The Empire is trying to strike back

The Empire consists of those variously called Nehruvian Elite, Delhi Darbaris, or just Old Elite (defined by Surjit Bhallas as ‘politicians, corporates, left-intellectuals, academics’).  A common feature amongst them is that they are parasites, demanding that society provide them lavish funds – they get deeply upset if they are held accountable how those funds are used.

Another feature is that they have been having a free run in putting disastrous policies in all sectors of society. Even when their failure was in their face, they refused to accept the blame, as had happened when they termed the 3% per annum growth rate from Independence till 1980 as the ‘Hindu Rate of Growth’.  One R.C. Mody, in the Open Space section of The Sunday Times of India, August 6, 2000, aptly defined what was meant when he wrote:

The term was coined in the ‘70s by a well-known economist Dr Raj Krishna to describe the inability of the Indian economy to grow at more than a modest 3 per cent per annum, through a large part of the planning period, when other economies were growing at a much faster pace. He attributed this to the philosophical temperament of most Indians, their belief in contentment and lack of killer instinct. He summed it up calling the 3 per cent as the Hindu rate of growth.

So, the Hindus were blamed for not doing the bidding of the Old Elite, even though the prescription that the Old Elite had provided was flawed.  The true spirit of the Hindus was recognized by John Kenneth Galbraith, the Nobel Economic Prize winner and a USA ambassador to Bharat, when he coined the phrase ‘Functioning Anarchy’ in 1961, which he explained as follows:

There are some things you say to attract attention. I wanted to emphasise the point, which would be widely accepted, that the success of India did not depend on the government. It depended on the energy, ingenuity and other qualifications of the Indian people. And the Indian quality to put ideas into practice. I was urging an obvious point that the progress of India did not depend on the government, as important as that might be, but was enormously dependent on the initiative, individual and group – of the Indian people. I feel the same way now (as I did some forty years ago) but I would even emphasise it more. We’ve seen many years of Indian progress, and that is attributable to the energy and genius of the Indian people and the Indian culture.

-In an interview in Outlook, August 20, 2001

When the first baby steps were taken to liberalise Bharat’s economy in 1980, the Hindus grabbed it and exposed Dr Krishna’s vicious attempt to demonise them. But the Old Elite turned the economic opportunities of growth to further enrich themselves. Thus there have been fat increases in bureaucrats’ salaries through various Pay Commissions, even as they continued to extort from the citizens at even higher rates than before. The politicians saw increased opportunities to take bribes, and the journalists, through the Wage Boards, saw their salaries soaring and perks accumulating from politicians. The increased base of raising money from the market was used by some journalists to start electronic media, in which they paid themselves unheard of salaries, even as they ensured that the investors lost their money.

Social media enables the Samaj (society) to truly participate in a discussion which is the essential part of democracy.  And so, the so-called left-liberals have been exposed in terms of the way they have been parasites, taking money from society to live a luxurious lifestyle while abusing the same society that has provided them with the money. And today they are finding that the gravy train has stopped and that they will have to work really hard to make a decent living.

But the left-liberals, living in an incestuous circle where each ensures that others do not get to know what the Samaj is really thinking, continue to be arrogant. In an article in The Hindu (August 10), Happymon Jacob writes:

“The liberal, and left-leaning, Nehruvian intelligentsia traditionally enjoyed the pride of place in the pecking order of India’s socio-political hierarchy. Endowed with state patronage, it formed the creme de la creme of modern India’s class structure, controlling political debates, determining the boundaries of public morality and whose commentary on the state of the nation was revered.”

I do not think that Jacob had any inkling that he has exposed the parasitical existence of his class, which the social media has brought to light long time ago.  He thinks that he and his class actually have a right of state patronage.

Jacob is not unique.  With respect to Rajya Sabha TV, here is what Karan Thappar said when he was interviewing Hamid Ansari:

“Let me come to Rajya Sabha TV. To everyone’s surprise and delight, it’s a channel that established itself with credibility, with independence, with a certain neutrality and that happened under your charge. Important colleagues of mine, who are senior journalists like Siddharth Varadarajan, M.K. Venu, Govind Ethiraj, Bharat Bhushan, have all been anchors. Now that you’re stepping aside, there is a concern in the media world, that perhaps the quality and character of Rajya Sabha TV will change.”

This arrogance is not restricted to academics and journalists amongst the Old Elite. Gurcharan Das, from the business community, wrote in The Times of India (June 2016):

A few months ago, I was at an attractive event in Delhi, surrounded by elegantly dressed, articulate Indians and a sprinkling of foreigners. Into this privileged gathering walked an awkward young man who someone recognized from Hindi television. He seemed to be lost and was mostly ignored until someone provoked him and there followed a loud, ugly argument over the JNU controversy. He put up a spirited defence of the Hindu nationalist position but he was quickly shouted down. He felt humiliated and left hurriedly. Once he was gone, the ‘secular-liberal’ gathering relaxed, but not before heaping condescension on this ‘low life’ with his ‘crazy ideas.’

The Old Elite has started to fight back.  While they thought they could try and make an outsider (Narendra Modi) do their bidding, as they had done in case of Narsimha Rao, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, they soon found out that their evil tactics would not succeed this time.  This is because Modi was a person thrust on the top by the people, and came with ideas and plans opposed to the thinking of the Old Elite.  He has clearly stated that he is accountable to them, and he goes over the heads of the Old Elite to get to know what they need, and talk to them directly.  Surjit Bhalla wrote about how they go about their task in The Indian Express (July 17) where he says:

“The Indian people are asking more questions and demanding greater accountability from dynastic political leaders. But the old elite — politicians, corporates, left-intellectuals, academics — cannot be expected to give up their privileges so easily. They will try to derail the transformation and object at every turn: If that means fake analysis, they will do so. If that means intellectual gymnastics, they will do so. The key point is that they must do so.”

Fake analysis and intellectual gymnastics is nothing but telling lies. Hence, I have recently come to the conclusion that unless there is a cleansing (metaphorically) of the Old Elites, sane discussions will just not happen.  The problem is that there are some people in the BJP hierarchy, people whom the Old Elite have managed to hypocritically become close to so as to influence them, who still think that the Old Elite do have the right ideas of what needs to be done.

The election of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh unhinged the Old Elite very badly, and they gave up any pretension of thinking in a rational manner. And the ‘desertion’ of Nitish Kumar to join the BJP-led NDA has tipped them over.

It is time for the Old Elite to realise that they have to vacate the space that is normally occupied by the intellectuals.  It is for the sake of the young in this country, amongst whom there will be members of their own family as well as those that they would consider to be their dear friends. They have made enough money to retire to the hills and admire the scenery. And let those who are genuinely interested in the welfare of the people of Bharat do their honest work.


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About the Author

Ashok Chowgule
Working President (External), Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat.