In the tumult that is India, a Chief-minister of a southern state, and an avowed atheist, goes on record in his official capacity denying the existence of Sri Rama, a major Avatar of the Hindu religion.
Am sure those of you who follow Indian politics are aware of the details and the character in question. Lets leave the question of whether there is a God, feel free to take your stance whatever it may be.
I am reminded of the poem by Shelly called Ozymandias, and I quote –
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Emperors, geniuses and master races have existed before us. Infinite stories of valor and beauty lie hidden in the recesses of time. History is but a fragment of an infinite past, viewed through the lenses of a race whose visibility goes past by just a paltry couple of thousand years. This politician and his cohorts would pass away too.
But some things remain. The stories that replenish, the myths that give our hearts some meaning, the brave heroes and chaste women would all live long after this race is gone.
Sri Rama, and his story, would continue to be told for as long as mankind exists, in one form or another. Same goes for Achilles or an Arjuna. Whether these characters existed or not is not the issue, says Sri Aurobindo, the issue is if these characters and what they stand for can foster the soul of humanity for the next 10,000 years of evolution. Sri Rama has lasted 2000years, even assuming he is just a literary character.
Am confident Mr. Karunanidhi will not be more than a footnote in India’s history in another 500years.