Tuesday 21 May 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

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What Next?


The family in India and throughout the world is the nucleus around which a society is built. If a person is not competent to manage a family, how will he manage a whole country?

Ganga Dhar was the last kotwal, (Police Chief) of Mughal Delhi. As the sepoys mutiny (the British called it so) petered away, Ganga Dhar and his family fled, down the Yamuna and took refuge in a house, by a ‘nehr’ (canal) in Agra. He died unexpectedly and his last son was born, there three months later. The ‘nehr’ became Nehru; the son, Motilal, which in translation means “red gem” and a lasting gem, he turned out to be. The birth also signalled the beginning of the country’s twist (not tryst) with destiny.

Following independence, Jawaharlal Nehru took over as the first Prime Minister and ruled for seventeen years. His daughter, Indira Gandhi succeeded him after a brief interregnum and ruled for almost as long, with the Janata Party’s failed experiment in between. On her death, her son Rajiv took over the mantle. His death came too soon, for his offspring to be old enough, to succeed him.

Rajiv Gandhi studied (or rather did not study!) at Cambridge. A young Italian lass, Sonia Antonio Maino was also a student at the University. The two met, fell in love and got married. After Rajiv’s death and the traditional mourning period, Sonia emerged as the most powerful remote control in the world, and shall remain so, until her son, Rahul matures (if at all).

But, for a moment, imagine a slightly different scenario. Rajiv, instead of Cambridge joins Oxford University. And there he meets, a certain bright young lady named Benazir Bhutto. And then, cupid decides to strike. The rest does not need imagination. There is no India. There is no Pakistan. There is no Kashmir. There is only Akhand Bharat! Wonderful, indeed! But that is only wishful thinking. After all, if wishes were asses, politicians would bray! Sonia Gandhi is so powerful today, only because she married into the India’s ruling dynasty. There is no other reason whatsoever.

Parliamentary elections are less than a year away and battle lines are drawn. Two front runners for the post of the Prime Minister have emerged; Rahul Gandhi for the Congress and Narendra Modi for the BJP.

Rahul, by all means is a pleasant and polite young man. Like his father, he has no academic qualifications or intellectual ability (on present evidence). He did not attend any school but, was tutored at home. And, he continues to be so tutored till today! He is unmarried. The question that arises is, if no one in the country trusts him with their daughter, how can he be trusted with the entire country? Or alternately, if he does not find any Indian worthy of being his wife (his father felt likewise) why should he ask for our votes?

Narendra Modi on the other hand, it is claimed, has a proven track record. Are they referring to the railway track at Godhra? Gujarat, the State ruled by him, is supposedly shining. He is brash, and willing to drive roughshod over any problem, the type who would fire first and aim later. He appears to have the energy and the drive that the country, seems to be sorely in need of. Some reports say he is unmarried, in which case he sails in the same boat as Rahul. But other reports indicate, he was married to Jashodaben and he abandoned her within weeks of marriage. If that be so, what guarantee is there that he would not abandon the country? Or if he cannot accommodate a wife, how would he accommodate the myriad different ethnic, social, religious and cultural entities that constitute this great land of ours?

The family in India and throughout the world is the nucleus around which a society is built. If a person is not competent to manage a family, how will he manage a whole country? It is a tragedy that the two leaders who are being groomed to lead the country in the near future both carry handicaps which the country would do better without.

BJP President Rajnath Singh has just given us a preview of the party’s plans for the future. He says:

“The English language has caused a great loss to the country. We are losing our language, our culture as there are hardly any people who speak Sanskrit now. We have started forgetting our religion and culture these days. There are only 14,000 people left in this country speaking in Sanskrit. Knowledge acquired out of English is not harmful but the Anglicization penetrated into the youth is dangerous.”

The first thing that Rajnath forgets is that, a country has no religion. Only people have, and therefore, as a country we cannot “forget” a religion. And the BJP as a political party, can have no religion either!

The proposition that English has destroyed Sanskrit is a distortion of history. It is in the nature of a language to die. Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Latin, counterparts of Sanskrit which spawned great civilisations have all died. Even Prakrit the language of Emperor Ashoka is no more. No one killed them. But in their deaths, they gave birth to new languages which now rule the world.

Sanskrit was not the language of administration. It was only the language of the priestly class, who constituted less than a fraction of one percent of the population of the country. The others were proscribed from learning the language, under pain of severe punishment. Sanskrit was thus the language of apartheid that divided the country between the learned and unlearned. So, how does Sanskrit become the language of the country, when ninety nine percent of the people never knew the language and were liable to be punished for learning it?

As the British got ensconced in India, the need was felt that the language of the ruler must be the language of administration. It was Thomas Babington Macaulay who started English medium schools, so that the ruled could participate in the administration. And so, English schools were set up.

And it is a matter of record, that English replaced Persian, as the language of administration and not Sanskrit. If we choose to move back in time and restore the old order, then Persian would be the official language as it had been for more than half a millennium, previously. Well, does the BJP plan to reinstate Persian language schools? Or, does it want to set up Sanskrit schools so that the priestly class can learn and the others remain ignorant? But, if everybody is to learn Sanskrit, then it is against the shashtras and rita. And the BJP is upholder of both !

The country needs to be liberated from the banal and the mediocre from the fundamentalist and the obscurantist, from the Congress and the BJP. Will this ever happen?

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

Radharao Gracias in his thought provoking article “What Next?” writes about the values and importance of ‘Family.’ According to him, ‘The family in India and throughout the world is the nucleus around which a society is built.’ He further writes saying, ‘If a person is not competent to manage a family, how will he manage a whole country?’ And finally, as expected, compares “Rahul Gandhi’ and “Narendra Modi’ and their personal family matters with ‘whole country – India.

According to me above named article up to the point of ‘family as nucleus’ makes interesting reading. And to drive writer’s point further, when the article starts comparing Rahul with Narendra and their personal family lives, Radharao losses all shine of his article! From this point, a good article starts smelling political unrest of the writer and writer’s personal inclinations!! This usually happens with persons when one tries to mix two incompatibles like ‘Family’ & ‘Politic.’

Most importantly, Radharao also tries to mix and present his ‘speculation’ with ‘reality’ (as though factually real – which may turn out to be a reality eventually…. that is besides. The fact is, in these unpredictable, uncertain and ever-changing political realities ‘speculations’ are seen to remain as ‘speculations’ is a bitter fact! In this front, the writer has very rich experience within his own political outfit!!)

As of day, Rahul is not even officially projected by Congress High Command as their “Chief (or cheap is a question mark) Campaigner’ nor he is projected as their ‘Prime Ministerial Candidate.’ And in case of Narendra Modi, his party has officially declared him to be their ‘Campaign-in-charge’ but he is till date officially not declared as their ‘Prime Ministerial Candidate.’ This I say considering reality check!

Most importantly, there are ‘n’ number of examples round the world were in persons have failed miserably in their ‘family fronts’ but has equally made their ‘country proud.’ We must not forget such rare history when we try to equate and question persons on their ‘family front’ and speculate ‘country’s wellbeing’ in hands of such persons (Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi included).

Such ‘speculations’ is neither correct nor ‘worthy’ reading!!

Uday |

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Radharao Gracias

Radharao F.Gracias is a senior Trial Court lawyer and ex President of the South Goa Advocates Association. He is also former independent MLA of Goa. He has been an activist on issues related to Goa for more than three decades.


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