Sunday, August 06, 2017

The disrobing of Lady Liberty

With trump as the president, I wonder and worry, more often than not, what his election and his presidency mean for the pursuit of knowledge and truth.  Of course I will wonder and worry about this, given that my profession is all about the pursuit of knowledge and truth.

"Everything but the truth" has been the approach in trump's quest, from the time he launched the birther movement, questioning Barack Obama's birth certificate and, therefore, his eligibility to be in the White House.

trump earned his cred pursuing this lie, and propagating it.  The elders of his adopted party encouraged the lie and the liar, either explicitly or implicitly.

Of course, literature and mythologies offer plenty of such instances.  I suppose the powerful remaining silent spectators is not anything new.  In the traditions in which I was raised, I grew up listening to, and reading, the old epics: the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

One of the worst ever instances of the rich, the powerful, and the wise, being silent spectators even as unjust actions were committed was the disrobing of Draupadi in the Mahabharata.  The old and wise, including Bhishma, did not say or do anything.

"Disrobing of Draupadi"
Source

I recall one of the many (religious) lectures in Neyveli, to which my parents took us when we were kids.  Pulavar Keeran provided his commentary on the Mahabharata. As he dramatically built up the telling of the disrobing of Draupadi, an older man sitting by me--he was our school's business manager--could not contain himself and yelled out Krishna!  And he fainted!

The mere retelling of a scene in a story made an old man faint.  A story in which the wisest and most powerful were silent spectators.  The modern day, contemporary, Duryodhana, is on a mission to metaphorically disrobe as many as he can and as publicly as he can, after privately disrobing countless women and grabbing their pussies.  The Bhishmas of today watched the spectacle unfold, while the Kauravas of the GOP cheered Duryodhana and Dushasana.

But then ... what do I know!

2 comments:

Ramesh said...

Brilliant analogy. The parallels are uncanny.

Who was the guy who fainted ?? Our school had a business manager ??

Yes, Keeran's discourses were majestic. Public speaking at its best.

Sriram Khé said...

You don't remember? I think he was working in the office after his retirement ... he always had a "naamam" on his forehead.