When Congress Wanted To Ban Book On Gandhi, His Grandsons Ensured It Wasn’t

Democrats And Dissenters
Book Excerpt 

In India today, we imagine our heroes to be absolutely perfect. I wonder if this was always so. Yudhishthira and Rama were capable of deceit and deviant behaviour—and our ancestors were not surprised or angered to know this. But now Bengalis shall be enraged at even the mildest criticism of Subhas Chandra Bose, Tamils at the mildest criticism of Periyar, Maharashtrians at the mildest criticism of Shivaji, Dalits at the mildest criticism of Ambedkar, Hindutvawadis at the mildest criticism of Savarkar, and so on.

Bose, Savarkar, Periyar, Ambedkar and Shivaji were all remarkable figures, to understand whose significance one needs many books, films and plays about them. But where are the writers, scholars and playwrights who can write fearlessly about these leaders, juxtaposing their achievements with their failures, contrasting their qualities of courage and character with their angularities and their prejudices?

Strangely, Gandhi is today the only great and controversial Indian of the last thousand years (or more) about whom anyone . . .