November 18, 2011

Nehru Killed Gandhi

It isn't as absurd an idea as it might appear at first sight. Which is to say, it would be easy to find folks who might peddle this idea or believe in it.

Of course, you better just listen to such ideas without your jaws hitting the floor and not try to argue or anything.

Others blame Gandhi for the partition of India. I don't know what they wish for ... a Great India encompassing present day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh perhaps. Which would translate to a current population of a cool billion and a half people.

Some people praise the great deed of the great hero Godse. They do not see him as a killer or a murderer. They see him as a great scholar intellectual who had authored Great Books. So, with a few million published books out there to choose from, people seek out Godse's book to read.


Some people consider Nehru to be the No. 1 villain in the story of the independence movement of India. They blame him for the festering troubles in Kashmir. They blame his selfishness for the partition of India. They wish for Patel to have been the first PM of independent India.

Clearly, Mr. Patel had the magic wand which he would have waved and which Nehru did not possess. Mr. Patel is supposed to have had many miraculous qualities. He is supposed to have united India with contributions from no one else.

Oh and of course Gandhi schemed to get Bose out of Congress too. If only Subhas Chandra had met Hitler !!! India would have been FREE sooner!!!

The assumption being that the British were occupying India using brute military force. Which perhaps above all was an impossibility considering the fact that Britain is 10,000 miles away from India and it's just a tiny island with a fraction of the population of India.

It's to the credit of the people of India that they did not have any trouble with the British presence in India for three centuries. And the British conquered India in a creeping manner and not suddenly. And they kept themselves in the background mostly and cleverly manipulated Indians to control them. The famous Divide and Rule policy.

India is a diverse country and this worked.

Perhaps Indians preferred to be ruled by a rank outsider rather than a North Indian lording over South India or a South Indian lording over the North or a Hindu ruler ruling Muslims or vice versa.

Perhaps this mindset to some extent explains the weird endurance of dynastic politics and politicians in India.

We see so many former kings and maharajas and nawabs who've transformed into various sorts of elected representatives of the people in the state legislatures and the Parliament.

Why do people vote for them? Clearly, they like the idea of being STILL ruled by these same folks.

And the Congress Party of India has chosen as its leader mostly someone belonging to the Gandhi-Nehru family. This can be explained the same way.

If you look at the current crop of Congress stalwarts, you can clearly see how Ms. Sonia Gandhi (and Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi after her) is indispensable to the party. Who else will be the leader do you think? Pranab Mukherjee? Sharad Power? Antony? Chidambaram? Manmohan? Who?

Not that any of the above are not qualified enough. The problem is that there are always too many people in Congress who think of themselves as the most qualified to lead the party and who will defer to NO ONE ELSE apart from a Gandhi or a Nehru.

So the crucial role for the present Ms. Gandhi. Mr. Nehru of course gets blamed for perpetuating nepotism. Oh !! What a scandalous crime ! What a terrible, terrible crime !!!

Who else in India commits such an egregiously immoral act such as nepotism ?!?! Well, about 99 percent of Indians probably won't mind either helping a family relation or taking help from a family relation. This would be considered normal practice.

So the fact about the three-decades long rule by the Gandhi-Nehru family is that they were neither like the Assad family of Syria or Saddam Hussain of Iraq or Qaddafi of Libya or Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

People of India voted for the Congress. In the old days when they ruled, there was no question of coalition politics and in fact Jawaharlal and Indira and Rajiv used to get huge majorities in Parliament.

Call it the immaturity in decision-making of the young electorate of a young democracy. As things have matured, people have come to embrace their specific regional identities based on caste and religion and language and what not and regional parties and leaders have accordingly acquired ever greater importance.

This is a evolution of Indian democracy in the right direction.

The danger lies in that people can be easily persuaded to behave in a parochial fashion. It's easy to use the tool of religion to persuade believers of one religion that the followers of a different religion are less than human and therefore it's okay to kill them.

That's the greatest danger in a multi-religious and under-educated society like India. Caste consciousness too is a fact of life that goes back thousands of years. It's not going to disappear overnight just because of some legislation.

