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Modi in UK: Will we ever be decolonised?

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By Dr. Kallol Guha

Prime Minister Modi’s reception at London had the pomp and glamour of a five-star quality. However, it is interesting to speculate what went on inside the mind of the host who leads a 6.4 crore British population internationally far more influential and powerful, and for all practical purposes, remotely controls their former colonies– including 125 crore Indians— who are plagued with poverty, ill health,  fourth rate imitation schooling and underdevelopment.

The host, when receiving Modi, must have been very well aware that their guest, in fact, represents 7-8 crore Anglophonic Indians, who are a miserable and pathetic caricature of the British life style, and are ruling over the rest 117-118 crore, while protecting the interest of the Anglo-American axis power in India.

This situation is favorably comparable to the early days of British Raj, when Aristocrats and Babus – under the direct supervision of one lakh white-skinned British population –were the keepers of British interest in the 35 crore-strong India.

The British host probably knows better than Modi that it is the marketing machinery of the Anglo-American corporate press that is preaching  about the “Largest Democracy”, “Freedom of Press”, and the “growth rate” of India which means nothing to the majority non-Anglophonic Indians  living below poverty line.

The British also must also know better than their Indian counterparts that the fourth-rate Indian schooling – a caricature of the Anglo-American system – has not made any new contribution in any field during the last 65 years and is not likely to pose any competition to the major countries  in the field of intellectual performance.

The British could not possibly overlook the fact that it is their manipulation of the Indian education system (Macaulay’s Doctrine) which has made it possible for them to remote control all of India’s resources through the control of its human resource. So successful was this process that Indians seem to have lost all sense of self-respect and pride in identity, and in a way is now suffering from an identity crisis.

It is qualitatively the same Indian population who were ruled by one lakh British population for over two hundred years, who are now ruling four times that population through their agents represented by Modi.

At the time when I was teaching at the University of Constantine in Algeria, 99 percent of the university teaching staff was French as the medium of instruction there was French language. The student population of the University – by virtue of the cultural conditioning of the French colonial masters – showed distinct preference towards imitating their colonial masters in their language, dress, lifestyle, beliefs, and concepts, and look down upon everything that was indigenous. This is similar to the current state in India.

When the French instructors realized I was Indian, they would many a time speak their mind in my presence. They commented: “Look at these clowns. They believe they would be accepted as French equivalent by imitating us. France and the world will never accept them as one of us.  They have no sense of self-respect and do not realize that their only identity is Algerian. But these fools do not understand that.”

These comments of the French about the Algerians kicked me back to self-realization as I apprehended that the British must be thinking and saying similar things about the Anglophonic Indians, of which, I was one. As such, the British hosts must be thinking the same of Modi.

Let there be no miscalculation: the Anglo-American marketing forces will continue to blow horns inside and outside India about India’s “largest Democracy”, “Freedom of Press” and “growth rate”, as a tool to ensure remote control over India’s resources, while leaders such as Modi –like many others in the past– will continue to represent India in London, pretending they are equals!

 

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Only A Strong Leader Can Control The Mobocracy

Today we need a strong leader and strong nation. But this doesn't mean that it has to be against the culture of political pluralism. Such a leader need not be against federalism, need not run an unitary government.

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Narendra Modi, modi biopic
EC bans online streaming of web series on Modi. Pixabay

BY: JAYANTA GHOSAL

I am a human being – Homo sapiens. But does that mean I am poor, brutish, nasty and small? That is what Thomas Hobbes had thought. Machiavelli’s prince had also said that if you want to control people, the masses, the electorate – then you’ve to keep a whip in your hand like the ringmaster in a circus. Only a strong leader can control the mobocracy.

The great Indian political circus has also had several Prime Ministers. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi. Each Prime Minister is unique The modus operandi is different. In 2014 when Modi entered Lutyen’s Delhi, the popular perception was that a strong man has arrived. Like the arrival of James Bond, after the World War II to dispel the darkness of the depressed British masses. Plato had preached that for a philosopher king who would also be the representative of God – that he will bring justice to mankind.

