Rukhmabai Raut in Google Doodle
One of the best contributions of Google is it’s doodles on less known or unheralded icons. Today was on Rukhmabai Raut. On reading about her at Wikipedia, it is interesting to know that her defiance of the cusutoms of her day & unwillingness to go stay with her husband were considered to be the result of an English education. No less a person than Lokmanya Tilak said that.
Centuries later, the least we can do is look at what transpired objectively. Individual stories played out against the larger backdrop of social change & political struggles. And individual self-interest or liberation suffered at the hands of duly acknowledged Indian leaders. For reasons that would now cause an uproar if leaders & icons were to play them up.
Jana Novotna’s passing
Sad to know about Jana Novotna’s passing. She had an out and out attacking game and was lightning fast at the net. She cried in 1993 after losing the Wimbledon final. Millions of viewers, including me, could feel her heart go to pieces. And we felt for her, like her. In 1998, she won and that was the sweetest victories for so many people. Novotna is an inspiration.
Even the making of the movie had it’s share of protests and disturbance. Now that it is complete, it is not a surprise that we have a controversy on our hands. What does it mean? Keeping the movie aside, it shows the institutional weakness of the body meant to vet films. It also highlights how the clearance process is not considered sacrosanct & comprehensive. A strong institution and a validated process can handle any movie, controversial or not.
There are many interest-groups involved in the ruckus around Padmavati. If there is any scope for violence, pragmatism should come to the fore. It is for the state to uphold the freedom of expression and balance it against the threat of violence, real or perceived. No imposing of wills & no selective licensing of creative liberty either.
Zimbabwe & Mugabe’s imminent ouster
How rare is the scene being played out in Zimbabwe. People used to ushering in change by force are striving to stick to constitutionalism. The Army is standing by and waiting for the ruling political party to follow an impeachment process and remove the President, who has been at the helm for 37 years. In Africa, that is quite an unusual thing! It does show the value of constitutionalism, how it confers legitimacy to a ruling establishment or governance structure.