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Showing posts from September, 2015

Why Gandhi had to be killed

Mahatma Gandhi has not been rendered obsolete yet.  Hence his birth anniversary is sure to get some attention.  The Congress Party is sure to remember him.  The ruling BJP may pay lip service unless it can conjure up the lexicon that can create a new discourse on the palimpsest of the country’s history and thus absorb Gandhi into its crowded pantheon. Nathuram Godse, Gandhi’s assassin and a member of the RSS, said in his defence during the trial that what he could not stomach was Gandhi’s “infallibility” to which the Congress had capitulated helplessly.  Godse went on to describe that infallibility as “eccentricity, whimsicality, metaphysics and primitive vision.” And Godse was right!  Gandhi was on a relentless pursuit of the truth.  The more he pursued it, the more convinced he became of the correctness of his approach.  Hence he imposed his will on many people.  Didn’t every prophet, every messiah, impose his will on his followers? Gandhi was a messiah.  He was a

The Politics of Vegetarianism

In a recent article in the Economic and Political Weekly , the authors argue that vegetarianism in India is more a cultural and political phenomenon than a conscious choice that stems from any concern for the well-being of animals. The article starts with the basic premise that “in India, vegetarianism, and particularly the advocacy of the same, is seen as the product of conservative, often right-wing, beliefs and attitudes.”  However, there is a sizeable section of the country’s population that does not want to be seen as conservative and much less right-wing.  The world is becoming increasingly globalised and people’s choices and preferences are guided by what is perceived as chic beyond the narrow confines of one’s national and/or religious culture.  Dining out in a multinational eatery like KFC or McDonald’s is not merely a matter of the palate or the belly, but a statement of one’s social and economic status.  Indians belonging to the upper economic classes do not want to