The power of the myth

Print edition : August 08, 2014

A mural at the Ramasamy temple in Kumbakonam, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, depicting a scene from the Ramayana. Myths still charm us, involve us, move us, encourage us to intervene in history, positively or negatively, leading us backward or forward speaking often as they do of utopias in the future or golden ages in the past. Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

A man dressed up as Maveli trying to attract clients to a commercial outlet in Kozhikode district in Kerala. Myths had been employed during the freedom struggle, too, but chiefly to arouse national pride and invite people to join the anti-colonial struggle. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Uday Bhembre, Konkani writer and scholar, at the two-day National Seminar on Konkani Ramayanas in Mangalore on October 2, 2010. Situations and characters in the major epics were taken up again and again for the interpretation of new social, political and mental states and structures. Photo: R. Eswarraj

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