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RSS ideologue calls for "social boycott" of book on Gandhi

Last Updated: Friday, April 1, 2011 - 20:42

Thiruvananthapuram: An RSS ideologue on Friday called for a social boycott of the controversial book on Mahatma Gandhi by US author Joseph Lelyveld for its "untrue" and "disparaging" remarks on the sexual life of the Father of the nation.

Parameswaran, director of Bharathiya Vichara Kendram, said denigrating the national icons was nothing but "cultural terrorism."

"Lelyveld’s book deserves to be socially boycotted, because the disparaging remarks on Gandhi’s sexual life are not only untrue but also dangerous," he said.

"Gandhiji’s life was a long experiment with truth. In his autobiography, the Mahatma has not hesitated to expose himself about all his weaknesses, including his sexual attitude. That
being the case, if there is an iota of truth in Lelyveld`s `Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his struggle with India` Gandhiji would not have kept it out of his biography," he said.

He said Gandhi’s two major planks were non-violence and truth. On certain occasions of self-defence, Gandhi would compromise on non-violence but on no account would he
compromise on truth, Parameswaran said.

Such books denouncing national icons were motivated by the market, especially when backed by glittering prizes, he said.

"Of course they will not be able to denigrate the greatness of men like Mahatma Gandhi. But they cause irreparable damage to the common man’s faith in moral values which sustain society. It is a great crime against society. It is nothing but cultural terrorism. Therefore such a publication should be
treated as contagion and kept away from the society, so that generations yet to come may not be contaminated," he said.


First Published: Friday, April 1, 2011 - 20:42

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