Not That I Love Caesar Less…

October 21, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Ananya S Guha


God save the country


It seems the concept of freedom fighters is reshaped and redesigned. Anyone shouting against another is a freedom fighter. Anyone raising the slogan of Bharat Mata is a freedom fighter, pitchforking this idea into a new analogy of love and martyrdom. Anyone dissenting is questioned about his or her loyalties to a mother head or god head.

The freedom movement is forgotten, the grand tradition of diversity in a country, the confluence of races and history is forgotten. We are truly amnesic (sic!). Of course condemn we must the Uri attack. Condemn we must Pakistan abetted terrorism. But we cannot condemn spaces of debate. We cannot condemn feelings of a person, for those dead in Kashmir, including children.

Mr Speakers Sirs, all those who speak about culture, please can you define it. All those who confound it with religion, can you say what religion, religiosity and spirituality are? Are not the vast oceans of this Nation fed with innumerable tributaries and repositories of  culture and religion? Then where is one Culture? Is it like one pay, one pension?

The keys to the conscience of a Nation are now dangled by many from vapid politicians to jingoists and rabid media persons. ”Cry The Beloved Country”. Unfortunately enough are not crying. The dead are not forgotten, or forgiven. Even today Mother Teresa is indicted for being the worst kind of proselytiser.

Diplomatic prudence in  our politicians has gone from bad to worse. The name of Ram is mentioned at the slightest pretext. We don’t think about insecurities of other minorities. History is hoodwinked into my story, my race embedded in a pristine culture of mythology and sullied history. Secularists are sick. The others are robust health trending luminaries. History is distorted, and the past given a new break into a new life of self righteous. In this situation, what students will study, is a complete mystery, how they will be brainwashed is  the greatest apprehension. Shouting down people who disagree with you or arrest them  is the latest maelstrom taking place. In an ethos of fear, the finest points of culture or intellectual headiness can only take a back seat.

God save the country. On the one hand we talk about equality for Dalits, on the other they are mercilessly killed. On the one hand we talk about tribal development and education for them, on the other atrocities against them continue in tribal areas, such as Chhatisgarh. The  contradictions are openly manifest in public proclamations and what is happening as ground reality. There are good gau rakshaks and there are bad gau rakshaks. The good and bad exposition has taken a more complex and devious turn. We have an elite group of patriots, and those who do not patronise or professedly love them, such as the great anchor man Arnab Goswami, then they are loveless jingoists!

‘Not that I love Caesar less, but that I love Rome more…” is an argument worth trying out in India now.









Ananya S Guha

Ananya S Guha was born and brought up in Shillong, North East India. He has seven collections of poetry and his poems have been published worldwide. They have also been featured in several anthologies. He is also a columnist, critic and editor. He now is a Regional Director at the Indira Gandhi National Open University and holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding.


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