Indians are raving at the moment on how India is shining, glittering, sparkling : flights and hotels are full, the economy is booming, the Congress is gloating, , Indian firms are buying abroad, Sonia Gandhi goes to Tirupati, a car is sold in Delhi every six minutes, the Indo-US nuclear deal is on, Pakistan is talking to India, reality shows are on many TV’s, Rahul Gandhi is finally entering politics…
Yet, nobody seems to notice that today in India, we live in the world of the politically correct, where truth is often vilified, ranted against, and untruth takes the form of the scintillating, the successful, the winning. Because if you look a little more closely at what’s happening today in this country, India has never been so much in danger of losing her identity, of forfeiting what makes her special, unique amongst all the nations of the world.
Yes planes are full, but there are no runaways, no parking slots, no aerobridges in Delhi’s domestic airport and airlines are losing huge amounts of money circling Indian airports waiting for their turn to land. Yes, the economy appears to be booming, as in India the offer can never meet the growing demand, with the huge surplus of people. But Indians have never been so taxed: nearly 100% on petrol, 40% in luxury hotels, which make them amongst the most expensive in the world (450$ + 35% taxes in the Taj Mahal Mumbai), but not necessarily the best. The Government of India has even introduced an extra luxury tax on Business Class tickets, which render them out of reach except for a golden few and the Corporate. Yes, the growth statistics look good, but the Communists, on whose support the present Government’s survival depends, are applying brakes on liberalisation, blocking privatization of airports, and generally reviving the old Nehruvian model of taxing the rich for giving to the poor. But we know that the money mostly lands in the pockets of the politicians, the corrupt and the privileged. Finally, even Indian scientists have said that the so-called golden Indo-US nuclear deal, will tie India in so many knots that she will be for ever submissive to America.
More importantly even, on a more subtle plane, India is in great danger. Indians are more and more divided: instead of feeling first Indians, they feel they are first Muslims and then Indians, first Dalits and then Indians, first Christian and then Indians. This is a very dangerous trend and it spells the death of the minimum unified nationalistic pride which can take a country forward. Instead, Indians today take pride in melting abroad, or adopting a ‘secular’ creed, which basically makes them soul-less and identity-less, however brilliantly they ape the Wesr. There is also an increasing Christianization of India, which nobody gives a damn about – half of the Tamil Nadu coastal villages have been converted to Christianity after the Tsunami, for instance. Islamization is also going on at an alarming speed: mosques and madrasas, which teach innocent children that there is only one God but Allah, are sprouting all over, from Kerala to Uttar Pradesh; Marxisation is another danger India is facing: the Congress Government has put Marxists in position in all important academic posts, universities, curriculum committees. It will take twenty years to dislodge them and undo the untruths they have introduced in textbooks and manuals. Lastly, globalization and the Americanization of India are going on full swing. More than anything else it can stifle the soul of a country with the inside connivance of advertisers, Indian Corporates, the Government and greedy entrepreneurs.
What most people miss, is that all this happening at an unprecedented speed because of one person at the top : the Eminence Grise of India, the Iron Lady who oversees everything, decides everything. I have named of course Sonia Gandhi. Surely, she might be sincere in her desire to cleanse Indian politics and introduce rationality in the Congress. Certainly, she is probably a good mother, as she was a good wife to Rajiv and maybe a good friend too. But she is the most dangerous thing that has happened to India in 150 years after the British colonization and Muslim invasions. For all the dangers that are now threatening India are secretly or maybe even overtly wished by her. Islamization ? She is pushing for quotas for Muslims. The Congress leaders were more cynical, they catered to the Muslims so that they got their votes, without caring to educate them, but Sonia does it out of conviction, and that makes it much more dangerous. Christianization ? Sonia is a Christian, she married her daughter to a Christian, her son will probably marry a Christian. She may go to Titupati because she lives in a country of 850 million Hindus, but she probably won’t mind too much if the whole of India becomes Christian. Sonia was a student in Cambridge at a time where everybody loved Marx, Lenin, Mao and Che Guevara and she may not have changed that much. So the Marxisation of India and South Asia (Indian Communists are plotting with Nepalese Maoists so that they get rid of the king and establish a communist rule in Nepal, which will be a catastrophe for India) which she allows her communist allies to do, is ok for her. Finally, like me (but the comparison stops here) Sonia is a Westerner and as she has no idea about the spirituality which is behind Hinduism, she won’t mind the westernization of India which anyway people see as the ultimate sign of civilization.
What is it that India is fast losing during the reign of Sonia Gandhi ? Its culture firstly. Entire patches in the North-East are being converted to Christianity: tribals are told by missionaries that it is sinful to enter a temple, women are asked not to wear bindis, children are taught to look down on their culture as animist or heathen. Its communal harmony, secondly. Whatever the shocks of invasions,, there was always a certain syncretism in Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim communities. The ordinary Muslim in Kashmir or the Christian in Kerala, even if he thought that his or her God was the only true one, had a certain understanding and acceptance of the age-old Indian culture. Reverence for women, respecting others’s festivals and customs, harmony with one’s neighbours were hallmark traits. Today, even the Sikh community feels it wants to separate from its Hindu brothers and Christian and Muslims are encouraged to look down upon Hindus. Finally what makes India really special is it spirituality. The knowledge that there is life beyond life, the understanding of the different plans above the mind, the ancient wisdom on reincarnation, karma, maya and above all the acceptance that God manifests Himself at different times under different names and that God is One in His infinite diversity. This is the Knowledge that humanity needs for the 21st century if it does not want to go towards catastrophe as it is now, with the world’s two major so-called monotheistic religions still believing that only their God is the true one and that it is their duty to convert ‘pagans’, either by guile and financial baits, as the Christian do, or even by force, as the Muslims think . And India possesses this Knowledge, last amongst all nations.
The ultimate irony is that Indians are happy about Sonia Gandhi. People like Shashi Tharoor or Pankaj Mishra gloat all over the pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post that she is the best thing that happened to India in a long time. The same is true in India where the Times of India and many of India’s Newspapers and TV’s keep eulogizing Sonia Gandhi, choosing to close their eyes to the shameful things happening under her reign. Someone said that India a nation of slaves. I would not go that far, as I love this country too much. Still, the question must be asked: how is it possible that a nation of a billion people, with some of the best minds of this planet, allows itself to be governed by a western , non Hindu lady, who however sincere she is, is actively overseeing the dismantling of whatever is good and true in India.
All that is glittering is not gold.