Way back, when I was in school, a class project was to write an essay on Brutus and Cassius, on the basis of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, and to “say which of the two was better”.
My essay argued the case that Cassius was the better of the two. For my trouble, I got an F. After class, I asked the lecturer why. Was the writing bad? No. Were the passages I cited out of context? No. Was it badly argued? No.
What then? “That is not the correct answer, it is Brutus,” I was told then.
I didn’t understand then, and I don’t understand now, how the “right answer” is determined. Who carves it into stone? And why is there no realization that if you prescribe right ways and wrong ways to think about things, you end up freezing thought altogether and perpetuate the culture of by rote regurgitation of “accepted” wisdom?
Leading on from which, how different is this action of the government of India from that of the Gujarat government, when it banned Jaswant Singh’s Jinnah book on the grounds that it does not show Sardar Patel in the “right light”?