On the eve of the 61st anniversary of the Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic of India, the historian Ramachandra Guha bemoans the state of the State in the latest issue of Outlook*:
“At the close of the last century, my home town, Bangalore, was a showpiece for the virtues of liberalisation. Access to global markets had allowed the skilled workforce of the City to generate vast amounts of wealth, which in turn spawned a new wave of Indian philanthropy.
“At the beginning of the presen decade, my home State, Karnataka, has become a byword for the darker side of globalisation. The loot of minerals and their export to China has wreaked large-scale environmental damage and polluted the political system through the buying and selling of legislators.
“A State once represented to the world by N.R. Narayana Murthy was now being represented to itself by Janardhana Reddy…. Had Manmohan Singh not been so reluctant to act against his tainted ministrs, B.S. Yediyurappa would not so easily have ridden out press exposure of his corrruption and that of his cabinet colleagues.”
* Disclosures apply
Read the full article: A nation consumed by the State
Also read: ‘A heady confluence of crime, business & politics’
How China changed the face of Karnataka’s politics
CHURUMURI POLL: India’s most corrupt State?
ARAVIND ADIGA: A 21st century Adiga’s call to Kannadigas
Mr Guha is right on this one, but the man is generally devoid of much credibility to me.
For a supposed historian, Mr Guha seems incredibly naive about the cultural history of India, as evident in his article, in which he parrots his old ignorant claim that a Hindu rashtra is an “enemy” of the idea of India. His claim shows that he understands neither the inclusive ethos of Hindu dharma nor the reason that India is a pluralistic salad-bowl society is because of a majority presence of Hindus.
It doesn’t matter if Guha is devoid of credibility to you dude, the guy has been the bestselling historian in India for some years. And acknowledged worldwide for his rigorous historical research and scientific method.
It doesn’t matter:) Mysore Peshavan is correct. R Guha is full of shit. He contradicts himself repeatedly. BTW has anyone really bothered to ask the adivasis whether they would like to remain as adivasis?!!
He is just trying to be a historian trying to separate fact from myth.
He seems right on this one to you, because it agrees with your RSS worldview.
All inclusive hindu rashtra aint gonna happen – until you are ready to give up what it means to be a hindu i.e. your own caste. Ready to do that Mr. Peshva?
Guha a self professed Nehruvian Historian has lost his way. Tries to claim that he is left of center in his political views.
Unfortunately he is trying to promote only his Caste Brethren NRN. However, if a Reddy who dirties his hands and tries to become a hard earned industrialist, then he will be bullied by Guha and his progenie in the media.
Is it wrong for a politician not to be a industrialist ?
The Jindals, Modis, Birlas all have been in it. They played dirty long ago during the British time, however the neo rich Reddy’s are being shot all over for repeating it.
The media finds the Reddy’s an easy bait to take on.
dude, neither being well-informed nor being right has a causal relationship with being popular. get your logic right, please.
neither you nor i are the issue here. please refrain from spouting ad hominem nonsense if you expect a substantive response from me.
can you share some examples of mr. guha’s contradictions? i know he’s a prolific writer. although i have enjoyed reading his 2007 book “india after gandhi,” besides myriad essays here and there, to me, mr. guha is still a sports (specifically cricket) historian. i don’t understand why, and with what authority, mr. guha comments on india’s political or cultural history when he repeatedly shows a basic ignorance of hindu dharma, without understanding which it would be hard for anyone to write a cultural/political history of india.
@ Mysore Peshva:
>>he parrots his old ignorant claim that a Hindu rashtra is an “enemy” of the idea of India.
That’s interesting. Can you define Hindu Rashtra and Idea of India according to you and that according to Mr. Guha? Otherwise we ignorant fools wouldn’t know why it’s an old ignorant claim.
You have lost your marbles because of your casteist mindset. Elevating the Reddy brothers to high status! You’re potty. You sound like another blind politically motivated guy who has the “my fart doesn’t stink” mentality when it comes to corruption and misdeeds in the BJP.
This is not the British time anymore, and we don’t like thugs like the Reddys, who have cleared entire mountains of ore and shipped them off to China, flouting all laws of the land.
These goondas have made Bellary just like an extension of their Andhra-rayalaseema with all the associated violence, goondagiri, vendetta killings and all that.
Call NRN a hypocrite if you will, call him smug, pompous, holier-than-thou – but what’s with placing him at the same level as these Reddy looters?
You are the one who is casteist here, casting aspersions on a writer on the basis of caste. First you get out of your casteist mentality, and stop colouring things on the basis of caste, instead of expecting the whole world to!
hindu dharma, across its numerous traditions, recognizes that
1. we are essentially an atma that is part of a paramatma;
2. our karma decides consequences in this and future births; and
3. mukti is possible, thanks to a favorable karma equation in which the atma is liberated from taking various bodies.
how much more personal can a belief system get?
as a result of the above three-fold belief system, across its various traditions, hindu dharma is:
1. inclusive and hence diverse
3. intellectually rigorous
4. available to pragmatic interpretation
historically, a society that is based on the above liberal premises has been the origin and substance of “the idea of india.” how can such a society at the same time be an “enemy” of an idea of india? it seems that mr. guha has no idea about what hindu dharma is when he takes that absurd position.
(i suggest you read sankara, vivekananda, swami ranganathananda, rajaji, gandhiji… please ask if i can give specific citations).
Hmm.. I thought Guha was a cricket historian. Now he is a historian ?
But you and I are the issues here!
i.e. history deals with reality and how things occurred in reality, not what you wish was the truth.
Lets take your point 1. Inclusive and hence diverse. Inclusive how? By creating conditions for one small set of people to get all the benefits (and get away with anything) while the majority are branded from birth and forced to live their entire lives that way? And when they try to convert or find a better life in another religion – prevent them from doing that? Maybe you should stop reading all those books and think for yourself.
Please read through Guha’s article carefully and you will spot several contradictions. Here is one example:…”Thus spoke a pickle-man in a salad bowl nation, adding his charmingly naive logic to an apparently illogical country.” So we are an illogical country, right? So then, how do you explain our currency notes: …”As citizens, we ubiquitously use a humdrum manifestation of the miracle of India—namely, our currency notes, which have a portrait of Gandhi on one side and the national Parliament on the other, and its denomination written in seventeen languages, indeed seventeen different scripts, each encoding a distinct, sophisticated, ancient and proud literary culture. Since rupee notes are an artefact of everyday life, we do not see or sense their significance. However, in its own way, our paper currency is as marvellous and strange as the Bikaneri achar-vendor in Kochi or the signboard of the Southern bank in the Punjab.”
So from being an illogical country with a distinct, sophisticated, ancient and proud literary culture we have created a strange looking currency note?:))
Here is another contradiction:
Guha talks about Kashmir, Nagaland, and Manipur and observes that the principal reason for the conflict remains the intense commitment of the rebels on the one side, and the excessive use of force by the state on the other. Then he turns around and says “At the same time, one should not romanticise little nationalisms, for they can be rather ugly themselves.”
Just to wrap up the second contradiction, the Indian Government is doing exactly what Guha is saying: “At the same time, one should not romanticise little nationalisms, for they can be rather ugly themselves.