12 May, 2021

The Malraux Event

A tribute to the Frenchman who was greatly influenced by India

The Malraux Event
ON November 23, 1996, France paid the ultimate homage to one of her great sons of the 20th century. The remains of Andre Malraux (1901-76) were placed in the Pantheon, where only the exceptional among exceptionals are admitted. President Jacques Chirac, on that memorable day, said: "Beyond the truth does exist the living life, which is meeting the dream. Because you were knowing how to make our dreams alive, how to make them live in ourselves, do enter, Andre Malraux, in the Pantheon of our Republic." To mark the occasion, the Embassy of France in New Delhi brought out a pictorial volume, Malraux and India: A Passage to Wonderment, in English and French. Dileep Padgaonkar has provided an eloquent and hauntingly moving introductory essay. Padgaonkar is perhaps among the few Indians who are fluent in both English and French. Like Raja Rao—Malraux's greatest Indian friend—he has an understanding of France, an appreciation of its art, literature and culture. Malraux was both French and international at the same time. He loved his country with luminous pride, but he was no narrow...

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