Ashis Nandy, 21 May 1998
Is there something in modern South Asia’s intellectual culture that prompts scholars to separate the private from the public lives of their subjects and deploy the public as a defence against the private? What are the anxieties that afflict middle-class intellectuals whenever someone delves into the personality of a national hero? Are they afraid that their own inner lives and the ambivalences they live with might be exposed? Do the carefully crafted public selves they erect for their heroes hide deeper feelings of betrayal by those same heroes?