21 October, 2020

Beefy Culture

Why is it that those who insist on ancient culture, don't themselves sound cultured?

Beefy Culture
When culture’s a government ministry, the people are barbarian. For us desis, there is no contradiction in swaying to Mallikarjun Mansur at a Five-Star Hotel and ramming into another’s car on the way home. In the cradle of the great Sangam civilisation, a megalomaniac Amma is disdainful of civil law.

In Pataliputra, that other repository of ancient glory, a shepherd-king rules his kingdom from prison and has chosen a certain designer vulgarity as his ruling style. In Uttar Pradesh, legatees of Awadhi refinement spit and kick where they should deliberate and argue—in their legislative assembly. Murli Manohar Joshi insists on India’s culinary purity. School textbooks must propagate a mythical "Saraswati valley civilisation" when people lived, if Dr Joshi is to be believed, as if they were in an Amar Chitra Katha comic.

But why is it that those who insist on ancient culture, don’t themselves sound cultured? When Dr Joshi gives interviews, he sounds more like Alexander in a fighting mood rather than Dronacharya who wanted his pupils to be the best, not just in...



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