ROSE BOOK OF NEHRU : The Tribune India

THE Congress Forum for Socialist Action has brought a book of Nehru’s teaching, with a rose emblem in red on the cover. The forum leaders say it is not the Red Book but the Rose Book of Nehru. The Red Book was the brainchild of Mao Tse-tung, but the Rose Book has copied its format. The pocket-size edition will easily go into the pocket, especially when it is empty, as it invariably is nowadays. Nehru loved praise. Nehru also stood for socialism. But everybody going about with a red rose in his button hole is neither a socialist nor a follower of Nehru. It is also questionable whether the “Rose of All Roses” of Yeats was visual at all or only existed, as in a dream, the carrier of recondite and hidden meanings. To Shelley, the blossoming of the rose was like a nymph stripping for the bath, till fold after fold to the fainting air, the soul of her beauty and love lay bare. Medieval legend has it that the first roses appeared miraculously at Bethlehem as the result of prayers of a fairy maiden who had been falsely accused and sentenced to death. The rose became red, in Oscar Wilde’s story, because a nightingale sacrificed its blood for the sake of a lovelorn lad. His girlfriend would not dance with him unless he gave her a red rose, and there was no red rose anywhere. The nightingale undertook to manufacture it out of music by moonlight and staining it with its own heart’s blood. When the delighted young man took the red rose to the girl, she threw it out saying it would not go with her dress! India has a few well-known rose gardens, but its efforts to turn them into foreign exchange have not succeeded even a fraction as well as in Bulgaria, in whose famed Rose Valley one acre equals three million rosebuds.

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