Friday, November 07, 2008

Aravind Adiga's Gesture: A Rebuff To Hindutva Forces!

Aravind Adiga, the winner of the Man Booker Prize for 2008 for his first literary work The White Tiger, has donated almost one third of the Prize money to his alma mater, St. Aloysius High School in Mangalore. [1, 2, 3, 4]

In his own words:
"I have donated a part of my prize money for winning the Man Booker Prize for 2008 to my old school, St. Aloysius College of Mangalore, in gratitude for the fine education I received there. I wish to donate the money in the name of the late Father Victor D'Souza, a great teacher of physics and chemistry, who also always reminded his students of their responsibility to help and defend the poor and underprivileged. St. Aloysius is one of the gems of Mangalore and I hope it will continue to shine brightly in the years to come, as it has done for over 100 years. Lucet et Ardet." [See]

In my view, this is a fitting rebuff to the Sangh Parivar that has been harping about the role of Christian management schools in the conversion of students to Christianity. The activists of the Sangh Parivar had staged protest demonstrations in front of many christian schools, including St. Aloysius College just a few weeks ago and had threatened that they would launch a mass movement urging Hindus to boycott christian institutions. I also remember the occasion when a former MLA belonging to the Sangh Parivar had tried to tell me how St. Aloysius College was in the forefront of attempting conversions, only to be rebuffed by me that most freedom fighters from this place were the students of the same school and had no problem what so ever in pursuing their education, even after being arrested by the British Police. So this gesture of Aravind is a fitting rebuff, vividly illustrating how the school had helped in shaping his personality, inculcating the highest moral values.

It would be interesting to see how the Hindutva Brigade would react to this!

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