I was a young child when Indira Gandhi declared Emergency. My father was Vice Chancellor of one of India’s most troubled university, Jabalpur university. Sharad Yadav was the student leader. He was an extremely popular and violent leader. Jabalpur university had seen some celebrated Ex CJs and Ex Chief Secretaries as their VC. But Jaipraksah Narain’s student movement led by Yadav had made it impossible for any VC to last for more than 6-9 months. My father was a professor and an intellectual in his own rights with Radhakrishnan and Indira Gandhi seeking his advise on crucial academic matters. He was a man of men. He was a students’ professor. Saharad Yadav became his most trusted and obedient pupil. In that period of political turbulence he finished his term very peacefully and successfully. On a winter afternoon, I was playing cricket with our Maali (gardener) and my father was giving an interview where I overheard something that stayed with me. The journalist asked him the secret of this success and he replied ‘I don’t waste my time with intellectuals‘.
Couple of days ago, I was invited by NDTV for a political debate, hosted by Barkha Dutt. While making my point a term just slipped out of my mouth which went viral. I received many messages, tweets and emails. These were neither from friends nor relatives. These emotional compliments were from the unheard, invisible people.
That term was ‘Intellectual Mafia‘.*
Nehru was a Fabian sociologist and anti-business, romantic thinker. Nehru was fascinated by English speaking, good looking, western-mannered, Fabian intelligentsia. He was also a Brahmin. It was his own ‘class & intellectual arrogance’ that he single-handedly destroyed indigenous intelligentsia. Like Rajendra Prasad, Radhakrishnan, Rajagopalachari, Kamraj, Patel etc. Nehru was Indian Jinnah. Jinnah was accidental Muslim. Nehru was accidental Hindu.* He despised typically Indian sensibilities. Indian thinking. Indian way of looking at the world. And Indian leadership. He was a pathetic economist. He could never understand ‘capitalism’. He could not understand technology. He could not understand the real aspirations of Indians. He could not understand Gandhi’s economics. To cover up his failure Nehru took a high moral ground. He was convinced that only he could decide what was best for the Indian masses. He chose socialism over capitalism. He chose spiritual elitism over religion. Since the masses were immersed in religion he slowly turned anti-masses. That Red Rose in his upper pocket was a reminder to people that he was God-like. Gods never lose. But he had lost a part of India to Pakistan. He had goofed up on Kashmir. His self-esteem was broken. He had to heal. He had to rise. So he self-appointed himself as Chief Intellectual Officer.
Nehru believed in political liberty but he was against economic freedom. Gandhi, on the other hand knew that political liberty could be achieved only with a strong backbone of economic liberty. Which is why, he had social reformers and political thinkers on one side and Birlas and Bajajs on the other. Socialism is a utopia. Panchsheel was a utopia. Utopia which never came. USSR was a utopia which crumbled. Luckily Nehru did not live to see Socialism – baby of his intellectual flirting – die.
To cover up his illicit romances, rising corruption, undercurrent of a revolt and massive defeat and humiliation by Chinese, he nurtured an ‘intelligentsia’ which justified his impractical economics and failed politics to the masses. The coterie of intellectuals he created was immoral. Historians know that whenever King has surrounded himself with immoral thinkers, debauchery has begun. These short-sighted and opportunistic intellectuals justified ‘socialism’. Socialism has corruption in its very DNA. Nehru chose Big State over Big Market. More state sponsored programmes mean inefficient system, red-tapism, favouritism, weaker economy and corruption. It meant bigger disparity between masses and policy makers. More subsidies, doles, freebies meant more arrogance of rulers for they were the ones distributing alms. They became the givers. And us, the obliged masses, the takers. Isn’t it a sad commentary on free India’s development that the collective ambition of this country’s youth has been to become an engineer or a doctor? There was no competition. No excellence. No innovation.
Thus, India became State vs Masses. Corrupt vs Masses. Intellectuals vs Masses. Givers vs Takers.
Since Givers were guilty of their corruption they always looked at the Takers with suspicion. This suspicion turned into fear when Indira Gandhi was thrown out by Indian David – Raj Narain, a maverick socialist leader who should have been on her side. But he was masses. Emergency was declared. Sanjay Gandhi took over. He created an army of morally corrupt, foreign educated intellectuals with no track record. Their biggest strength was their unconditional loyalty to Gandhi family. This tradition has continued. Loyalty over merit. Scheming over competence. Loot over contribution. Corruption grew. Guilt grew. Fear grew. With every scam, family started making the intellectual wall bigger and bigger. Today this wall is full of scamsters, crooks, agents, brokers, pimps, lobbyists, character assassins, land sharks etc disguised as lawyers, journalists, NGOs, feminists, advisors, professors, socialists etc. Simply put, beneficiaries of Congress’s largesse.
Their strategy was simple. Moral domination. Nehru was a thinker. But Rajiv, Sonia and Rahul are no intellectuals themselves. They took a different route. They redefined morality. Secularism included. Anti-congress was new immoral. Pro Hindu became anti-Muslim. India was morally polarized. Morality is subjective. No one can say with guarantee what is pure morality. Masses were forced to choose between moral standards (Secularism, unity in diversity, Inclusive etc.) and quality of life (development). People who wanted quality of life were made to feel guilty. Hindus who wanted to celebrate their religious freedom were made to feel guilty. Muslims who wanted to be part of mainstream India were made to feel guilty. They filled India’s psyche with fear and hate. They hated all indigenous, grass-root thinkers. They hated Sardar Patel, Lalbahadur Shashtri, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Chandrashekhar, PV Narsimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and now Modi. They are the hijackers of national morality. Secularism included. They are the robbers of Indian treasury. They are the brokers of power. They are the pimps of secularism. They are the Intellectual Mafia.
They are the land grabbers of Sainik farms and Adarsh Societies of India. They run NGOs. They run media. They coin useless and irrelevant jargon to confuse masses. They have designations but no real jobs. They are irrelevant NRIs who want us to see reality which doesn’t exist. They want plebiscite in Kashmir. They want Maoists to participate in mainstream politics. They want Tejpal to be freed. They want Modi to be hanged.
But something has changed despite their unity, might and moral acumen.
Left liberals, as they call themselves, have realised that defeat is certain and with this defeat they will lose that ‘elite thinkers’ tag. And the plum posts, foreign trips and bungalows and other perks. There is a reverse revolution taking place. It’s the innocent masses, who have suffered intellectual injustice, they are raising their voices. It’s the organically secular majority of Bharat, which has been made to feel like communal evils, that is asserting its identity. Modi is just their face. So do not make the mistake of thinking that its Modi vs others.
Its masses vs elites.
Couple of years back when my father’s death was certain, at the age of 95, he told me about his freedom struggle days. “When as a young man I joined Bapu, I thought we were fighting British. Its only later I realised we were actually fighting the intellectuals, patronised by the British. And most of them were lawyers. They never solved any problem. Their sole objective was to keep the masses away from the rulers and vice versa. We don’t have forts anymore but they are the walls of an invisible fort. If you want to defeat the rulers you have to demolish this wall of state sponsored ‘intelligentsia’. That’s exactly what Gandhi did. He led the masses to break this wall.”
Something like that is happening again. The wall is cracking up. On May 16th its fall is certain. For the second time in India’s history masses are going to enter the fort. Its not Modi. Its us. The masses. I hope there won’t be new walls. And I hope there won’t be another mafia. Never. Ever.
* Thanks to @rahulroushan for helping me rephrase ‘intellectual terrorists’ to ‘intellectual mafia’. Because that’s what it is.