28 January, 2021
Letters | Oct 26, 2009

Summer Freeze

History In Self-Denial

Oct 26, 2009

The Nehru-Edwina relationship, healthy or otherwise, platonic or sensual, was never really a secret (Summer Freeze, Oct 12). Then why should the Congress act so priggish?
Col C.V. Venugopalan, Palakkad, Kerala

The Congress is no better than the mullahs who cry hellfire as soon as some Islamic cartoons are made. The real problem for the upholders of our morality is not that a movie is uncharitable but that it threatens to show the human side of a carefully cultivated superhuman brand. Anyhow, what place does censorship with dictatorial powers have in a democratic society?
Varun Garde, Bangalore

We should ask why at all we need a censor board, a British innovation? Why should the nation be kept away from the facts of the Nehru-Edwina romance? Was Nehru not human? Was he not allowed to have emotions? It’s remarkable how Victorian we can be in the 21st century.
Shadi Katyal, Marietta, US

Just goes to show that the clouded vision of our I&B wallahs does not go beyond the tips of their noses.
M.A. Raipet, Secunderabad

Not all the fears of the i&b ministry are ill-founded. Given Hollywood’s recent penchant for erroneous and exaggerated facts—Troy, Valkyrie, 300, Inglourious Basterds at al—I half expect them to portray Nehru as a cross between statesman and Casanova. Of course depicting Nehru as human is no sin and he might have been a charmer, but I doubt the film will be anything like Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy (’86) or even Gandhi (’82). Nehru deserves a better platform than a headline-grabbing modern director is capable of offering.
J. Chakraborty, on e-mail

India is the only democracy where things are quickly (and democratically!) banned because they might hurt the sentiments of someone or the other.
Shakeel, Hyderabad

When will we wake up to the truth that our icons were human beings, and that they came from amongst us? Don’t Jack and Bob Kennedy, and the great Roosevelt himself, shine in history despite their human weaknesses which have been discussed freely?
K.S.C. Nair, Indianapolis

Even chronicled facts are often misrepresented, misinterpreted, misused. To let imagination, conjecture and pedestal-envy loose on an impressionable generation ignorant of history will be unpardonable.
Leila Nair, Burnaby, Canada

In response to Bipan Chandra’s comments regarding the Edwina-Nehru relationship (Take II...), the history of nations has rightly grown to consider the rounded lives of the people who have led them, in all their complexities. For, Reagan was a little old for his presidency, and Yeltsin was something of a drinker. They weren’t defined by these qualities, but they undoubtedly shaped their character and beliefs and thus, in some manner, their political decisions. If nothing else, I cannot think of a better way of negating the ideological power we grant our historical leaders by creating history in black and white than to recognise their common humanity.
David Fisher, Melbourne

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