03 August, 2021

The Morality Tale That The Mahabharata Just Isn’t

Its epic transgressions surely cannot be the underpinning of the Sangh parivar’s Hindutva

The Morality Tale That The Mahabharata Just Isn’t

The new chairperson of the Indian Council of Historical Research (appointed by the BJP-led government), Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, has promised to push research projects to rewrite ancient history based on the stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. According to him, they are truthful accounts of historical events. But he should be careful when choosing the epics.

The stories of the Mahabharata, for instance, are often at odds with the Hindutva that the BJP government and its parent Sangh parivar preach. Although the votaries of Hindutva worship the epic’s heroes and heroines, the messages that most of the latter impart may not be suitable for the present government’s programme to educate our people in the “moral and cultural values” that they want to uphold in the name of Hindutva. In fact, the deities and mortals described in the eighteen volumes of this hefty tome had never once been designated by the term...

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