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Parsing the drivel and the delirium-I

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T S Dhakshinamurthy
T S Dhakshinamurthyhttp://teeyesdee.blogspot.com
Retired banker.  As a youngster published poems in Youth Times, Mirror, Indian Express, Poetry Chronicle, Poesis etc. Translated modern Tamil poems into English for Sahithya Akademy's special edition on Tamil Poetry. Translated Ionesco's Rhinoceros from French to Tamil, published by CreA, Chennai. Served as a Volunteer with Sneha, Chennai Chapter of Samaritans International (non religious organisation for prevention of suicide and helping the lonely, depressed etc. Interests include art films, religion, politics, economics, rock music, cricket etc.

What is not learnt at (the age of) 5, cannot be at 50

  • -Ancient Tamil proverb

Even at its lucid best, Rahulspeak, veering wildly between the recondite and the fatuous, has invariably flummoxed and perplexed the laity and the cognoscenti. Even as the pundits, perhaps out of discomfiture, glossed over the grotesquerie and shied away from calling out the logical deduction of the utterances – from Jupiter velocity to rural to urban transition dictating a nation’s foreign policy, his repertoire is certainly breathtaking.

He has been in sparkling form of late – his venting of bile and ressentiment in Britain to, what could be best described as a carefully chosen, well-disposed audience assembled reportedly by a very expensive PR firm; and after his judicial conviction for collective denigration of a community. Obviously, in Britain the PR firm could not go beyond the bespoke suit he adorned; he did look very dapper.

His invidious invectives have largely centered on certain key points. How well do they stand scrutiny?

Democracy in peril:

What kind of peril is Indian democracy presently in? Elections are held transparently and fairly, transition of power takes place smoothly, even the whining about EVM is absent now, as opposition wins elections when they muster public support. Majoritarian rule – what else can a democracy be, but the will of the majority, isn’t that the very spirit of democracy? Sufficient safeguards are enshrined in the Constitution for religious and linguistic minorities. Is the opposition not allowed to function, contest elections, do they not take out rallies and hold forth? Has anything been pushed down unwilling throats? Whence the danger?

It is that in two successive elections, Congress has been trounced soundly and could not notch up even 1/10th of LS seats. So powerful was the hallucinatory conviction of return to power that on the eve of elections results in 2019, Rahul is said to have called DMK leader Stalin to ask him what ministerial portfolios he desired for his MPs in his Cabinet!  Still unable to snap out of the delusory dynastic entitlement, inability to come to terms with people’s overwhelming verdict is gnawing him no end. BJP under Modi has usurped his crown, stolen the family silver.

His vituperation in effect can but imply that because Congress has been relegated electorally, in all fairness, BJP should graciously concede a certain number of seats to Congress to save democracy!  A noble thought that was certainly missing when Rajeev won 400+ in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. And when BJP had just 2 seats. This angst is directly traceable to his Democractie, c’est Congress; Congress, c’est moi, syndrome. This bristles with traits of puerile petulance.

It’s in fact the Congress, not democracy, that is in danger, the contours of a Congress-mukt Bharath staring at the eye.

Democratic autocrat: This is the new coinage being bandied about, at least conceding that it’s democratic power that vests in Modi. It inevitably implies that Modi has to shoulder the blame for absence of a strong opposition, it’s his bounden duty to take efforts and nurture an opposition, popularize it.

A strong leader is a sine qua non for effective functioning of any Government. So is the case with a newspaper or a Corporate or an organization or any institution. Listen, but rely on one’s own counsel. Otherwise, being pulled in different directions, speaking in different voices, chaos and anarchy are bound to ensue. What are the autocratic dictates that have been pushed with an iron hand by the Government? Is there anyone in Congress who can talk back to the first family or take a different line, express dissent? Isn’t he an autocrat with unchallenged power albeit without any accountability?

Not being allowed to speak in the Parliament is plainly risible. More often than not, they disrupt, make unsubstantiated allegations, tear papers, disrespect the chair in the House, rather than mount a credible offensive. When Congress condescended to allow the Parliament to function, was any concrete counter policy proposal, any meaningful criticism, any healthy debate put forth?