India
The Vajpayee era could easily be said as the beginning of the ‘swarna yug’ of Indian economy. It was under his leadership that India went for Pokhran 2, but was he a strong leader? The Indian mythology of strong leadership would dictate that he wasn’t. Pixabay

Today in a democracy, we chose our leader through the process of election. There is no monarch. Nor do we have a philosopher leader like S. Radhakrishnan. We have Modi and the popular perception persists that he is a ‘strong leader’. At the eve of another election, the discourse on strong leadership has started again. But we need to understand that strong leader doesn’t mean an undemocratic leader. I think that even in a coalition government one needs a strong leadership to run the coalition. A strong leader does not mean that he will be blunt to the ideas of others – that he or she will not listen to the voice of the people. Rather, if you want to frame policies, you’ve to talk to experts, bureaucrats and even other people.

After getting 282 seats, was Modi reluctant to listen any other opinion?

I think this belief is absolutely wrong. I know his style of functioning and I can say, bluntly, that each and every day he spoke to several people on different subjects. In Lutyen’s Delhi, there is a wrong perception that he takes his own decision – this isn’t correct. In Delhi, he begins his daily routine with briefing meetings. Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra meets him first. Then P.K. Mishra and other PMO officials. He talks to his PS and APSs daily. Then, the PM conducts video conferences with his department secretaries. He would also hold such conferences with state government officials.

He also has his own unique way of taking inputs from the feedback from the ground; a team, a set-up that isn’t just restricted to social media like Twitter or Facebook. He seeks opinion from the chaupals of different villages. Before the declaration of the election, he conducted a review meeting. The PMO wanted to know the status of implementation of different Government of India schemes in the country’s 29 states and 7 union territories.

It is true that Modi didn’t encourage the Dalal Raj of the political system. In Maharashtra, what is the reason for the deteriorating relationship between Uddhav and Modi took in the past 5 years? Was it ideological? Was it the just the BJP’s single party mindset? An arrogance of big brotherhood? The informed political circle know that the actual reason is because Shiv Sena couldn’t get the malai of Delhi’s power. It started with the Mumbai corporation and ended in a cabinet birth for Shiv Sena.

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, Balasaheb quarrelled on several issues. But the supply line for Shiv Sena was never disturbed. Vajpayee was the first NDA PM in 1998. The Vajpayee era could easily be said as the beginning of the ‘swarna yug’ of Indian economy. It was under his leadership that India went for Pokhran 2, but was he a strong leader? The Indian mythology of strong leadership would dictate that he wasn’t.

Vajpayee was, after all, a man of political consensus. How can such a leader be characterised as strong? Here lies the fallacy. Once the late Pramod Mahajan of the BJP told me: “Do you know what is our major problem in this party and government? And what is the advantage the Gandhi family of the Congress have?” He explained: “In our party it is a tyranny of democracy. Vajpayee may be the leader but there is an oligarchy. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha. And beyond these leaders there is Nagpur. Humhara yaha fayasla lenese jada chintan manthan hota haye!”

In congress there is a working committee but only one Gandhi will take the final call. Nobody can object. Sharad Pawar and Purno Sangma raised issues and they had to leave the party. Only once Vajpayee did not disclose the decision to Advani also — and that was the Pokhran blast and that event made Indian leadership strong! See, Advani pressurised Vajpayee to hold general election six months early. And Vajpayee accepted. He lost the election.

democracy
Our Constitution suggests a quasi-federal structure, and such a leader can be a symbol of that political entropy. But creating a hate campaign against Modi, projecting him as an autocrat – is that democracy? Pixabay

Can anybody dictate Modi like this today?

In the party national executive meeting held at Palampur (Himachal Pradesh), the BJP leadership led by Advani took the resolution in 1989 to start Ramjanmabhomi movement. Vajpayee objected but he was a loner and a minority voice. Now this model of Vajpayee leadership is desirable? When a General cannot issue order to his soldiers forcefully? Second, when you are a victim of political blackmail. P.V. Narasimha Rao had to manage JMM MPs to win the no confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. How can he be the strong man? Manmohan Singh did not like it, but chargesheeted Lalu Prasad was in his cabinet. I recall that once, while accompanying him during a trip, he said on record that keeping Lalu in cabinet is coalition compulsion. Manmohan Singh wanted to go to Pakistan to talk. The party said no. How can he be a strong leader?

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Today we need a strong leader and strong nation. But this doesn’t mean that it has to be against the culture of political pluralism. Such a leader need not be against federalism, need not run an unitary government. Our Constitution suggests a quasi-federal structure, and such a leader can be a symbol of that political entropy. But creating a hate campaign against Modi, projecting him as an autocrat – is that democracy? Actually, till today, I have not seen one Devkant Baruah statement in the BJP saying ‘Modi is India’. (IANS)