Mars and modern India
Meghnad Desai : Sun Nov 10 2013,The Congress was an instrument that Gandhi adapted to mass struggle, but under his dictatorial rule.
More than a century ago, two Indians met in London. The older one had come from South Africa to fight the case for the rights of Indians living there. The younger one was an intense person dedicated to overthrowing British rule in India as fast as he could. They had a long argument about the future of India. The young man was a keen student of Mazzini and Garibaldi who had achieved independence and unification for Italy. He was to translate a biography of Mazzini in Marathi. The young man wanted India to emulate Europe, to industrialise and modernise. The older man was horrified. He wanted India to reject modernity, machinery, Western medicine and urbanisation. When they parted, the older man on his return trip to South Africa wrote his first book arguing for India to reject modern machinery. The book was called Hind Swaraj.
Over the next 40 years, the paths of the two diverged.
The older man became Father of the Nation and was credited with having achieved India's independence. The younger man spent years in solitary confinement, and then some more in jail and then retired into writing and propagating. From a moderniser and Westerniser, he turned back to the glories of Hindu past.
He was implicated in the assassination of the older man. His fame is furtive and divisive. The older man's fame is global and inclusive.
Gandhi and Savarkar argued about the path an independent India should take in those early days in 1909. Gandhi wanted India to be a country of village republics, with handicrafts and a minimal government. India worships him, but has firmly rejected his recommended path. Nehru, his best disciple, was of the same view as Savarkar. He wanted modernisation and industrialisation for India. In sending the Mangalayan on its way, India has yet again rejected the Gandhian path and chosen the Westernisation model of Nehru and Savarkar. Savarkar is no longer identified with modernity but with Hindutva. Yet, his ambitions for India were just as growth oriented as anyone else's.
The Congress was an instrument that Gandhi adapted to mass struggle, but under his dictatorial rule. Congressmen followed him, but were never Gandhians. They welcomed Gandhi's leadership until Independence. Then they passed him by and made the Congress into an instrument for ruling India and did not dissolve it like he wanted. The Gandhians alone believed in his theories, but they dwindled once he was gone.
India is today a presence in the world, not just as a spiritual or moral power but as an economic and military power. That spacecraft tells the world that India is capable of leapfrogging ahead many other nations when it comes to modern technology. The programme was consciously begun by Nehru and Subhas Bose even before Independence when they established the National Planning Committee of the Congress. Bose was soon displaced by Gandhi, but Nehru continued the programme. It was Nehru who understood the importance of science and technology. As India's first Prime Minister, he used all his power to displace the Gandhian nostrums of economic policy and raced ahead with modernisation. He grasped the significance of nuclear energy and established a programme for nuclear research by giving Bhabha his go-ahead. Vikram Sarabhai was another scientist, link between Nehru and Gandhi since it was his family which supported the Sabarmati Ashram when Gandhi was in despair about how to keep it going. Sarabhai was crucial for the space programme.
Thus it was that India was committed to industrial growth as well as the Green Revolution. It has scaled heights in IT services. It has now demonstrated its capabilities in space technology. After all, former President Kalam reminds us how much India values those who work in the defence technology area.
The consensus in Indian politics is about the primacy of growth and technology, about eradicating poverty. Savarkar and Nehru were different from each other as any two people can ever be. But India chose well in following their path. Let us by all means pay Gandhi homage for his moral courage and his leadership of the Congress. Read Hind Swaraj but do not see it as a blueprint for India.
COMMENT:-Meghnad Desai says"The Congress was an instrument that Gandhi adapted to mass struggle, but under his dictatorial rule."
sadly theses were the same words of the then ruling british
Meghnad Desai saysWesternisation model of Nehru and Savarkar.
True but ;before savarkar was put in Andaman jail by ruling British;had to undergo starvation and torture ;
looks like he underwent a drastic change ,started talking more on narrow religious terms ,less on westernization model as was before.Also he never was jailed by the ruling British till independence,
was he brainwashed,terrorized by severe torture of the British?
same period British started their plan of divide and rule;divide the people on religion ;which is more than a coincidence
All-India Muslim League, founded in 1906 which, under Muhammad Ali Jinnah, led the demand for the partition of India resulting in the creation of Pakistan
The RSS was founded in 1925
The Akhil Bhāratiya Hindū MahāsabhāIn 1910,
Vināyak Dāmodar Sāvarkar-was arrested in 1910, He was released in 1921
The decision to effect the Partition of Bengal was announced in July 1905 by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. The partition took effect in October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. In these early years of his political career, Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity, helping to shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the All-India Muslim League,
In 1920, however, Jinnah resigned from the Congress(came under British conspiracy to divide India)
one can see a definite plan by the British to divide ,first Bengal province ,later the whole nation
the wicked plan of the British had many supporters in south(justice party)
Punjabi Suba movement - Wikipedia,
,semi independent rajas and maharajas instigated by British to ask for freedom from independent india ,like travancore,Hyderabad,Razakars (Hyderabad) - Wikipedia
Kashmir .Kashmir and Jammu (princely state) - Wikipedia,
even the newly independent Pakistan whose army officers were all of British origin,helped in the dividing of KashmirHarvey Kelly British officer with Pakistan Army.
,another wicked plan was to divide india on caste basis but due mahatma Gandhi’s fast unto death threat ,stopped it[Gandhi begins fast in protest of caste separation]
.even after independence British were active in naga l uprising of 1950,
SEE-PAGE 89-THE (SO CALLED)"MISSIONARY"SUCCUMBED TO (BRITISH GOVT:)PRESSURE ;TO TAKE PHIZO TO LONDON
March 1966 Mizo National Front uprising;-
Within one week Pu Laldenga returned to London and insurgency returnedto Mizoram
[The Secret Agreement : Courtesy of North East Sun, January 15, 2010]cmmizoram.nic.in/download/files/.../The%20Secret%20Agreement.pdf
dropping of arms from air over westbengal [Purulia arms drop case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
the recent arrest in south Tamilnadu (between srilanka and India)of arms a boat with arms[Crew of US ship with british captain sent to judicial custody for 14 days
may be Mars syndrome-jealousy of the progress made by modern India ?