As a student, I used to love reading in the Indian Express full reportage of speeches in the Parliament by Bupesh Gupta, Piloo Modi, Lohia, N G Ranga et al and how Nehru parried them, apart from Frank Morae’s’ mordant articles. Now, tell me, in the recent past has there been any memorable oration in the Parliament by any opposition leader, any quotable quote?

Capture of Institutions

Institutions being the exclusive preserve of the left is kosher but not so otherwise. This is their righteous contention. The domination of the left was not so long ago so complete that, to cite just two examples, Economist Bibek Debroy on graduation was advised not to think of any posting in any University or Government institution, given his different economic ideology.

A clique of who’s who of Mumbai (then Bombay) took up the issue with the Editor of Times of India in 80s to stop publishing Swapan Das Gupta’s articles. Such was the intolerance to any different idea, monochromatism the norm. History, education, foreign policy, economic planning, press, it was the same stranglehold. So much so, Arun Shourie in his inimitable style asked if the hymen of the leftists was thicker. The leftists’ same sense of entitlement, belonging at play here.

While the concern about institutions is commendable, nonchalantly holding the supreme institution, the Parliament itself, to ransom for purely personal reasons has been par for the course for the family. When in the National Herald case, the Magistrate refused at first to exempt the mother-son duo from personal appearance, Parliament was stalled for the entire session. Interests of the family being indistinguishable from those of the country seems to be instilled in their very psyche. It was the l’etat c’est moi chutzpah on display.

Savarkar

The high-octane tirade quickened after the Judicial verdict on the ‘All Modies Are Thieves’ case was out.

Honourable Rahul was convicted for disparaging in public a respectable backward community. He was afforded a reasonable opportunity to defend himself. He refused to apologise for the slur in question branding a community collectively as thieves. Not in the heat of the moment, but subsequently too, he declared he was not a Savarkar to apologise.

Any equation with Savarkar is an exercise in outrecuidance. Savarkar was a scholar, an eminent intellectual, a master theoretician, a freedom fighter, who was sent to the dreaded black prison in Andaman Island, condemned to solitary confinement with just a sliver of sunlight in the room. The mere fact that the British feared him and considered him a threat to the Raj and did not handle him with kid gloves as they did with Gandhi and Nehru is proof enough of his stature and uncompromising patriotism. Few people emerge sane from a prolonged solitary confinement. 

If India were to be under an alien yoke today, Rahul and his gaggle would probably be in some fashionable neighbourhood in London. Or Rome. Bereft of any natural appetite, aptitude for politics, but for the dynastic entitlement he will not even be in politics. Condemned for imprisonment for 50 years, Savarkar spent more than 15 years in jail under inhuman conditions. Rahul cannot stay in India for six months at a stretch. His grandmother Indira Gandhi went on record that Savarkar’s defiance of the British Government had its own important place in the annals of our freedom movement. Government of India had brought out a postal stamp in his honour. 

And Rahul has already apologized to SC twice. A momentary lapse of memory? This is the third such case and that makes him but a habitual offender. And his pointed, repeated denigration of Savarkar reeks of sciolism. Many impartial observers feel the verdict is a condign comeuppance for him.

After the verdict, any person of normal conscience would have felt remorse at the sweeping remark collectively marking a community as thieves. Rectitude requires it. Blindsided by a deep conviction of congenital immunity, he seems convinced he is not subject to the law of the land.

If legal circles are to be believed, in the case filed against him by RSS for his assertion that RSS was responsible for Gandhi’s assassination, the Court upholding RSS contention is a cinch in that the Supreme Court has already held that acts committed by an ordinary individual member of an organization do not make the organization itself culpable. Unless of course, it could be proven that a plot was hatched at the organizational level. There is hardly any wiggle room here. With tawdry tripes, it looks like he has tied himself in knots.To be continued ….

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T S Dhakshinamurthy
T S Dhakshinamurthyhttp://teeyesdee.blogspot.com
Retired banker.  As a youngster published poems in Youth Times, Mirror, Indian Express, Poetry Chronicle, Poesis etc. Translated modern Tamil poems into English for Sahithya Akademy's special edition on Tamil Poetry. Translated Ionesco's Rhinoceros from French to Tamil, published by CreA, Chennai. Served as a Volunteer with Sneha, Chennai Chapter of Samaritans International (non religious organisation for prevention of suicide and helping the lonely, depressed etc. Interests include art films, religion, politics, economics, rock music, cricket etc.
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