“Admiring a flawed Gandhi”


Salil Tripathi correctly finds irony in the ads in the Danish newspaper, Morgenavisen Jyllands Posten, showing “the Dalai Lama admiring the Himalayas while preparing to ski down a slope; Nelson Mandela relaxing on a beach, carrying a surf board; and Mohandas Gandhi, smiling with a beer bottle in one hand, with the other, he is barbecuing sausages, empty beer bottles at his feet”.

But Tripathi makes a false comparison of these ads with “controversial cartoons of Mohammed” published by the same newspaper. In former cases one can justify them as an attempt to “challenge the self-righteous among us”, as they seem to “challenge” the stereotypes, but in the latter the newspaper was clearly strengthening the rampant orientalist stereotype already present among its readership – biases against Islam in the West. It was this anti-immigrant right-wing conservative Danish newspaper’s contribution to the post-modern “crusades” of the west.

Tripathi himself uses his arguments essentially to preach liberal media consumerism especially to Muslims.