How do plaques, busts and statues count as one resurrecting and reviving the fading public memory around the commitments and contributions of souls wholly dedicating themselves to the service of society.
From a Vivekananda to Tagore, Gandhi to Periyar, they responsibly played their role in awakening the conscience and consciousness of the common and ordinary on themes ranging from untouchability to discrimination based on caste, creed, community and color opposed to all forms of ills and evils constraining human liberation and sustenance.
But there is misappropriation and misrepresentation of tales and truth by a regime bent upon the goodwill and glorification of fiction with facts, narratives with nationalism winning wider audience and constituents boosting it’s electoral stakes and chances.
It is with approval that Prime Minister Modi has stood up the ground hosting important ceremonies and celebrations commemorating the work and time of those conveniently fitting the ideological prescription of the BJP — Golwalkar and Savarkar being the torch bearers of the right wing nationalists and conservatives forging a unity and integrity premised on Hindutva.
Critics are being penalised questioning its very agency and authority every now and than. Jallianwala Bagh, which was restored a few months ago made headlines, as for the changes in its basic character and composition.
Similarly, for a Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad which has set the alarm bells ringing amongst scholars and intelligentsia of this government’s intent to seclude and sideline what isn’t theirs. Altering the greats of our civilization known for its plurality, diversity and dissent, are we witnessing a makeover?