18-05-2014 (the day Britain left India)

India …like its predecessor,
was ruled by a
relatively small English-speaking elite whose attitude toward the masses
was alternately benevolent and exploitative but never inclusive…..Mr Modi…is from
the lower castes. He is not a natural English speaker. He has no truck
with the secular and socialist traditions that shaped Congress. But,
more important, that voice has announced a new kind of India….

…….
Wow!!! How did we miss this editorial in the Guardian. On the whole it is fair comment and pays half a compliment towards the silent social revolution we keep talking about. As a result of this revolution we have (as both the BJP and the Guardian sees it) a Congress-mukt Bharat and a British-free India.

The BJP was able to win emphatically precisely because it crowned a Shudra as king. If Congress/AAP want to create a viable left-wing alternative they will need to groom a Dalit/Muslim as a top-3 (wo)man.
The days of  the forward castes ruling India directly or by proxy is over. 

We do have one wish which is likely to be fulfilled sometime in a not to far off future. That is a woman prime minister who is also a Dalit. It will be the making of India.
………………….
Today, 18 May 2014, may well go down in history as the day when Britain finally left India. 


Narendra Modi’s
victory in the elections marks the end of a long era in which the
structures of power did not differ greatly from those through which
Britain ruled the subcontinent. India under the Congress party was in
many ways a continuation of the British Raj by other means.
The last of midnight’s children
are now a dwindling handful of almost 70-year-olds, but it is not the
passing of the independence generation that makes the difference.

The
India those men and women lived in was one that, like its predecessor,
was centralised, garrisoned, culturally constricted, and ruled by a
relatively small English-speaking elite whose attitude toward the masses
was alternately benevolent and exploitative but never inclusive.
Universal suffrage gave Indians a vote but not, at least for much of the
time, a voice.  

When that voice was occasionally heard, as it was in
1977 in the elections that followed the disastrously unpopular Emergency
declared by prime minister Indira Gandhi, there could be a sudden sense
of its almost volcanic capacity to remake the political landscape, but
such moments were rare.

Now that voice has been heard again. It
has endorsed a new kind of leader in the shape of Mr Modi. He is from
the lower castes. He is not a natural English speaker. He has no truck
with the secular and socialist traditions that shaped Congress. But,
more important, that voice has announced a new kind of India.
In the old
India the poor were there to be helped, when the elite remembered to do
so or when they needed to seek or, in effect, to buy votes. The
middling classes were taken for granted and sometimes snubbed. The new
India, most observers agree, is not interested in handouts, and refuses
to be snubbed.

Instead it wants the obstacles it sees as impeding
its aspirations swept away. It has discarded the deference it displayed
toward the Gandhi family and toward the Anglicised or, these days,
Americanised top levels of society.
Whether in its older and purer
socialist guise or in its later embrace of the market, Congress has lost
its magic, even though the party includes some profoundly decent and
well-intentioned people.  

The core constituency of the Bharatiya Janata
party, meanwhile, never shared the non-sectarian values that Congress
imperfectly upheld and wants an India where its version of Hinduism has
unchallenged primacy.

It should be obvious that these underlying
changes in Indian society have brought us Mr Modi and not the other way
round.
He sensed a great shift in mood and played to it. Nevertheless it
matters enormously what kind of man he is. The answer is that we really
do not know. It is not only that the question of what role he played in
the Gujarat massacres
of 2002 remains unresolved. Nor that his personality is rather closed,
reserved, even secretive. It is more that the balance in his character
between pragmatism and the extremist ideology with which he has been
associated since he was a young man is not clear. 

Pragmatism would lead
him to avoid sharp confrontation with Indian Muslims, perhaps offsetting
any trouble at home by a peace-seeking diplomacy with Pakistan.
It
would temper any savage cuts in the subsidy programmes vital to many
Indians on the breadline. It would put a measurable distance between the
party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh movement. And pragmatism
would lead to caution in a man who has never held national office
before. He has an unexpectedly large mandate, but India is not Gujarat.
It is a very big ship to steer, and he will need all the help he can
get.

He knows that the aspirations that have swept him to power
must be satisfied in part – they could never be satisfied in full – if
his new beginning is not to flounder in a morass of disappointment and
recrimination from which the temptation might be to take a extreme
nationalist way out. Whatever else he is or is not, Mr Modi is a gifted
politician.
We must hope that he understands that his new India will
sooner or later hold him to account.

………


Link: http://www.theguardian.com/global/2014/may/18/india-narendra-modi-election-destiny

……

regards

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