But his eminence is not worth a vote for Mayawati, Paswan and others baying for his blood
Ajay Singh | February 1, 2013
In an age where 22-second sound bites become the source of heated political debate and vacuous intellectual discourse, eminent sociologist Ashis Nandy’s indiscretion may seem unpardonable. Clearly, he is too old to adapt to bites-induced intellectualism, making him almost incompatible with an impatient class of social elites whose intellectual span is defined by the limits set by TV studios and Twitter.
Don't miss our previous interview with Nandy: “An anomic, anarchic, free-floating violence... is looking for targets”
Nandy was hounded out by Dalit activists, social media and a section of the mainstream media for saying that the involvement of OBCs, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in corruption cases has increased of late. Nandy is known to be one of the most original Indian social thinkers and psychoanalysts whose body of work is of an exceptionally high standard. His thesis about the state being a “criminal enterprise” is often referred to by researchers to explain the foundations and rationale of the state.
But Nandy’s eminence is not worth a vote for Mayawati, Ram Vilas Paswan or those baying for his blood. His perceived indiscretion in a 22-second bite came in handy for jealous academics who see virtue in consistency and mediocrity. By any stretch of imagination, Nandy is none of that.
It would have immensely enriched the political debate if Nandy’s proposition on corruption had been carefully dissected for an improved understanding of statecraft. But then, this is the age of shooting first and asking questions later. What Nandy says deserves attention, for of late a large number of political leaders coming from the underprivileged classes have got enmeshed in corruption cases. This is certainly not a reflection on their caste but on the quality of politics and governance being practised.
Will anybody deny that A Raja, when caught in a scam, took shelter behind his Dalit identity? Is it not true that the corruption cases against Mayawati andMulayam Singh Yadav, being probed by the CBI, are being leveraged by the Congress to solicit political support for the ruling coalition? Can anybody ignore the fact that mineral-rich Jharkhand is impoverished because of the corrupt and venal ways of tribal politics in the state?
It is hardly anybody’s case that corruption is endemic among certain social groups. Far from it, Nandy explained it by giving a personal example to show how corruption is disguised as talent promotion by the upper castes. Apparently, Nandy’s formulation was intended to delve deeper into the socio-political malaise and diagnose the ills that plague us.
But the whole project seems to have been scuttled mid-way as the scholar has been put not only on the defensive but also on the run by slapping police cases against him. He was forced to say sorry for an inference he never intended to make. He is paying the price for being an original thinker who tried to turn the political discourse from rhetoric to genuine intellectualism.
What appears strange is that this streak of fanaticism and intolerance is discernible in a function organised not by an orthodox religious or caste forum but those who claim to be espousing liberalism and secularism. And in the din of rhetoric and platitudes is lost an occasion for genuine, enriched and informed debate on contemporary politics and society.
One year has passed since the Modi regime applied shock therapy to improve the functioning of the Indian economy through demonetisation on November 8, 2016. Thus, legal tender to rupee notes worth 1,000 and 500 denominations was withdrawn and 86 percent of the currency went out of circulation. It was claim
In a bid to meet the increase in electricity demand of Jammu & Kashmir during the winters, the centre has decided to allocate an additional 792 Megawatts to the state. The allocation of power to J&K from central generating stations (CGS) is 2,397 MW. The supply would be given by powe
Minister for petroleum and natural gas, skill development & entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan has lauded the state run Indian Oil Corporation and IDCO (Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha) for signing a pact to establish a plastic park at Paradip in Odisha. Pradhan was speakin
An efficient monetary transmission is a sine qua non for the successful pursuit of its objectives by any central bank. Over the past two decades, it has been the endeavour of the Reserve Bank of India to strengthen the monetary transmission process, but these efforts have yet not yielded the desired result
The cabinet has approved the proposal for deputation of group A officers of department of telecommunications (DoT) and other ministries with telecommunication and information technology background to Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL). TCIL, a Miniratna PSU, is a premier telec
When it comes to dealing with the disputed border regions of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian public favours an aggressive stance, said the Pew Research Center, a US based think-tank. A 63% majority believes the government should be using more military force. Few say India should use less force