Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Tyranny of Palace Intellectuals like P B Mehta

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I could not understand whether to laugh or cry after reading this piece from Mr. P B Mehta.

The reason for my dismay is the trivialisation of discourse by these palace intellectuals. Having suffered the tyranny of palace intellectuals for long I decided to confront the tyranny. The insinuation and charges by Mr. Mehta demand a rebuttal as silence is no more an option.

First insinuation of Mr. Mehta as he puts is “… we are now moving towards an undeclared Emergency that seems equally insidious and far-reaching”.

This wisdom has now dawned on public intellectuals because of the fact that their unsubstantiated claims are now being contested. Common people are able to ask some tough questions, put forth their views. How this can be acceptable in democracy like India where only a certain set of people are allowed to enunciate their views. The facts are more often twisted to serve their masters. Any view contrary to the belief of this cosy club is either muffled or derided. If these things are changing now then there must be an Emergency. There is an emergency because for the first time the power is not being held by usual suspects.

The second charge is “Nationalism is used to stifle all thinking. The cultivation of collective narcissism to stifle all individuality, the promulgation of uncontested definitions of nationalism to pre-empt all debate over genuine national interest, the constant hunt for contrived enemies of the nation, is suffocating thought.”

This charge is very interesting. Just swap the words “Nationalism” with “Idea of India” and “national interest” with “palace interest” and you would find what all these intellectuals have been doing all these years. As the saying goes that “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” These intellectuals have been suffocating thoughts of others and now are worried. You normally expect a pay back, don’t you? So this charge is paranoia at its best. Just see the hero quoted by Mr. Mehta is Hardik Patel. Oh my god, irony just died.

The third charge is “The effective way in which Indian civil society’s revolt against corruption has been neutralised and made invisible is astounding”.

This charge is at best a joke. Don’t we have the product of revolt as Delhi CM who spends most of the time in Punjab and Goa and remaining on streets? What else you want Mr. Mehta?

The pain of Mr. Mehta is far deeper and the same can be understood from the fact that even before this Government took charge the palace intellectuals were busy envisaging reasons to run downs its leaders. First the bogey of intolerance was invoked for award wapsi. This produced the desired results in Bihar elections. Now as UP elections are around the corner these palace intellectuals are once again in campaign mode and the theme has been decided as Emergency.

Make no mistake all these high octane activities are prelude to this campaign.

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