Uproar Over 'Mahishasura': From Nationalism To Culture War?

PUBLISHED ON: February 26, 2016 | Duration: 27 min, 21 sec

  
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The debate on freedom of expression that began in Hyderabad University that transformed into a debate on patriotism and sedition and spread to Jawaharlal Nehru University is being fought in Parliament now as a debate on what nationalism means to all of us. The Education Minister Smriti Irani's reading out of a pamphlet that celebrates Mahishasura's martyrdom at the hands of Durga has become the latest flashpoint between political parties - as the Congress leapt up and targeted Smriti Irani for derogatory remarks against a revered goddess. The comments and reactions have opened up a new fault-line of different narratives in Hindu mythology, based on caste. But in all this, is the real issue of the reasons for and facts around Rohith Vemula's suicide been sidelined? Has the debate taken a completely different turn and diverted the real issues or has it expanded its scope simply from an incident to a larger one not just on nationalism but on our national identity and the need for social inclusion to keep it together?
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