My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Monday, December 15, 2014

1698- Mahatma chic

Dec 15 2014 : The Times of India (Chennai)

Sakshi Maharaj may try to uphold the cult of Godse but Gandhigiri shows no sign of flagging
Lage Raho Munnabhai confirmed Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's place in the life of the globalised young Indian. The word `Gandhigiri' entered the pop lexicon, Gandhi T shirts, Gandhi mugs proliferated as the loin cloth-clad vegetarian Founding Father became trendier than he had ever been, earlier captured in bronze and stamped in currency notes, now our very own merry Mahatma of the malls, as we hummed `Bande mein tha dum' and attempted a Munnabhai-like jaadu ki jhappi when we wanted to be modern-day satyagrahis. That BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj had to apologise and retract from his praise of Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse reportedly on the orders of the PM himself and as a result of a public outcry , shows that however hard Nathuram fans in the Sangh Parivar may try and keep alive the cult of Godse, the Mahatma is not only arguably the greatest figure of the 20th century but is still a living force for those he died for.
In 1997, a Marathi play Mee Nathuram Godse Boltoy sparked controversy and despite a court ruling the play could not be staged for fear of a backlash. Gandhi's bigger than all the attacks on him, he's challenged, bloodied, questioned, but as a brand, the Mahatma rules pop culture, is still evoked with awe and reverence and is PM Narendra Modi's preferred ancestor when flagging off his flagship Swachh Bharat. However hard Sakshi Maharaj may try , Gandhi rides the waves of globalisation, sometimes brand, sometimes prophet.
Ambedkar criticised Gandhism as a doctrine of the leisured class and Gandhi studies may have degenerated into a parking lot of khadi-clad octogenarians. But Gandhi's the name on a Rs 14 lakh limited edition Mont Blanc pen, the London auction of Gandhi's memorabilia led to such frenzied bidding that Vijay Mallya finally closed the deal at 1.8 million US dollars, and the PM's visit to London is expected to be marked by an unveiling of Gandhi's statue. Obama invokes Gandhi, Anna Hazare and Kejriwal invoke Gandhi, Feroze Abbas Khan's film Gandhi My Father fascinatingly explored Mohandas's relationship with his son, earlier Richard Attenborough's Gandhi was the biggest box officer earner of its time.
Our National Dad is well on his way to becoming a post-modern dude, as personal transformation, politics as a moral mission, village welfare and toilet cleaning continue to exert a seductive pull on newer generations. Cults of Godse may come and go but Gandhi goes on forever.

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