Monday, October 20, 2008

Baul Sculpture - Another round of cowardly capitulation

THE attack on the baul sculpture is not an attack on religion or values, let alone culture, but is a description of the political mess we have landed into. Bigots and murderers, social misfits and traitors have taken centre stage, thanks to the policy of political convenience of our leadership. If the present government had any moral authority which they claim through their Anti-Corruption Commission and Truth and Accountability Commission activities, it would have taken a position on a piece of heritage art it had itself commissioned and stood by it. Instead, it ran away fearing a backlash from the same group it has given indulgence to including their street agitation against rights of women even as it assiduously claimed no politics was allowed under the emergency. It is a sorry reminder that the elite class is so mentally bankrupt that they are unable to take a position on what is a religious and what is a political standpoint. By allowing the same forces that have continuously made advances against the cultural icons of the people, we have morphed into becoming a race without identity and confidence. One wishes that the debate was about a statue or two and limited only to disagreements about whether it constitutes an inadmissible act as per scriptures but, as it happens in the world of politics, it is essentially about carving out a space for those who see in this act a victory of their views and an endorsement of their belief that the forces against extremism are weak and flabby, unable to defend themselves. It seems we have been sending that message for a long time and the latest is once again a statement of our enfeeblement and their strength. If only they had broad support in society! Had they had that, they would have been in power by now. For the moment, nervous governments will do for them.

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