Lecture on Indian Philosophy
'The Frame of The Painting Is Like Prison Walls'
He spoke of Gilles Deleuze, a French Philosopher, who makes a difference between
major literature and minor literature. The minor is always a part of the major literature;
it is invariably political and the minor literature is always collective. The minor is within
the major not outside it. Prof. Raju contested this and stated that no revolution in west
was ever spurned by literature. With the advent of modernity literature both minor
and major is rendered minor. The modern art actually is an attempt to imagine the
pre-modern within the modern paradigm. But the pre-modern cannot escape its
'India Is A More Happening Place than West'
Tagore called Gandhi Mahatma and Gandhi called Tagore Gurudev and the both
seemed to enjoy a bond of 'intimate enemy”. Prof. Raju translated Mahatma as
“over-personal self”. Both were able to separate person from idea in their relationship.
Prof. Raju gave several instances where the differences between Indian thinkers like
Gandhi, Patel, Nehru, Tagore and Aurobindo surfaced during the freedom struggle.
The three characteristics of minor literature highlighted by Deleuze are available in
India and hence India is a much more happening place.
Gandhi Was the Biggest Fashion Designer India Has Produced
In a very enchanting segment, Prof. Raju explained how Gandhi modied his idea of
Mahatma by using the politics of attire. Aurobindo chose seclusion and white as his
signature colour, Vivekananda chose wandering and saffron as his signature colour.
Gandhi borrowed the white of Aurobindo and Wandering of Vivekananda. He
rejected saffron for obvious communal reasons and seclusion because a politician
can't afford it.
We Have To Come Up With Strange Combinations
Referring to Gandhi's reliance on Bhagvad-Gita as his inspiration, Prof. Raju asked the
audience how a votary of non-violence can use a text preaching violence as his
inspiration for achieving politics. This question is never asked because we are
enamoured by western philosophy's reliance on deontology. Using a famous Mullah
Naseeruddin parable, Prof. Raju claimed that we have to take light from where there
is i.e. in the west and spread it in where it is required i.e. in the west. The
recommendation in Bhagvad-Gita has to be taken with a pinch of salt. According to
Prof. Raju if you really wanted to know the purpose of Bhagvad-Gita you have to
come outside of the text. The war of the Mahabharata is actually a war within and
one has to separate the context from the text to understand Gandhi's faith in Gita as
a blueprint for non-violence.