Sunday, August 26, 2007

After UPA came to power in 2004,

India has lost maximum lives to terror, except Iraq


Hindu Fundamentalist said...

The review of this book "Vishnu’s Crowded Temple: India Since the Great Rebellion" is interesting. It puts the Nehru legacy in perspective. What are the chances that it will be banned in India?

The Hindu : Opinion / News Analysis : Nehru era had “echoes” of the Raj

Maria Misra, a young British-Indian academic who teaches modern history at Oxford University, argues in Vishnu’s Crowded Temple: India Since the Great Rebellion (Allen Lane, £25) that Nehru’s vision of a secular and inclusive India that would deliver social and economic justice to millions of people neglected by colonial rulers went up in smoke as a powerful cabal of well-entrenched vested interests — power brokers within and outside the Congress, big businesses, regional satraps, and corrupt bureaucrats — worked the system while Nehru proved incapable of taking them on.

Indeed, she describes him as India’s “last viceroy” and points out that his “perpetuation of the Raj’s orientalist vision of an India fragmented by groups, castes, and tribes made the emergence of a sense of cohesion and common purpose, both prerequisites of effective economic development, next to impossible.”

Nehru’s approach to the country’s ethnic diversity also had faint echoes of the Raj, according to the author. His insistence on laissez-faire multiculturalism as a means of promoting the ideal of “unity in diversity” actually prevented the emergence of an overarching “national identity.” Narrow interest-groups exploited the policy to fan the flames of separatism in the name of linguistic and caste identities.

Special measures such as caste-based reservation and granting a range of rights and privileges to minority groups — for example deferring to the Muslim opposition to a uniform civil code — also hindered the development of an “integrated identity” as envisaged in the Constitution. Such policies again were a hangover of the Raj and though the Congress had “censured” the British for similar measures it had no qualms in persisting with them.

Ms. Misra says the India that Nehru bequeathed to his successors was mired in “unresolved problems of political integration” that would come to threaten the “very integrity of the new nation.” This was the culmination of a combination of what she calls “electoral, moral and economic crises” compounded by the disastrous war with China in 1962 which saw an avowed non-aligned India seek American help with the “CIA given free access to Indian territory in its campaign against China.”

“Nehru’s non-aligned policy was in disarray, his domestic policy in tatters, and Congress in decline. Within eighteen months he was dead,” she notes underlining the rapid decline of the “Nehruvian project.” Indeed, it had started showing signs of “unravelling” much earlier as Nehru struggled to deal with issues of regional political autonomy and devolved democracy. Within the very first few years of Independence the “new nation was already beginning to acquire some of the ramshackle quality of the old Raj.” And it was all downhill from then on.

Her verdict on Nehru’s legacy more than three decades after his death is: “The project was not without its benefits, laying the foundations of democracy and avoiding the systematic state violence associated with modernisation in China and Russia. But the price was very high: India remained an exceptionally inegalitarian society, lacking in cohesion and a sense of common citizenship.”

Ghost Writer said...

Interesting analysis that. I am not too sure that the secularists will call for it's ban. There preferred method to deal with criticism these days is to say "This is yet another attempt to malign Panditji by another pseudo scholar etc." - all in all make the author - and therefore the work - appear inconsequential.

By the way - this would not be the first "mainstream" author contending that the demise of non-alignment happened in 1962. Jaswant Singh - in his excellent book "A Call To Honor" (yes the molewallah book) has shown how the policy "died a bleak death on the icy Himalayan heights" - and he has done this by publishing the actual telegraphic exchanges between the American ambassador in Delhi and Foggy Bottom. No reasons for guessing why the official Indian documentation is not available.

Panditji's record on "national integration" is in reality even more dismal than foreign policy - its deep and persistent failures are not manifest - only because they have been obscured due to the sterling efforts of Sardar Patel as Home Minister.

A lot of the problems that have flared up in later years have their genesis in Panditji's flawed vision. Kashmir, the drawing up of linguistic states (hence the problem of Khalistan in later years, Telangana etc.); appalling levels of Muslim bearded-mullah appeasement by excluding the community from modern reformative law, the North East & Tibet, Caste-based goons taking over democracy in the South (think the "Dravidians") etc.

Most pernicious of course - the Marxist poison which he injected into the intelligentsia. Nothing has de-nationalized Indian more than this deadly venom.