Thursday, August 18, 2005

Reason never defines a Hero, result does

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A section of the historians recently claimed - especially after the release of The Rising - that Mangal Pandey became a hero by chance. That he revolted under the influence of bhang. That he was just a soldier "who happened to get lucky". And I say how ridiculous those claims are. There must have been at least 30 in every one hudred Indian sepoy addicted to bhang at that point of time, but why we have only one instance of Mangal Pandey? If bhang starts inducing heroism, then we must have had at least 10 million heroes by now on a rough count. For a hero-starved nation like ours, it would have been the ultimate magic potion. To attribute Mangal Pandey's heoric act to a narcotic substance not only defies logic but also defies the very essence of human spirit. The desire to fight against a system comes from the heart. The desire to fight for freedom comes from strong convictions. Agreed Mangal Pandey had a very small reason to fight for - cartridges covered by a membrane greased by cow or pig fat - but at least he had a reason. There are so many in this world who don't even know the resaon of their existence. And if someone expected a simple sepoy to understand the intricate aspects of nationhood and fight for humanity, then he is surely living in a world where dreams and reality are just mirror-image reflections. Mangal Pandey is a hero because his act of courage sparked our first freedom revolution. For God's sake let's dump that mutiny word from our dictionary.

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