Three potent sources of modern Indian identity are- the poetry of Mirza Ghalib, the politics of Mahatma Gandhi and the sublime philosophy of the Bhagvad Gita. What they share in common is meta-metaphoricity. They take a metaphor for reality and, on that basis, derive another metaphor, by means purely verbal, which they take as even more real.
Normally, meta-metaphoricity is a recipe for bad poetry, bad politics and bad philosophy. In the case of English, or modern vernacular, translations of Ghalib or commentaries on the Gita, we do indeed witness an extraordinary puerility on the part of pedagogues and absence of taste on the part of aesthetes precisely because of a supposedly Progressive refusal to engage with the indigenous topos of meta-metaphoricity. In the case of Ghalib and the ghazal, this topos is the Quranic barzakh as illuminated by Ibn Arabi.
Translations of Ghalib need not be ugly, stupid and bizarre. Read in their proper Islamic context, Ghalibs poetry becomes beautiful and of philosophical interestFor the Gita, whose Occassionalism bears comparison with that of Ghazali, a plain reading of the text in which it is embedded- the Mahabharata- or a common sense application of Mimamsa (the hermeneutic of the Vedas)- ought to guard against the sort of stupid and childish comments de rigueur amongst sexually ambiguous Saints and utterly senile careerist Savants.The Mahabharata is the only iron age Epic which makes the claim that a knowledge of Statistical Game theory is necessary for the education of the Just King.
Yet Economists, who know Game theory, make foolish statements about it. Why?Perhaps because of the availability cascade still current that somehow Mahatma Gandhi liberated India from the British. This is a glaring example of preference falsification. Violence is bad, okay?
So, to say Gandhi was just a head-trauma victim with delusions of grandeur, is like endorsing Hitler, okay?So lets all pretend Gandhi was actually a high powered philosopher rather than a man who needed money and publicity to maintain the communal form of life from which he derived an indefeasible sense of his own greatness.What Ghalib, Gandhi and the Gita share in common is the sheer stupidity of everything that has been written about them by people who claim to be smarter than average.
On the other hand, people like the author- who are decidedly stupider than average- can see past Ghalib to the glory of Islam- can see past the Gita to the personality of the Godhead- can see past Gandhi to the yet crasser mendacity that characterizes our own sullen Satyagraha against, if not the British Raj, then- at least- the English language.