Basaveshwara, the great reformer and philosophizer, ¬†was born today, as calculated by the Hindu calendar. So we wish a very happy birthday to a man who deserves a lot more praise.
(The Hindu calendar changes year by year, so an exact date is hard to estimate. For example it was on May 8 in 2008.)
Basavanna, as he was popularly known, lived in the 12th Century in what is today the Indian state of Karnataka and was the founder of the reformist Lingayat sect.
Long before the world, and India, took any righteous and moral paths of equality, Basavanna preached these concepts to all he encountered.
His theories were not simple or short-term quick fixes. He neither appeased the masses nor coddled them. His greatness came not only for his profoundly enlightened thoughts, but also from his ability to express grand philosophical concepts in simple and blunt terms – meant for the common man and not merely academic halls.
His ideas confront you gently, but firmly. They are expressed in a light, almost teasing, form through rhyming couplets and short lines. But they do confront.
Image: The Starry Night | Vincent van Gogh
We see that you are going to do something that you know is not going to end well.
Sink into it. Sink in, in a sublime surrender…like you would sink into that’s lover’s first kiss.
If you cannot taste the victory, cannot feel the…Go on
Image: Thirty-Six Faces of Expression by Louis Boilly
A common complaint that is sweeping the country is that the grand (and largely self-imagined) brilliance that India could have been has been cut short thanks to the apathy of those most necessary to fix our problems – The middle class, the educated, the intellectual and…Go on
When I was told that Sarabjit Singh was murdered in Pakistan, my first reaction was “Sarabjit who?”
I need not have feared. Apparently sensing the sheer depth of how little I cared about a man I had never heard about, the Indian media machine got to work with a gusto generally reserved for religious…Go on