Posts Tagged ‘Lokmanya Tilak’

Shivaji: Saffronization of a secular king

February 20, 2012

Yesterday was the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1627-1680).  It was celebrated with great joy all over the Maharashtra and by all Marathi-speaking people wherever they are in some form or other.  Shivaji was one national hero of who is still revered by millions above cast and creed.  Indeed Shivaji is a towering name above all, and if you ask anyone to give just one name that binds all Marathi people together, it would be that of Shivaji without a second thought.

Let him remain as he was.  Don't color him saffron.

The popularity and greatness of Shivaji’s character have given rise to a typical phenomenon in the modern India.  Each and every ideological group want him colored in their own color, and unfortunately the far-right saffron Hindutva folks succeeded in it.  They distorted his image so much that he is almost deified as an incarnation of God who took birth “to save the Hindu people from the tyranny of Muslim rulers”; and this is far from truth.

This needs to be checked against historical facts and people should be made aware about this.  This has become more important in the post-1992 and post-Godhra India where Shivaji is again and again projected as a destroyer and enemy of Muslims.

(more…)

Of a wonderful evening and National Book Fair

January 8, 2012

What what what a wonderful evening this had been!  I just went out for a Sunday-evening ride and saw an ad of National Book Fair held at Kasturchand Park, Nagpur.  This is a yearly book exhibition fair and I kind of wait for this fair every year.  I saw the ad and then what could stop me!  I had only 100 rupees in my wallet, but said “let’s see” and made my way to Kasturchand Park.

It usually takes me more than three-four hours to go through the fair, more than 100 book stalls each with thousands of books.  Although conscious of my wallet size, today I had thought of only a short stride.  And Look what I came back with:  Eleven books, more than 1800 pages!  I could not resist.  Chose the books, talked to the shopkeeper, went to an ATM, got the money out, paid, and done!  Very unlikely of me, I took all the books from one stall only, by National Book Trust.  They are wonderful people, consistently publishing standard books, and a lot of nonfiction!  I picked every book like pick-at-first-site, without even bothering to peek through it, like I was looking for them all my life.  And look what I came up with:

(more…)