Friday, August 19, 2005

Condescending arm-chair critics

A lot of time-waste going is on, on various news-sites & blogs, about Rudrangshu Mukherjee's book - Mangal Pandey: Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero.

People like Mangal Pandey, Tatya Tope, Laxmibai of Jhansi, Shivaji - they created the word Patriotism and notion of India. They were not born into well-defined structure, like we were. They were citizens of their village or provinces. Boundaries were defined later and have changed with time.

People generally follow rules & definitions they were born into. Then something happens, which makes them question or break thise rules. Its ridiculous to judge them by today's standards. Its what you do at your current time, that matters.

Anyway, every artist has his own interpretation. Whether it is Rudrangshu or Ketan Mehta or any historian. After all, everyone agrees, nothing of his personal life is documented. Our school history textbooks didn't inform of his drinking habits or its absense. Only about the repulsion to those catridge covers and the revolt (begining with personal level).

But what matters is Mangal Pandey did something and it started something big. And it almost borders on ingratitude, that in this age, we arm-chair critics comfortably analyse and pass judgements on his ilk - to deify or vilify him.

A post on Version of Ramayana - unconnected with Mangal Pandey. But it just goes on to show that times change, and stories change accordingly.


Thomas said...

It's the same everywhere. Sometimes I think the only thing people enjoy more than creating a hero is tearing one down.

We are all a blend of good and bad, and a lot of people don't want to accept that. Any hint that their hero is less than perfect in every way, and they turn against him.

I have only read one version of the Ramayana, an English translation (naturally) by Krishna Dharma. That's a very interesting link you provided- I know how I'll be spending my weekend!

khelnayak said...

Came here through ur comment on uma's blog.
U r right about what u have written and i completely agree with your views. In fact, even at this time, we find ppl criticising about the system n all instead of doing something, however small it be, to correct the wrongs.

And yeah, best luck with your writing endeavour.

Sorry, i didnt follow the link given by you.

Prithi Shetty said...

Thanks Amar.
Thanks Thomas. I bought Ramayana & Mahabharata by C Rajagopalachari, nearly a year back, But am still to read them. They are in my 'To Read' list.

My knowledge of these two epics is limited to what I have heard on various occasions like pujas & discussions. And also the Amar Chitra Katha and Ramanand Sagar version :)

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