• Unearthing history by reinterpreting myths and traditions ( Book Review By Ish Mishra)

    Ish Mishra
    Pramod Ranjan (see profile)
    Book Reviewing, Cultural Studies, Festivals, Rituals, Public Spectacles, and Popular Culture, Gender Studies, History
    Indian mythology, Durgā (Hindu deity), Martyrdom in literature, Social movements, Blasphemy in literature, Culture conflict--Religious aspects--Hinduism, Caste
    Item Type:
    Bahujan history, Asur, Asur, mahishasura martyrdom day, Bhainsasur, Shraman, Mahishasur: Ek Jannayak’, Raja Bali, Pramod Ranjan
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    Brahmanical history is based on myths. It neither has been constructed chronologically nor is factually correct. It has eclipsed the reality with a cobweb of myths. To establish a new creed, established dogmas must be disproven. Ish Mishra reviews ‘Mahishasur: Mithak va Paramparayen’ : The book Mahishasur: Mithak va Paramparayen (Mahishasur: Myth and Traditions), edited by Pramod Ranjan, is a book of great import. This book takes the re-rendition of the myth about Durga and Mahishasur and the discourse that began with the celebration of Mahishasur Day in Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2011 to new heights. The book is made up of writings that bring together various dimensions of this discourse. Mahishasur: Ek Jannayak (Mahishasur: A People’s Hero), also edited by Pramod Ranjan, was published a year earlier, in 2016. Divided into six sections, Mahishasur: Mithak va Paramparayen (Mahishasur: Myth and Traditions) is a compilation of writings based on research and investigation of traditions, symbols, myths and festivals from different parts of India. The appendix contains facts related to “Mahishasur Day”. Section 6 is also effectively an appendix, which contains the “Prayers of Jotirao Phule” to works of contemporary literature like Sanjeev Chandan’s play “Asur Priya”. I had reviewed “Mahishasur: Ek Jannayak” under the title “A cultural revolt against Brahmanism”. The writings in the present book are proof of a transformation of the revolt into a widespread cultural movement. It is worth repeating an African proverb here, which I had quoted in that earlier review: “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”...
    This review first appeared in the August 2018 issue of the Hindi monthly journal Samayantar. It has been translated by Amrish Herdeniya and republished in Forward Press.
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    Last Updated:
    1 year ago


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