandhiji's spiritual beliefs are less common than his socio-political beliefs. 

    Yet, challenging the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda is easier than Gandhiji. This is so because of the philosophical tradition of Hinduism. 

    Ambedkar challenged Gandhiji's philosophy, especially on varna and Hinduisim. However, this counter philosophy is not highlighted in great detail.. It is so because we don't have the intellectual tradition of countering Gandhiji's philosophy! 

    This is the most striking feature of this process I am talking about.

No comments: