26th November 2011
I'm replying to a comment I received on FB since such debates are best done in full public awareness, and may clarify things for others, as well.
I read your book "Breaking Free of Nehru". As your explained you wanted an aggresive title, you got it. However, I do thank you for writing and putting forth such a debate – great. Actually, some of the points that you made are good and right, and one point I think should not be mentioned about avg IQ of indians in UK, and for other points in particular on economy, more like the US – your PhD from the USC, I think needs more self education on actually how it is turning out to and what is at miss.I see you just as me when I came in 74 and studied in Georgia Tech. But having lived here for 36 years I begin to see issues that are not just visible at first.I find it a vaneer society where as India is good in core. While Adam Smith is right but its implemantation in the US has come to rip it at seams. So, I think while you got a good size economy injection of the US capitalist indoctirnation, which is good, and it is dominant now or at least it was at that time of your PhD, a closer look now will be helpful for debate for us.Today, though the US covers itself in capitilist doctorin, is protagonist of it yet it is functioing with all capitalist priciples compromised – not because of economic compulsions but becasue of political, economic, and hegamony.We can debate on it – but, I am interested in pointing out to you should be copy this economic system as we did British Parliament system, it will be a grand system to put indian society in hugh pain. Given India's current economic model is not going to be much good for India as was the yesteryear economic model did not work, we ought to debate not on capitalist priciples but on implementing those priciples. We can discuss it more and later.Now, I want to shock you and compell to think, and pl do reply me. Breaking away from Nehru will not be a bad idea as it will fetch some short term good results. However, frankly I think we need and ought to break away from McCaully – that will bring us enduring results in all spheres.Why I wrote this? While I agree with you that Nehru and for that matter the assemblies of that time did some absurd idea things as you pointed out, social justice, but no matter how good the constitution is, it is the SOCIETY SELF ESTEEM that will do socity good. The Self Esteem DNA will help us as we are unique civilisation on planet.One more point, it is not attack on you. It is a mere personal disagreement with you on one of your choice on a fundamental level and priciple. In my view and firm conviction, I am to not only like myself but I am to love myself – it is in humility manner and not in egotistical manner. In this way, I can change myself yet still be what I am. Because, the change we make are only to a certain attributes but we cannot ever undo where we started from. For example converting to Budhasim did not change Mr Ambadekar and it only became a qualifier. All those hindus who converted to Islam or Christinity still are dalit and trying to seek benefits of OBC. What good was their rejection? Pl think and comment. Why I wrote this much? i would like you to take that line out from the book. However, i respect and admire you in and for your personal choices and dicisions.I wish you well and look forward to a dialog with you.Thankd and regdsV
Dear VThanks for reading BFN. Much appreciated. Glad you found some agreement with the message in the book. I'd like, however, to focus here on the few issues you raised which seem to me to require a brief discussion and clarification.Let me assure you, first of all, that there was NO indoctrination about capitalism during my studies in the USA! It would do my studies in philosophy and economics in India and Australia, well before going to USA, great injustice, to suggest that my US studies were somehow pivotal to my philosophy of life. If anything, the university I went to had a preponderance of Fabian socialists and Keynesians. Marx was taught, as well, with considerable sympathy. And Rawls. My worldview has been informed by a vast amount of reading and thinking about philosophy since the age of 12. My US studies did help provide rigour to some of my views, by providing me the capacity and time to study issues in detail. These studies did not, however, make my views.I agree that the US system is not a functional capitalist system. But I don't recall suggesting (even remotely) in BFN that India should "adopt" the American way.Re: breaking away from Macaulay, I'm afraid I don't know what you mean. Are you suggesting that a young man who came to India for about five years 180 years ago influenced India so much that we are now his slaves? I'm afraid you must spend some time to read history, and indeed, about Macaulay. If you search this blog, you'll find considerable discussion about Macaulay. Much of it will surprise you, since there is SO MUCH disinformation on Macaulay in India today – which merely shows that Macaulay failed to educate Indians. Indians today not only COOK up imaginary things about what Macaulay presumably said, but without reading or understanding him ONE BIT, make wild generalisations. One sentence or two of his alleged writings is all it takes for them to form a view. Such "highly educated" Indians! I hope you are not one of them. I prefer scholarly discourse, not shallow perceptions.Self- esteem in India? What self-esteem can a POOR, CORRUPT nation possibly have? India can't acquire any self-esteem with SUCH A MISERABLE QUALITY education system, such poor quality public life, such pathetic "leaders", such hopelessly corrupt business leaders, and such deep poverty.And no, India is by no means a "unique" civilisation. It is merely one of many typical human civilisations. It is currently struggling to come out of its feudal era, but finds it can't. That is why I write my books – to take India to its next journey.Your last point – I object vehemently to your suggestion that people are somehow stuck to "where they start from".Ambedkar was a great thinker, and while Hindus may still consider him to be a "scheduled caste" and look down upon him, he spat on the caste system, and did the only honorable thing he could do: He left Hinduism.He was NEVER, therefore, a Hindu again.The fact that his "followers" in India are so poorly educated (they don't even know what he wrote) and desperate for benefits from the reservation system is a sad story that can't be attributed to the genius that Ambedkar was. These people are mere beggars. Ambedkar was a king. And so my recommendations for social reform, found in BFN, will stay.S