Sunday, September 5, 2010

Editorial 'BOOK BURNING & GURU BASHING' in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 August 2010 issue

are considered two awful crimes – in the language of believers, abominable sins – which no civilized society can or would tolerate. The first of these, usually carried out in public, is generally motivated by irrational moral, religious or political objections and leads to the danger of loss of cultural heritage and is symbolic of a fascist regime. This editor vividly remembers the incident of burning down, a decade or two ago, precious volumes of ‘Encyclopaedia of Marxism, Socialism and Western Society” of the Osmania University Library by some anti-communist goons on the mistaken notion that they were Marxist propaganda material; on the contrary, they contained some of the most enlightening intellectual critiques of Marxism and their loss is still irreplaceable for the library. This editor had then presented a protest petition to the authorities signed by about a hundred intellectuals, considerable number of whom happen to be the leaders or espousers of the current separatist movement in this State in which such detestable acts have now begun to be taken up with impunity and go without any sort of indignant protest. Are we being rushed into an Orwellian horror society with its ‘memory holes’ and ‘thought-crimes’? Better heed Henrich Heine’s warning: “When they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings.” The second of these is at once revolting to human conscience anywhere in the world, especially in our country which venerates teachers as gods, on par with parents. Again these tormentors of the mentors, once again on detestable pleas that they belonged to other regions though some of them got settled and naturalized in the same region, have gone without protest in a movement led by eminent professors. A university is meant to be a sanctified sanctuary for intellectual preoccupations and should never be converted into a centre of storm-troopers. The recent incident of teacher-bashing, marring the image of the same University, also reveals the intransigent infringement of fundamental rights to equality and points to the practice of discrimination by birth so caustically castigated by our Constitution. All this may even be an indication of degeneration that set in such movements, which generally leads to their decline and fall, or in the sad case of their success, to the ushering in of a much-dreaded totalitarian regime §§§


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