The Key to Sagarika Ghose

 Which is why the battle for freedom and the battle for progress must be a sensible and a rational one; it can’t be a trivial battle where we fling coloured underwear at maniacs. We must learn from the Nehruvians of the 40s and 50s who were incredibly westernised, but deeply rooted; many of whom were rich but lived modest tasteful lives. They drank, they smoked and they romanced, yet they were discreet and embodied a tradition of Indian elitism that was rooted in both excellence as well as tradition. C. Rajagopalachari was considered a scholar in three languages-Sanskrit, Tamil and English. Rukmini Devi Arundale may have been deeply influenced by the Theosophical Movement but dedicated her life to reviving Indian dance and music by founding the Kalakshetra academy. Sarojini Naidu’s favourite poet was Shelley but she took pride in the fact that she could speak Urdu, Telegu and Bengali. However westernized their minds, India’s nationalist elite could not be accused of living in a cocoon of extravagant privilege or having their pleasure spots guarded by armed commandos.

This is from the wonderful  Sagarika Ghose. The key takeaway from the article is that if you want to drink, smoke or romance, you must be rich enough to maintain a public life that is separate from your private one.  You must be able to “embody” Indianness, regardless of how Western your soul is. If you want to romance, you must be able to afford a discreet room in a 5-star hotel. If you are a middle class couple and all you can afford is a smooch in the public park, then a Western lifestyle is not for you. If you are a woman who wants to drink, you must be rich enough to move to South Bombay.  You have no business doing so in a pub in Mangalore and destroying the rich cultural heritage of that place.  India’s nationalist elite had westernized minds and they were, in fact living in a cocoon of extravagant privilege that enabled them to maintain two different lifestyles. But they could not be accused of it, because they embodied a tradition of Indian elitism that was rooted in both excellence as well as tradition.

Elsewhere in the article, Ghose explains that other people following her lifestyle would not amount to forward movement for India. I understand exactly what she is saying. Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? My own roots are in Mangalore.    If the people of Mangalore start living like me, I will not be able to put my son in touch with his roots, which is why we must all strongly oppose it when the women of Mangalore start drinking in pubs.

19 thoughts on “The Key to Sagarika Ghose

  1. “If you are a middle class couple and all you can afford is a smooch in the public park”

    Doesn’t make sense. Why can’t middle class couple do it in front of their parents.

  2. Yes Gaurav. Ghose madam is saying that you aren’t allowed to romance unless you are rich enough to afford either a hotel room or parents who are tolerant of you smooching at home.

  3. Sagarika never ceases to surprise us! I wrote a full piece about the recent chat she had on the frisking episode. She just goes bonkers on an issue that doesn’t deserve so much attention in the first place, and makes the wierdest of comparisons to drive home a point ( if she has one ).

    The chat transcript is here ( strongly recommend to read it, for some good laughs):

    My piece on her is here: http://serious–

  4. Double standard of secular media (or vested interest) hates speech by BSP(Muslim) leader of bareli roit fame. No action, no debate by self styled secular media lynching of Varun Dandhi even after one Year.

  5. Secularist like abu aazmi(alleged to help terrorist) and CONGRESS Ex MLA Abdus Salam(alleged for helping terrorist) no remose, no action & no debate(by self styled secular media) double standard

  6. Sanjay Datt, Rahul Bhatt, Abu Aazmi, Salman Khan(Chupke Chupke), Azharuddin(Match Fixing aligation)CONGRESS MP, Abdus Salam Ex Ajamgadh CONGRESS MLA, Aftab Ansari, Mukhtaar Ansari, Ateek Ahmed on the wrong side of the law. No debate in self styled secular media double standard.

  7. No Action against Meghalaya CONGRESS Minister calling Women ‘vipers’ double standard, No Action, no debate by self styled secular media(self acclaimed champion of women causes).

  8. Derogatory words use for Indian parliamentary speaker(Dalit) by bihar CONGRESS man no remorse, no expulsion and shamelessly attacking U.P C.M(Dalit) Shows CONGRESS true Color and double standard shame on CONGRESS and on self styled secular media(Self Acclaimed champion of women causes)

  9. Rape by CONGRESS counselor in M.P. Shame on CONGRESS, No Debate self styled media shame on you also(Self acclaimed champion of women causes)

  10. Civil Rights of jammu woman are in Danger because of Congress (Traitors) No Debate less Reporting shame on you Self styled secular media.

  11. Nana ji Deshmukh(Witren RSS Reader & Socail worker) Donate his body to AIIM’s. No Reporting in Self Styled Secular Media they only talked about Jyoti Basu. Why So much antypathy towards Hindus by self styled secular media.

  12. Father(late Rajeev Gandhi) & son(Rahul Gandhi) have been trying to Develop Amethi from last 25 years is there an any accountability. Modi ji has developed Surat City from Worst Indian City to 4th most beautiful City(in 8 years) in India. Is there any Comparision. Same on You Secularist and there friends(Self Styled Secularist Media).

  13. P.M talks about inclusive growth. what is inclusive growth. Building, Roads, Hospitals, Public Utilities, Primary Schools, Universities, Or Giving Reservation(Exclusively for Muslims) is their any sane thinking.

  14. Congress has rude this country for most of the time muslims have voted for the congress most of the time. Sachcher Committee and Rang Nath Mishra Committee has concluded muslims are least developed. They have to ask each otheres for the answeres least they should ask for any reservation or special packages. My analysis is congress is a bad influance.

  15. Hi,
    Our country is known as a secular country because costitution of our country is not relegion
    based.It recognises all relegions practised anywhere in the world with same repect.

    Secondly, secular means a non-beliver and we have hundreds of egsamples before us that prooves
    that a relegion is a must for every humanbeing. I think there is no relegion on this earth that teaches
    hatred. A truth that many people are not aware of is that even the so – called comunists are not secularists in their real life. The need of the hour is tolerence and a sense of respect towards all
    other relegions.

    With regards,anandjameel

  16. She’s talking about Indian civilization and not of human civilization. What is public or private if there is civilization? Indian civilization does not exist, if young Indian women flaunt their undergarments, showup in bikinis and the Indian men ogle at these women and dream. This was never thought of when we got independence. There has been no DRIVER thereafter who could have driven the country to a civilized nation where we could have taken (and not copied) the new artistic ways of rejoicing from the West or US in particular and practiced it. Within 60years (very short period for such a diversified nation) of freedom with no such DRIVER and intrusion of Western culture and practices into India, “panties and perverts” is a matter to be strongly thought of and discussed. This couldn’t have been the situation/topic of discussion had there been (1) a proper regulatory authority from the top in the political hierarchy. Indianness is being “swadeshi”, then panties may be there but perversion may not be. Because Indian civilization could have taught us — you need not go in search of a room in a five star hotel for ‘romancing’ but the room is already there where u live. (2) the exposure has been really abrupt, it could have happened in 120years OR (3) we were still ‘ghulam’.

    Alternative Thinking – you discuss it with other people who are discussing those issues daily in the media, showbiz.

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