Examining secular sensibility sensibly
Secular Common Sense
by Mukul Kesavan Penguin, New Delhi, 2001, 136 pp., Rs. 150
concepts never stabilise; they are destined to remain
debatable forever. One such concept is nationalism, and
everything that is associated with it: secularism, democracy,
citizenship and so on. It has over the years, evolved into a
‘gunnysack concept’, that is not only arbitrarily filled
with one’s meaning but is also punched empty of its
inconvenient semantic stuffing by ‘others’.
myths & legends
The Book of Devi by
Bulbul Sharma, The Book of Vishnu by Nanditha Krishna, The
Book of Krishna by Pavan K. Varma, The Book of Ganesha by
Viking Penguin India, Rs 195 each
the stories form the Mahabharata and the Ramayana that
grandmother used to narrate on those wonderfully lazy
afternoons or late at night? Or those colourfully illustrated Amar
Chitra Kathas that taught us more about history than did
the 10 years of fatally boring history books in school?
Remember the reverence and awe those stories invoked?
the joys of attachment
Radha, Indian women found a symbol for the vicarious release
of their repressed personalities. Radha’s intense yearning
for Krishna echoed their own subconscious frustrations. Her
uninhibited pursuit of physical fulfilment with him mirrored
their own libidinal stirrings. The secretive, illicit and
adulterous nature of her affair with Krishna provided a
particularly apt framework for them to identify with.
joys through prism of images
Darshan Singh Maini
My signed column, "On Target" has had a run of 10
years or so, and those familiar with my work would readily
understand the character of the new column. I seek, above all,
to make my signatures valid amidst changes of continuities at
once. All this, lifeafflictions and suffering as also moments
of reprieve, of fleeting joys would, in my case, get refracted
through the prism of images and figures of speech. Basically,
the aim is to remain authentic, true to the salt of the truth
as I see it.