In my life I have challenged multiple people to show me ONE … just ONE article anywhere in the media whose main objective is to criticize Sonia Gandhi. I am still waiting.
It’s this vice like grip that the dynasty has over our national discourse. Our school textbooks, our media, our education system have all trained us to treat the Dynasty as above us all. And we do this almost without thinking.
You are probably asking : but what about Rahul Gandhi? There does not seem to be any taboo around criticizing him. Indeed, there does not seem to be any end to the jokes around “Pappu”.
Yes, indeed. The collapse of the “Dynasty taboo” when it came to Rahul Gandhi is a story of technology and democracy coming together at just the right moment.
Go back and think about the UPA years and the massive image building exercise that was mounted in favor of Rahul Gandhi. This kicked into even higher gear after 2009, when Rahul obtained his first and only electoral success ever : winning 22/80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Now 22/80 is nothing by BJP’s standards (Vajpayee-Advani scored 50+ multiple times, let alone Modi’s 73) but it was enough for the Dynasty’s slaves in the media to sing praises of the Shehzada.
Unfortunately for Rahul, this PR exercise was tried at the exact point when social media was taking wings in India. Between the Shehzada and the social media, only one could come of age. By the time Modi began his 2013 campaign, the jibes that he threw at Rahul Gandhi were only the culmination of years of ground work laid in the social media.
I personally believe that the Rahul image building initiative might have been the biggest failed PR campaign in Indian history. And social media did it. It’s the reason that elite reporters can speak fondly of everyone … from mafia don Shahabuddin to Naxal terrorists… but they can never say something nice about social media.
The elite media will never forgive the social media for what the latter did to the former’s Rahul zindabad campaign.
But the elders in the Dynasty escaped such democratic fury of the masses. Those who got to write history were all court poets appointed by the Dynasty. How else do you explain fantastic claims like these from “eminent historians”?
Of course. Pick Ram Guha’s brain enough and you will discover that even the holocaust happened because of the Ayodhya dispute. Not to mention Jallianwalla Bagh and the great famines in Bengal and the Deccan under British rule.
Under no circumstances blame Nehru. No, there is no way Nehru’s failed diplomatic moves have anything to do with problems in Kashmir. So what if Nehru failed to prevent the partition of India? So what if Nehru failed to even manage the partition once it was decided … which resulted in 3 million people dying!
Nehru makes a deal and 3 million lives are lost under his watch. No way we could blame the Dear Leader, right?
In our national view, Nehru remains forever the peerless diplomat. He just got the negotiations wrong with the British and with Jinnah which cost us the unity of our country. Then, Nehru got a little unlucky in negotiations with Pakistan due to which thousands of our soldiers are dying even today in Kashmir. Also Nehru got it a little wrong with “Hindi Chini bhai bhai” in 1962. Not to mention that Nehru got us to sign up with the Soviets, putting us on the wrong side of history. If you choose to be technically correct, you must say that Nehru led the “Non-Aligned Movement”, which is perhaps the only organization that was a bigger joke than the Soviet Union.
But on the good side, Nehru spoke great English. He won lots and lots of praise from white people.
Don’t let these tiny mistakes meddle with our image of Nehru as a great visionary. So what if he said that the Soviet Union is the “hope of humanity”? He’s still a great visionary… who just happened to see the wrong visions.
We are conditioned to worship Nehru. He is the “Dear Chacha” after all.
Which is why Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Indu sarkar” is a big deal. Here is the trailer that openly invites to Indians to witness a “black chapter in history”; that of the Emergency?
And no sooner had the trailer come out, showing a despotic Indira Gandhi and an out of control Sanjay determined to rule India with the “chabuk” (whip), did the whining begin. Congratulations Kaveree Bamzai, you are the first to jump.
As and when the Dynasty comes back to power, I am sure you will be first in line to collect your reward.
Have you noticed how liberals are fond of throwing around the term “undeclared Emergency” but wince at every mention of the actual Emergency?
Because they don’t want to talk about the actual Emergency where people were actually rounded up and thrown in jail. That would be “communal”. They want to talk about this “emergency” right now… you know the one where you can call the Prime Minister every name in the book and still nothing happens to you.
The question is not why Madhur Bhandarkar is making a movie on the Emergency, the question is why a ton of movies haven’t already been made about the Emergency.
Indeed, why can’t people just stop discussing the Emergency of 1975 and focus on what Golwalkar said about Hitler in the 1930s? That’s a much more convenient conversation for enlightened liberals. Unless you also happen to bring up the fact that Nehru was praising the Soviets right around the time the RSS was praising Nazis.
But then, what are the chances of someone bringing that up? The academic court poets made sure no one heard about the latter. Until this pesky social media thing came along and now suddenly it’s like the intellectuals can’t even get away with blaming the Kashmir problems on the Ayodhya dispute… What a tragedy.