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Odyssey of a Poem

The odyssey of a poem published in a Marathi little magazine almost 20 years ago has landed us in a moment of guilty introspection.

Sixteenth Party Congress of Communist Party of China

The Sixteenth Party Congress of the CPC has taken an ideological leap and effectively rejected the notion of permanent class struggle. Jiang Zemin's political and ideological tract Three Represents has brought together the formerly antagonistic classes.

Talks without End?

As long as China is unwilling to make some bold and imaginative decisions the periodical exchanges between the officials of the two countries will not be fruitful. This requires a political initiative. And for once it looks as if China has all the opportunity and initiative.

Lord Ganesha Yet Again!

A play was staged in this year's Ganesh festival in Delhi. The speaker of the Lok Sabha seemed to have liked it. Soon after the play was done in Mumbai. The current culture expert in the capital city of the Marathas, Uddhav Thackeray, did not like it. He wondered how such a play could have been performed in the festival. The episode is yet another example of a phenomenon of Maharashtra's cultural life - that of extragovernmental censorship, much more damaging than governmental censorship.

Liberals' Dilemma

The judiciary does not make a revolution. It is not its job to do so. It maintains order of sorts. If that order has to be changed, the field of action is somewhere else. The liberal dilemma consists in not being able to decide where that field happens to be or should be located.

Lord Ganesha and His Historical Plight

There have been three major appropriations of Lord Ganesha in the history of Pune. The first was by the peshwas. The second was when Lokamanya Tilak started the Ganeshotsava in 1893. The sublime is followed by the ridiculous. The third, and the ridiculous, appropriation of Ganesha has been by Suresh Kalmadi, the politician.

One Splits into Two

Under the NDA government a small question becomes a life-anddeath question while genuinely large questions are of no interest to any of the alliance partners. The alliance is threatened because a zonal railway is proposed to be split. It is not threatened because the party which leads the alliance carries out a twomonth long carnage in a state where it governs.

What Is a Name after All?

While opposing the naming of the airport at Port Blair after Veer Savarkar, the Leftists could and should have argued that Savarkar was no patriot and nationalist. Anyone who writes a book like the one he wrote on Hindutva cannot be a patriot and a nationalist - even if the issue of Savarkar's apology to the British had not been there. This would have, of coruse, meant taking a view of nationalism which is different from that of the national bourgeoisie.

The Speaker's Election

In spite of the anti-communal rhetoric of the opposition, Manohar Joshi walked to the Lok Sabha speaker's chair in all royal glory. To have put a Shiv Sena man in that seat right when the communal carnage is going on in Gujarat is, to say the least, a tragic mockery. The opposition has a lot to answer for.

Of Rallies and Reluctant Allies

The gravest danger to the country's polity todate has been drowned in legalities and rhetorical cleverness. This is what happens when the defence of the secular polity is not understood primarily as a function of people's movements and struggles.

A Vietnam Diary

America has not disappeared from the Vietnamese memory screen. There are two Americas in Vietnam. One, an America which they vanquished and the other an America which is a possible new ally, at least a friendly power which might make a useful contribution to the economic reconstruction in Vietnam.

Of Marathi and Welsh

Not so long ago there was the 75th Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in Pune. The radical criticism of the Sammelan has been quite loud and not entirely baseless. However it still misses the point. There is some pleasure in rhetoric. There is even greater pleasure in an illusion that you are changing the world. The net result of this empty rhetoric is that the Vidrohee group is now divided into two camps. The 75th Marathi Sahitya Sammelan was even worse. There were angry and brave noises on the n'th language status being accorded to Marathi. But nobody had any clue how to handle that problem.


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