Mr. Pandey, I presume

The time to roll up my sleeves and get down to some serious studying has finally come. I will be leaving for college tommorrow and will be staying in the hostel for a couple of days atleast.Hopefully, I should be able to complete the syllabus in the next two days and not have to take recourse to the path of selective study. God, I still remember that Bio exam in Class 8 when I had left one measly chapter dealing with some weird classification of some sort and around half of the bloody paper dealt with that chapter only. I barely managed to scrape through. Now, if skl was bad this place is worse. Really, anybody who ever said law skl was easy didn’t have the faintest idea what he was talking about. Deadlines upon deadlines, assignments and whatnot. Thankfully, after the VIVAs only the end-sem exams would be left which would start in roughly a month’s time.

With all the hoopla that has been surrounding The Rising and the hype that has been created around it, I just can’t help wondering about the movie and its central character. Not to indulge in a baseless excoriation of a man who has been variously hailed as the forerunner of other like-minded, hot-blooded revolutionaries such as Azad or Sukhdev, but can any individual be truly hailed as a patriot, who was galvanized into action not by any sense of a loss of a national identity, but instead of a fear of religious persecution. Would Mangal Pandey have been Mangal Pandey if the Enfield cartridges had never been introduced in the first place? Patriots are fuelled by the courage of conviction not compulsion. Mangal Pandey was compelled into action by virtue of the prevalent societal norms and consciousness which placed religiosity at a pedestal far above all others. It was the internalization of this aspect which resulted in whatever followed. Undoubtedly, Mangal Pandey was an individual who had a determinative role to play in the events of his time, but whether he did so in the capacity of a patriot or not is something, which is in my opinion still open to question.

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