ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Reagan and Martin Luther King

Reagan and Martin Luther King GPD WE had always thought that the Americans were rather slow in learning things. Obviously that does not seem to be the case. With Rajiv Gandhi's arrival on the scene and the consequent American enthusiasm for things Indian, Americans have finally decided to learn something from India and the great Indian tradition. Maybe the India Festival has had its impact after all. What was learnt by the Americans, you might ask. A very small thing really, but if you looked at its significance in the Indian context and tradition, you would agree that Reagan and his men must have learnt it from us. The Indian tradition as you no doubt know is given to celebrations and national holidays. Every month we close our institutions and offices in memory of someone or the other. National holidays are a national passion with the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs, the Christians and so on. The person or the saint or the prophet whose birthday we might be celebrating usually does not mean a thing to our everyday life. It is an act of showmanship. Reagan has decided that this cultural device is useful to his administration as well. He has gone ahead and declared January 20 as the national holiday to pay tribute to the late Rev Martin Luther King.

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