Friday, August 17, 2007

60 years after.

Is in-your-face hypocrisy the birthright of free Indians, as much as it was of their forefathers? I’m amused by the ad released by an international bank which claims to have been in India from 1902. It is said to be an open secret that this worthy hires goons to recover debts from lenders, something that the Pathans who were in the same business before Independence used to do all by themselves. The ad is for celebrating “60 years of partnering with independent India”. Good lord! Then there’s a recent article by a “political psychologist’ agonising over why the partition was a violent-infested event. In all of its long arguments, it never even once considers the simple truth that partition was a property dispute after all and, in India as elsewhere in the world, property disputes trigger extreme passions and are more often than not settled with a knife, a chopper and a gun – not to mention hired goons. Then there’s all this hoopla about the ‘progress’ India has made. At whose cost? The poor and the destitute whose meager holding and right to livelihood is trampled upon? The faceless, voiceless, powerless non-citizens that never even come within the orbit of calculations of the planners? & There was no freedom at midnight, girls and boys. There was only a ‘transfer of power’ to bully, to exploit, to manipulate from the British to the Indian comprador capitalists, as the Indian Troskyist Vinayak Purohit mentions in his memoirs. Purohit is a Socialist who worked with Dr Ram Manohar Lohia. (By the way, his Troskyist pseudonym according to his Sri Lankan colleague, Hector Abhayavardhana, was most probably ‘Pankaj’ or “Pokoz’. Don’t ask me to even guess the reason why. Coming back to the present, the only Indian worth remembering at this juncture, to my simple way of thinking, is probably the one whose cause Medha Patkar has been championing all these years. Nostalgia must not be a bare-faced lie.

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