22 May 2010

Mythologing the great personages of the nation

I see that the mythologising has begun. It has been a week since and the coverage has continued unabated. Obviously, this will serve several political purposes but the need for nation-building myths and national myths are paramount in any young nation. Some would term it propaganda while others would term it history. The lenses can be tinted in myriad colours.

I will prefer somewhere in the middle. Great things were done by men of action in uncertain circumstances. And they did right. They built something, hopefully lasting and worth preserving.

In the early days, there had been no provision for such a programme as the eradication of poverty, housing shortages and the creation of jobs were self-evident to the populace at hand. There was little thought given to creating a national narrative then. However, with the advent of the internet and the difficulty in information and media control, it is not surprising that it has given rise to this direction, members of the SPH has been given the mandate and the authority to chronicle past deeds.

There is a need to chronicle the early efforts, if not for historical reasons but for that of remembrance, for the people, by the people.

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