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Not even racist : Nehruvian elite is far worse

Even if the Congress gets somewhere near power in 2019, remember that they will necessarily have to share that power with people of … let us say …  “diverse backgrounds”.

This appeared on Firstpost yesterday, inside yet another article authored by some Nehruvian elitist.


Apparently, the level of parliamentary debate in India got worse in the 1960s. Why? Because “democracy deepened” in India, which apparently allowed people of “diverse backgrounds” to get elected. Not just those who were born to rich parents spent their lives schmoozing with British high society and then parked themselves in top positions once the British left.

What is shocking is that a mainstream outlet like Firstpost allowed such a ‘racist’ view to be published. One has to wonder how this managed to pass muster at the editorial desk. Did the ‘racism’ in these words somehow become more palatable simply because it was expressed in English?

I don’t think that a British media outlet today would allow something like this to go on their website! Complaining that the quality of debates got worse because democracy in India deepened and people of “diverse backgrounds” were elected?

But the Nehruvian intellectual class in India somehow still manages to deal in this kind of old world ‘racist’ rhetoric.

Except, it is not even racism in a strictly technical sense. Presumably, most of the Nehruvians are of the same race as the rest of us. This is one group of brown Indians expressing prejudice against other brown Indians because we don’t have privilege handed down to us by white masters of yesteryear.

Seriously, that’s messed up. And vile. And just pathetic.

If I had to describe the Nehruvian elite, I would say they are not even racist! They are worse.

The modern world is becoming a more integrated place every day. More and more voices are being heard and from all kinds of diverse backgrounds. And like racists anywhere, the Nehruvian elite is frustrated and angry.

What should I call them? Copycat racists, perhaps? You tell me!

And the frustrated Nehruvian elite is watching the world pass them by. This elite maintained a tight grip on the nation during the first four decades after independence. But the floodgates opened in 1991. The liberation that began in 1991 is heading towards a logical conclusion. The Nehruvian elite can feel their rising irrelevance; they can feel the nation slipping through their fingers.

So the frustrated Nehruvian elite hits out at the modern world with a deep bitterness. They seek emotional safety by talking about how great and powerful their ancestors used to be 70 years ago. Take Shashi Tharoor’s recent remark that a ‘chaiwala’ could become Prime Minister simply because of Nehru. That’s the typical zamindar mentality of the Congress, appropriating for themselves the credit for what other people have achieved through hard work.

No wonder Shashi Tharoor was mocked and brutally so.

Shashi Tharoor, you are wrong. Whatever Rahul Gandhi has today is because of Nehru. Leave Modi alone. He made his own path.

We need to understand that the Nehruvian elite is threatened by genuine merit and has an actively hostile attitude towards those who work hard to make something of themselves.

Bear in mind that Rahul Gandhi is hardly the first member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to become Congress President by taking over the reins from a mother or father. Jawaharlal Nehru himself became Congress President for the first time in 1929, taking over from Motilal Nehru who was the sitting Congress President at the time.

This chain nepotism has since seeped into India’s national consciousness and permeated all fields from business to cinema. If there is anything wrong with India, it is not the deepening of democracy. Rather it is the cementing of the culture of the dynasty.

The opportunity cost that the culture of the dynasty has imposed on our nation is immense. We have the second largest pool of human talent in the world. Why the huge mismatch between resources and outcomes? An answer is a small group of dynastic elites and their sycophants perched at the top, forming a permanent bottleneck.

Even if the Congress gets somewhere near power in 2019, remember that they will necessarily have to share that power with people of … let us say …  “diverse backgrounds”. And the Congress might even have to stay in the background itself, propping up one of those people from “diverse backgrounds” as Prime Minister.

No wonder Nehruvian elite cannot stop complaining about the day India’s democracy began to deepen. It was never quite the same again.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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