Public Image & Personal Life

India is a very strange and hypocritical country that tries to live on her icons and media made images of the public and the leaders. We, the Indian public give more importance to anyone’s personal life than their public integrity. Otherwise, we will not be having leaders who are just paper tigers and blatant cheaters. Leave alone the mortals even the so called immortal Gods and Goddesses are never spared of our own whims and fancies. We never bear anything said against their personal or private life because we create an image and personality of our own, thanks to the unrelenting media blast and prefer to believe and go by those images.

Many of our film stars, political leaders to religious heads are just public icons with special qualifications. This is a country where the film heroes are considered as demi-gods and heroines enjoy temple worship. Political leaders are just rabble rousers who entice the gullible (are they really so?) and create an image for themselves supported by the media.

So we have now the Indian Icon Gandhiji’s image being tarnished by Joseph Lelyveld’s book on Mahatma Gandhi suggesting him to be ‘bisexual’. The controversy has started picking up and the travesty is lambasted and the author has to go on an apologetic note that he never had mentioned anything of that sort. It is really surprising to me that why and what way a dead man’s sexuality is going to affect the image of the country or him or anyone related to him? It is hardly a matter of anyone’s concern.

If at all the Indian public and intellectual think that the dual sexuality of Gandhi is going to affect or tarnish his or the nation’s image in the world’s eye it is nothing but a big laugh. Our politicians and the public have caused enough and more damage to the Father of the Nation through their acts and deeds. If this creates a hullabaloo it must be only for publicity. It probably once again shows the hypocrisy of the country’s moral values. Because Mahatma’s societal moral was supreme and his simplicity and honesty were exemplary. These personal references could hardly darken them.  


More by :  G Swaminathan

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