SUNDAY MAGAZINE

Meaningful myth

Ranjit Hoskote's article stands out for its imaginative depth. But, the main conclusion of the article calling upon society to rise above its fragmented interests is not really strengthened by the Kumbh symbolisms and their meanings. This is because it ignores our chosen guides to achieving modernity, namely, politics and economics, each of which requires, or at least encourages, individuals and groups to pursue their self-interest. Further, for a nation with the widespread and deep "edge" of social and economic inequality and concomitant deprivation, the "blur" of synthesis that the author recommends can only be a far away, though worthy, goal. I believe it is education, to a greater degree than electoral democracy that can be a means to achieve a synthesis that is the true modernity. And, if I may add, modernity remains for us an essential goal and an identity that has yet to be fully achived, despite our growing collective economic power. Ramakrishna Bantu,
HyderabadRanjit Hoskote delves into the meaning of the Kumbh mela in "Metaphor for transformation" (February 11). He stresses the synthesis, reconciliation and participation that the grand event inspires. Concern for the larger common good should make individuals rise above differences and strive for a cause larger than themselves. The message is loud and clear: Rise above fragmented interests and commit yourselves to a more embracing and fruitful purpose. N. Hariharan,
Coimbatore Send your feedback to >magazine@thehindu.co.in