Friday, May 2, 2008
Dalai, Nehru and Chou-en-Lai
I found this remarkable photograph by Homai Vyarawalla on the Scholars without Borders blog site. It shows The Dalai Lama, Nehru and Chou-en-Lai in the same picture taken sometime in the 1950's. In view of some recent events that have been discussed in this blog and elsewhere, it's interesting to see their respective poses. Moving from right to left, Chou-en-Lai clearly looks like he would rather not have anything to do with the other two - raising his hand to shield himself from all the negative Feng-shui emanating from his right. Nehru, indifferent, looks far into the distance as befitting an intellectual who is above such fractious politics. His Holiness the Dalai Lama even at that age (less than 20) has his usual beatific smile on his face. I would like to also use this blog to shamelessly plug the Scholars without Borders site mentioned above. It is almost single-handedly run by my friend and colleague from JNU, R. Ramaswamy (who also kindly gave me permission to use this photograph) and I would urge all academics (and of course others) to visit this bookstore-on-the-net. It's an on-line resource for academic books from India, and, at the moment at least, the only one of its kind in India.