Remains of the day

Does recalling inflection points in our evolution mean that our society is still "backward" and not quite "emerging"? Inflection points leave their mark and, therefore, need to be acknowledged. In his magnificent book, The Age of Revolution, Eric Hobsbawm speaks of the way the French Revolution lived on in slogans, and even in the choice of a tricolour, in nations that were fighting for liberation more than a century later. Even today, the memory of General Franco's regime is found not just in the art and politics of Spain, but also in its choice of football styles. Closer home, look at how the 2002 violence in Gujarat had threads of Ayodhya woven into it. A BJP that had either set aside or forgotten Ayodhya during its NDA years, also presided over the tragedy that took place 10 years after the demolition. Evidently, forgetting can be dangerous.

To truly forget and attain closure, we may have to pause and remember what happened that day. Sometimes, the best way to genuinely get over such an event is to remember and recount clearly, just so that we are not condemned to repeat it. Amnesia does not help.

seema.chishti@expressindia.com

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