Steven Weinberg, 'Five and a Half Utopias', January 2000:
1> The late G P Deshpande ( गो. पु. देशपांडे) wrote his play 'Udhwasta Dharmashala' (उध्वस्त धर्मशाळा) in 1974, that is during the Cultural Revolution.
For my taste, the play is verbose and excruciatingly boring. (see my obit of GPD dated October 17 2013 here.)
I have a copy of the edition published in 1998. It has a preface running for eight pages. On page seven, he writes:
"...काही चळवळी आज या देशात नोकरशाह्या होऊन बसलेल्या आहेत. विशेषतः डाव्या चळवळी. कदाचित सगळीकडेच. नाहीतर माओने सांस्कृतिक क्रांतीचा एवढा मोठा प्रपंच मांडला नसता…"
In 1998, Mr. Deshpande could NOT have revised his play but surely his preface to reflect it...but he chose not to!
Thus Mr. Deshpande resembles the Western admirer described by John Gray or intellectual (बुद्धिवादी) described by Durga Bhagwat above.
"...माओ काय म्हणतो माहिती आहे ना ? क्रांती करणे म्हणजे पंचपात्र आणि पितांबर घेऊन जेवायला जाण नव्हे --"... now this made me laugh loudly because if I were a cartoonist, I would have precisely drawn Mao wearing sacred cloth (पितांबर), carrying priest's utensils (पंचपात्र), rushing towards the site where a yajnya was being performed!
The yajnya/ satra was not an ordinary one.
It was a sacrifice being performed to annihilate Mao's countrymen many of whom were his erstwhile comrades (मित्र) but were now perceived being enemies and he indeed was the high priest at the ritual.
Many such 'Satras/ yajnyas' have been performed around the globe since the dawn of civilization, some of the bloodiest ones in 20th century.
Arun Kolatkar (अरुण कोलटकर) describes a famous one from Indian mythology (history?) in his long English poem 'Sarpa Satra' (सर्प-सत्र), 2004:
"According to the Mahabharata,
a sacrifice performed by Janmejaya
with the object
of annihilating the Nagas,
or the Snake People."
Artist: Anon, Courtesy: Wikipedia
By the way, I have NEVER read GPD's condemnation of the people responsible for colossal human tragedies- rivaling two genocidal world wars- that happened in Russia and China, from 1917 to 1976, in the name of revolution and communism.
If you have, please let me know.
2> I have already shared, probably on this blog, a feeling of general hatred of China, in the society, including kids, after India’s defeat at her hand in 1962 war. People (even kids) always talked about Chinese betrayal and the chief culprit of that was, they said, Zhou Enlai, of ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai’ fame.
3> But such widespread misery occasionally gives birth to something beautiful.
During the Cultural Revolution One of them was the father of fictional character Sunflower who has been sent there to do hard labor. Sunflower's friendship with a boy named Bronze, who is unable to speak, is the subject of Cao Wenxuan's award winning book 'Bronze And Sunflower'.