Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Intellectual terrorism

Intellectual terrorism

By NS Rajaram

Edit page dailypioneer.com June 3, 2008

Apropos Mr Saradindu Mukherji's article, "Humiliated and broken" (May 31), I would like to point out that Nehruvian feudalism leading to the setting up of national institutions like ICHR and ICSSR has given rise to a media-scholar nexus that has created a climate of intolerance in which any deviation form the politically correct norm is ruthlessly suppressed in the name of 'secularism'. I had a taste of this when I was nominated member of the Indian Council of Historical Research (which I declined for personal reasons). The JNU-AMU 'secular' priesthood launched a vicious media attack on me, with a leading New Delhi-based newspaper writing editorials about my 'anti-secular' sins. Being an independent scholar it had no effect on me, but one can easily imagine the terror it would strike in the hearts of young and vulnerable workers in academia.

The results of this scorched earth policy are there for all to see. At the time of independence, India had historians of the stature of RC Majumdar and Jadunath Sarkar. What is the scene like today? All the important advances in Indian history have come from the work of non-establishment scholars like VS Wakankar, Natwar Jha, Shrikant Talageri, David Frawley and their colleagues. Our 'eminent historians', beginning with Romila Thapar, have done nothing comparable beyond tinkering with what they received from their colonial masters and recasting it in the secular-Marxist straitjacket.

A particularly ugly aspect of this 'secularist' mindset is the continued attachment to racist abominations like the Aryan myth. In my nearly 25 years in the US and Europe, I never felt disadvantaged because of my race. But here in India, the intelligentsia is excessively deferential towards anyone with fair skin, covertly using it to proclaim the superiority of White scholarship to denounce new ideas put forward by Indians. This came to the fore when the disgraced Harvard linguist Michael Witzel and his charlatan colleague Steve Farmer were trotted out by 'secularist' scholars and the Leftist media to launch personal attacks on workers who demonstrated the Vedic-Harappan identity and overthrew the Aryan invasion theory.


(The article below)

"Humiliated and broken"

Mr Saradindu Mukherji

: The Pioneer(May 31)

While our incapacity for long-term thinking and penchant for indulging in low-level politics are explained by centuries of slavery and humiliation, there must be an end to this sorry state of affairs if we have to survive as a nation with honour and dignity. Despite this psychological handicap, we have had outstanding individuals during colonial rile. Many leaders of our national resurgence were educated abroad, but all of them returned home and served the nation in a real sense. Why is it that the brightest Indians who now go abroad do not return?

That takes us to the social cost the Nehruvian state-system makes us pay. Despite his contribution to the 'making' of 'modern India', Jawaharlal Nehru robbed a majority of Indians of their natural propensity for thinking along cultural-nationalist lines. By heaping calumny on the majority of the people and covering up the darkest forces in our history, and then 'white-capping' the Muslim Leaguers, he demeaned our people. Thus began the process of severing the umbilical cord that existed before 1947 between a majority of Indians and the socio-cultural entity of India.

At the mundane level, leave aside corruption, a comprehensive policy of peoples' welfare, foreign policy management and countering Islamist terrorism in an effective way, our rulers, exceptions apart, have failed miserably in developing our villages, conducting speedy trials, urban planning and day-to-day administration, including something as basic as garbage removal and traffic regulation. Incapable of anticipating things and settling for ad-hocism, they have just bungled.

As Mr Abhas Chatterjee, the legendary IAS officer from Bihar who refused many promotions and participated in the kar seva at Ayodhya, wrote in his letter of resignation in January 1992, "The powers that be in Indian politics are least bothered about nation-building. They have little concern about what happens to this country in future, where this nation lands up in the end. Behind the smoke-screen of slogans and rhetoric, what has been going on in this country is not a grand ceremony of nation-building, but a macabre dance of nation-destruction."

Mr Chatterjee resigned from the IAS at the age of 49, while some of his contemporaries of questionable integrity and low calibre have remained favourites of all. Our 'system' cannot do without them! No wonder we are rapidly sinking into an abyss of hopeless despair.

Here is something that could have been done but was not done. A sensitive approach could have prevented genuine agrarian grievances and rural distress from worsening and being appropriated by Maoists, most of who have nothing to do with rural discontent. As for our authorities, it is not too late to have more Salwa Judums in the Maoist-affected areas. There is no valid explanation as to why our farmers commit suicide when so many agrarian reforms and poverty alleviation schemes have been 'implemented' and our planners and various think-tanks have the 'correct' (or spurious) ideological 'commitment' and NRI advisers.

Similarly, the Government could have contained, if not entirely eliminated, the challenge from Islamist terrorists by being simply honest with history, acting on well-known facts, by not losing sleep like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does, and desisting from making ridiculous comparisons (recall Mr Shivraj Patil's absurd comments), and without thinking of vote-banks. As long they are not personally affected, our rulers prefer to maintain their ummah-friendly image.

Irrespective of the merits of the ongoing Gujjar agitation, it needs to borne in mind that what triggers such movements, in the first place, is the sustained attempt to provide preferential treatment on unscientific and illogical grounds to castes and communities. If Muslims - who ruled India and treated Hindus mercilessly, and then wrested Pakistan - can now claim they are 'backward' and demand preferential treatment, then, every group of Hindus can and must demand reservation. In free India, only merit should matter. Is that not enough?

While important measures like economic liberalisation and polio eradication programme are yielding results, there remain large areas of concern like illegal migration from Bangladesh and the pitiable condition of the Pandit refugees from the Kashmir Valley. We can certainly achieve more if our rulers get over their ingrained habit of forever calculating short-term political dividends, making money illegally and sacrificing national interest.

In Delhi, for quite sometime authorities have been 'busy' readying the city for the Commonwealth Games, implying that their priority till the event is over is to impress participants from Antigua and Vanuatu to Bahamas and Brunei for a few days in 2010, while the overwhelming majority of the people must suffer endlessly, and surely they will continue to suffer even after 2010. They have to cope with potholed roads, choked drains and crawling traffic. Large malls stand amid barren colonies where people have to arrange for their water and power as neither the state nor service providers could bother about the masses. So much for planned urban growth and aesthetics.

Nice, civilised towns, with schools, colleges, hospitals and a cultured ambience, that once dotted States across the country are now in terminal decline. Obsessed with crafted statistics and jihad-friendly 'secularism', our rulers continue to fool their own people; our political class has stopped caring for everything that really matters.

Let me return to Mr Chatterjee who had prophetically warned more than a decade ago, "Society's interests are being sacrificed everyday in myriad ways without the slightest compunction - be it by inflicting cultural humiliation on the nation or fostering a spirit of defeatist servitude on it; by draining it of its precious resources or releasing parasites on its ailing body." Nothing has changed since then.

A society endowed with every possible resource by destiny is being ruined by our political culture and lack of character.

1 comment:

திவாண்ணா said...

//In free India, only merit should matter. Is that not enough?//

i am all for it! with out that there will be no progress. all this apparent growth is illusory.