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Khajuraho, Ghandi & Rabindranath Tagore -

jijaji - Wed, 03 Aug 2005 20:46:10 +0530
Mahatma Gandhi wanted the temples of Khajuraho destroyed. The Khajuraho temples are no doubt some of the most beautiful creations of humanity, there is nothing comparable on earth to them and a great heritage to India, but he wanted them destroyed like an idiot.

It is said there must have been at least one hundred temples, very big temples, and hardly a single inch without carvings. The carvings being of course men and women in different postures of love, so naturally Gandhi was very much agitated being the fanatical celibate he was, and he wanted to demolish these temples.

Seventy temples had already been demolished by the Muslims because of their fanatical attitude that God cannot be represented in any statue or picture. When the Muslims came, they destroyed seventy temples but thirty of these temples were hidden in thick forest, so they were saved. Now what the Muslims had done, Gandhi wanted to do also, to demolish them. He was afraid that, "These temples will show the whole world that we are not very moral people, that we are not puritans."

Although these sculptures depict men and women in loving embrace, making love, they are not obscene, to the western mind who does not understand yes. In any case, Mahatma Gandhi was totally obsessed and when India became free, he thought that now was his chance and he could either dismantle them, destroy them, or at least do what he had been insisting from the 1930's, that if you don't want to destroy them, cover them up with huge mud hills. He thought they could remain there, and once in a while if you want to show them you could remove the mud, clean the place, and then cover them back up with mud again. But just keep them out of public view was his idea in any way possible.

It was Rabindranath Tagore who opposed Mahatma Gandhi in this regard, saying it was a completely stupid proposal. Rabindranath said the temples of Khajuraho had been a great influence on him and had inspired him to write so much of his poetry and said the temples of Khajuraho were a great heritage of India. So because Rabindranath spoke out against this insanity, Gandhi could not destroy them or cover them with mud.