I made my feelings clear when Narendra Modi won in 2014 that I didn’t fancy him. I penned a column of my attitude to him. I believe Modi has pro-Hindi, anti-Muslim instincts in him. He was Chief Minister of Gujarat when anti-Muslim riots broke out, and it is my view that he acted with deliberate slowness in sending out the security forces to put down horrible anti-Muslim violence. The US was convinced that it was genocide and his visa was abrogated. The BJP should have selected someone else to lead it.
As it happened, he won in 2014. He has just won again. A poor boy steeped in childhood poverty, he has risen to lead the most exceptional country in the world (some may say that China is more exceptional, but I would choose India because it is a free country; China is not). I am glad someone from Modi’s background has risen to world power, but the thought of what he did in Gujarat haunts me whenever I think of his leadership.
The Congress Party has lost again and all humans in the world must breathe a sigh a relief. What is going on in India with the Congress Party is stuff you only read in novels and in sci-fi movies. The man who led the Congress Party into the 2019 election was Rahul Gandhi. One hundred years ago, Rahul’s great, great grandfather, Motilal Nehru, became the head of that party.
Jawaharlal Nehru, Rahul’s great grandfather was Prime Minister. Rahul’s grandmother, Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister. Rahul’s father, Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister. Now a hundred years of dynasty in the Congress Party would have seen the consolidation of that dynasty in 2019 if Rahul had become the Prime Minister. It should be mentioned that Rahul’s mother is the Chairperson of the Congress Party.
The great folks of India in 2019 defeated dynasty. There was wonderful news for those who think dynasty is a bad thing. Rahul lost his seat in the north Indian constituency of Amethi, which for over fifty years voted for members of the Nehru/Gandhi dynasty. I always remember the autobiography of our genius cricketer – Viv Richards. He wrote that when you look into the eyes of the poorer folks of India you see contentment. In their own modest way in Amethi, they knew dynasty was bad for India. Compare these folks to the post-modern robots in France, the UK and America that vote for politicians who have not an ounce of interest in the citizens’ well-being.
In the 2019 general elections, it was the poor village boy. Modi, who came a long way versus the Cambridge-educated Rahul Gandhi. It must be public knowledge in India that members of the Nehru/Gandhi dynasty go to the UK to do their first degree. Why not in the great land of India, their own country? Rahul’s great grandfather, Jawaharlal, went to Cambridge. Rahul’s grandmother studied at Oxford. Rahul’s father, Rajiv attended Cambridge. Rahul too touched down at Cambridge.
How can you compare an aristocratic family competing for control of India against a politician that was born into poverty and in a country where a large percentage of the 900 million voters are not even from the middle class stratum of Indian society? It appears that Modi milked that image in his campaign. But even if Modi didn’t use that contrast, it was there in the psyche of the average 21st century Indian.
Indian has a striking demographic similarity with Guyana. A majority of Indians are about age 35. They have no knowledge of that field that fertilized the Nehru/Gandhi dynasty a hundred years ago. In Guyana, our youths do not have a working knowledge of Papa Cheddi and his wife aunty Janet, and Papa Forbes and his magic wand. Maybe for this reason, the Congress Party should have fielded someone from outside the dynastic family.
Is the world seeing the end of this enduring dynasty? It must always be remembered that for some inexplicable reason, Indians have a fascination with dynasties. Dynastic culture permeates the Bollywood film industry and the Indian businesses. If you check on the leading actors in Bollywood, their grandparents ruled the waves in the sixties and seventies. It is the same for business. But in all of this, a striking irony stands out.
Actually, the Congress Party is not a racist party and has more progressive thinkers than Modi’s BJP. The Congress Party has never embraced Hindu jingoism the way both Modi and his party have. The Congress Party has more democratic credentials than the BJP, whose second-tier leaders are anti-Muslim and Hindu fanatics. The Congress Party should come again, but without its dynastic clothes on.
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