Monday, May 19, 2014

Gopalakrishna Gandhi and his "Open Letter" to Narendra Modi: A Political Critique

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In the Hindu dated May 19th 2014, the grandson of the Mahatma himself has issued an epistolary declaration of war against the newly victorious Narendra Modi. Open Letter to Narendra Modi is bad both in form and in taste as unbridled impertinence passes off as political wisdom and  liberal posturing masquerades as sage wisdom. Goplakrishna Gandhi has flagged all the traditional liberal issues without admitting that these issues have lost their relevance and resonance in India today which is aspiring for economic growth and social progress. At least he is honest enough to admit that the results of the elections surprised him and this speaks volumes about the disconnect between "intellectuals" like this Gandhi and the Indian reality of today.

Elitism has found a new language:it pretends to be couched in the garb of morality, egalitarian sentiments and social inclusiveness. Why else will Gandhi say that he was sickened by the "chai wallah" barb of another veteran of the liberal brigade, the notorious and crass Mani Shankar Iyer who lost his deposit in the recent poll.It is entirely irrelevant whether the likes of Gopalakrisha Gandhi find Hon'ble Narendra Modi acceptable or not. He is our Prime Minister by the choice of the people of India and any democrat must respect that. Gopalakrishna Gandhi cannot presume that his idea of India ought to enshrined in the India that Modi seeks to build. These days everyone has his/ her own Idea of India and in a  multi vocal and multi party democracy like India, everyone has the right to advocate his/her Idea of India. The liberals like Gandhi are only interested in imposing their idea of India as an assemblage of fragments as Partha Chaterjee famously said  on the rest of us. Narendra Modi has his Idea of India and he has won the mandate to refashion India after that image.

Stoking the fears of the minorities is another of the tried and tested methods of men like Gopalakrisha Gandhi. The just concluded elections prove that Narendra Modi's appeal transends the traditional faultlines of India society: dalits, muslims, tribals, the OBCs, the SWC and Sts have all voted for the BJP much to the chagrin of men like Gandhi. Instead of recognizing the fact that identity politics which played havoc with India has been set aside, Gandhi bemoans the demise of traditional identity politics. This shows that onl habit die hard and men like Gandhi are stuck in the Jurassic Park of identity, Idea of India, fake secularism and Dynastic fascism. But for his last name, who would give time of day for men like Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

There is a reference to communal violence in nhis article, the sub text being that Narendra Modi is still suspect for the 2002 events. The Supreme Court has found Narendra Modi innocent and yet Gopalkrishna Gandhi and his fellow IIC stalwarts always insinuate the involvement of Modi in the 2002 events. Do they pause to ask the Congress party why for 10 days the police was not called out in New Delhi in 1984. Do they ask why the Amry which is quartered in New Delhi itself was not called to maintain law and order. And we habve evidence that nearly 297 rioters were killed in Gujarat in the immediate aftermath of Godhra. I do not expect men like Gandhi, ideologues of the Establishment to be honest. But facts must be recorded and History cannot be distorted to score trivial political points.

Citizenship implies common laws and common responsibilities and speaking about citizenship is not "monarchist language" as Gandhi terms it.Modi rightly speaks of 125 crore Indians without fragmenting them into narrow domestic walls which in reality ghettoize the minorities. He seeks to bring them into the full sunlight of citizenship which liberals like Gandhi who play to the gallery of identity politics find very threatening. And last comes his absurd and impudent advice that Narendra Modi should accept the recommendations of the NGOs for names to the panel on SC and STs. Why did Gandhi not give the same advice to the UPA.

The press is already started blowing the bugle of war against Narendra Modi and those of us who want India to be strong and peaceful must be unitied in our re4solve.

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