22 January, 2021

A Race Without Heroes

A Race Without Heroes

Heroes have survived as an institution in our country and elsewhere. In the west, the cult of heroes runs strong in France, where Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles De Gaulle continue to exercise a hold on the popular imagination. There have been anti-heroes, too, some very attractive ones, but they do not concern us here.

It is said that Bengalis and the French have many things in common. Perhaps. But I recall seeing Brigitte Bardot buying a magazine from a streetcorner news-stand-cum-flower shop on a Paris sidewalk - neither did any heads turn, nor did people pause in their stride. In other words, heroes are assimilated, accepted in the West. With most people busy with their own work, any emotive display in presence of anyone eminent is taboo.

But in Bengal, hero-worship has certainly been carried to outrageous extremes. Things have been blown out of all proportion. It is more like a disease and, in some ways, is more dangerous than aids. Sometimes, average people have been put on a pedestal and many have fallen prey to a...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

Latest Magazine

January 25, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section