Monday, February 10, 2020

Bentinck, government general of india after a rebellion in the barackpore cantonment in 1824 (I think), three years wrote to his masters in London that now 'there is nothing to worry as the educated indian has started leaving their (own) ways and with the money thus saved is either spending that on imitating us or in entertaining us'.

We never understood what Bentinck understood. We have not understood it even after almost 200 years. We are still doing the same - imitating. Old wine in new bottle. Being 'progressive' became a fashion. In the 50s and 60s being a leftist was a fashion. Every young person in kolkata wanted to project himself/herself as a leftist and an intellectual. Some used to even wear spectacles for effect and kurta over trousers was a must. A few books (in english of course) in hand or jhola added to the demeanour.

For those who want to understand the matter in depth I would like to share something which was told to me (in passing) by a person who had served a number of years in the cellular jail in andaman. This gentleman for whom I had great respect for his simplicity and integrity, was a member of the socialist party. He was from east bengal and a chela of (master moshay ) surya sen.  He told me in passing that in the cellular jail there were almost no hindu scriptures but all Marxist literature was available. Curious? Isn't it? I would leave those who like to connect dots and really think to ponder and speculate over this. The prison was of the imperialist forces.

In this kolkata in the late 60s people were killed, murdered in the name of revolution. Ho chi Minh and Mao and che guera were cult figures. It was ALSO fashionable to be radical and revolutionary. Many of the revolutionaries of those times in due course became corporate honchos and bureaucrats and served the establishment. But that is another matter. What remained unchanged was only one thing. They always belonged to the elite class then and even now.

Then there was Nandi gram where muslims were shot by the then Marxist government. These things  need to be kept in mind. When the leftist indulge in violence and extremism it for a cause when others do something similar they cry foul. But don't you realise they have learnt from you.

But I was talking of the fashion and the elite. The elite of yesterday were leftists now they are called secularists and liberals. They decide what is right what is wrong. What should be branded as fundamentalism and what is secular.  For this elite class a simple, illiterate specially if he is a hindoo needs to be educated as otherwise according to him he is seeped in ignorance and superstition.

Mahatma Gandhi celebrated this ordinary person. He felt that if this ordinary person has not changed his ways (not progressed) and has used the same plough and stayed in the same hut and village for thousands of years (read Hind Swaraj) then it is we the educated who need to learn from him rather than try to change him. If he has not changed then it is a decision he has taken after considering a number of implications of mindless change. He is not a fool or regressive. But our elite think otherwise. So when they take the name of Mahatma Gandhi one feels angry and also aghast at the same time. If Bjp is using mahatma gandhi so are the liberals. What is the difference?

We are still copying and imitating the west. Earlier the leftist thoughts were coming from Britain and Russia now the liberal thought are coming from the American academia . There is no difference.

The present political scenario in the country needs to be understood by taking a long shot, in a larger perspective. The rise of bjp is a reaction to the kind of politics played out in this country over a century or more.

February 10, 2020

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