People develop a lot of liking and fondness for instant heroes and instant revolutionaries — hence the popularity of a movie like Rang de Basanti. Predictably, Bhagat Singh and a few others like him who happened to have died young and in a violent fashion during the British period are projected as Great Heroes, as the Real Heroes of India. These heroes hold much appeal ... particularly for the young in India. I don't know what people wish for. Do they wish for Bhagat Singh to have been PM? Or Subhas Bose?

This hankering for heroes has in the year 2011 produced one more instant noodle ... hero ... by the name of Anna Hazare. That's a different and perhaps an ephemeral story in the long story of the civilization of India ... oh, how I wish I had a fraction of the fluency that Nehru had over the English language !!!

Then there are the other faux heroes of this nation ... Swami Vivekananda and his guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa. One a mad guy and the other his pot smoking student. Two crazies and what a legacy !

People don't bother to read books of course. They are happy to be swayed by myths ... myths of finding god and of god revealing himself to someone and people performing miracles and living 200 years or defying death or conquering it or dying on a pre-planned day or whatever.

These two guys have contributed nothing and just uttered a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and babbling nonsense. One will occasionally find some old people in India who'll have read books by these worthies and will consider themselves to be therefore very wise. I consider such old people to be extremely insufferable and I would love to give them a piece of my mind any time.

Then there are the godmen. These have existed in India perhaps through the centuries. The ones who survive or whose memory survives to the present day include the 19th century Sai Baba, the 20th century Sai Baba who died in 2011 causing much sadness to his followers, new age gurus such as Sri XX Ravi Shankar and countless other miracle-peddlers. There's a godman whose name ... and see how HUMBLE he is ... is simply 'god.'

And people take these folks seriously ! Millions of Indians do. And therein lies the danger. As long as things are fine and people are merely caught up in the USUAL personal maelstroms of life (which are commonplace ACROSS THE WORLD and yet which appear BRAND NEW to each of us), they go to these supposed wise men for guidance about how to live a happy life.

That's a silly thing to do. Even a stupid thing to do. There's no other way to describe such a decision apart from calling it stupid if the concerned person considers himself or herself to be educated. Many or most of the paying members of the Art of Living stupidocracy are pretty well educated by conventional standards. But clearly they are behaving no better than sheep.

When things get worse, if we face some serious crisis, a water crisis, or environmental disaster or something along those lines, how will people react then, under those circumstances? That's the crucial question. And the answer has got to be a pessimistic one.

Clearly going by the lack of logic that people display in general, it would be highly unlikely that they'd suddenly start becoming very logical people in crisis situations. If anything, they'll become even more illogical and will retreat to their tribal identities and mindsets.

Riots and other horrible possibilities and lack of empathy for the suffering of fellow human beings appears inevitable in such circumstances.

When will educated people stop blindly following THEIR rituals? Don't they realize that rituals are MEANINGLESS by their very DEFINITION? Don't they realize that rituals are MAN-MADE? What is achieved, what do they feel that they've achieved by observing or preserving some moribund ritual? Oh, of course, the old folks in the family want to preserve them and when you follow stuff like sheep, that makes the old bastards happy.

In such circumstances, the young generation must learn that the old generation is a stupid generation. That too is obvious. Humanity is making progress from one generation to another. We are better than our ancestors. We are smarter than our ancestors. We are not more stupid.

Let the old people live out the rest of their miserable lives in any which way they will and then die out quietly. Otherwise, we need to wish for their swift demise.

My credulity was absolutely stretched to the limit one day when I visited a long-lost school friend and he proceeded to eventually thank god for the good fortune he had in that he had a wife, living parents, a kid, a house, a car, etc. I don't know if all or most Indians carry such self-centered worldviews. Do they realize that when they think god is bothered about them, they are rather magnifying their importance in the overall scheme of things? The universe is large. But that's an astronomical fact that people don't feel the need or the urge to learn or understand. That's a huge tragedy.

We'll begin to become something of what we're capable of as human beings ... think of Einstein or Feynman or Carl Sagan or any of the scientists and inventors and engineers and doctors and others who've immensely improved the quality of human life ... when we learn that god is a fictional invention of the human mind.

Is there hope?

So what if Nehru killed Gandhi? What meaningless rituals have YOU murdered?
Visit blogadda.com to discover Indian blogs PageRank Checker