Thursday, 15 October 2020

Mithi Mukherjee's world of illusion

 Nobody who lived through the two world wars believed there was anything that could be termed 'International Law'. But many had illusions about how the world was regulated. Racists believed that White people would rule over darker skinned people. Communists believed that Nations which embraced Socialism would show an affinity with each other such that there relationships would always be sweet and nice. Gandhians thought spinning cotton was a magical remedy for War, Poverty, Naughtiness, etc, etc.

Windbags like Nehru believed some retarded shite about 'Panchsheel' which meant 'Hindi Chini bhai bhai'- i.e. cuddly Maoist Chinese brother would always be giving hugs and kisses to cutesy Gandhian Indian brother.  It was to this puerile Panchsheel shite that Nehru was referring when he said in October 1962 that- 'We were living in a world of illusion ... we were getting out of touch with reality in the modern world and we were living in an artificial world of our own creation. We have been shocked out of it.’

In future, India would beef up its Army and give the Chinks or Pakis a good bashing if they played up. Gandhian shite would no longer be tolerated. Reds would be purged from the National Security Establishment. That's it. That's the whole story. 

Mithi Mukherjee takes a different view. Ignoring the fact that India annexed Goa in 1961 without bothering with International Law, she writes 'The central question that this article addresses is: what was this ‘world of illusion’, this ‘artificial world’ that Nehru was referring to? It contends that Nehru’s‘illusory’ world was one grounded in the category of justice in opposition to the ‘real’world of power politics.

The Indian National Congress did not believe in Justice or Law Courts of various types. It did believe that all non-European peoples had a natural affinity for each other. True the Indian Muslim had not wanted to cuddle and kiss the Indian Hindu- but this was blamed on some sly naughtiness of the Brits. China was supposed to cuddle and kiss India because...urm... Buddha? Tagore? Anyway, Nehru had gone out of his way to be very patronizing to Chou En Lai- which naturally infuriated the latter. 

 India’s foreign policy under Nehru, who was Foreign Minister as well as Prime Minister, was based on a juridical discursive framework that assumed that any dispute between two nations would be resolved by a neutral and impartial third party, the United Nations’ Security Council, thus conceptually excluding the possibility of war. 

The UN had already failed in Kashmir and Palestine. It would fail in Korea. The Nizam of Hyderabad had approached the UN but Patel's 'police action' meant he had to withdraw the complaint. India did take part in both the UN interventions in Korea and post-Suez but it was obvious that the UN had no teeth. In the former case, military might decided the issue. In the latter, the Israelis refused to play ball so the UN was merely a guest of the Egyptians. The Soviets never again made the mistake of absenting themselves from the Security Council so Great Power vetos prevented the UN doing anything save by invitation of a member. The Indian annexation of Goa came under the umbrella of the Soviet veto. What excluded 'the conceptual possibility of war' was being stronger than the other party and telling the UN to go fuck itself if tried to stick its oar in. 

This approach to foreign relations, shattered in the wake of the war with the PRC, was not grounded in the principle of Gandhian non-violence. It was a legacy of empire.'

This is sheer nonsense. Nehru had almost immediately regretted referring the Kashmir issue to the UN. He had a particular hatred for, the Quaker, Phillip Noel-Baker- who got a Nobel Prize for being an utter tosser. He had seen what happened to Mossadegh- a lawyer whose farcical hunger strikes led to his putting on weight. He wasn't stupid enough to think that the Rule of Law obtained in International Relations in the Fifties. On the contrary, he had counselled caution to Nasser during the Suez crisis. That was a war. It was an illegal war. But that is not why it failed. Eisenhower pulled the plug. 

Mukherjee says that referring disputes to the U.N was a 'legacy of Empire'. This is utterly mad. Britain was still a big Imperial power during Suez. It didn't refer the matter to the UN. Indeed, historically speaking, the British Empire had only sought arbitration when facing off against the US. Then the US grew much much stronger and dictated terms to Europe. 

Apart from Panchsheel, Nehru was associated with Non Alignment which was about not becoming a Super Power puppet while getting Foreign Aid from both Camps. This was a perfectly sensible strategy and India kept with it, only aligning with the Soviets once it was clear that the West would always pressurize it to give up Kashmir and, moreover, that Nixon was a nutter who might suddenly threaten to nuke Calcutta. It should be borne in mind that the Indians were quietly keeping their own nuclear program running. 

Mukherjee thinks Non Alignment was about the Rule of Law- something which people like Tito and Nasser were greatly enamoured with- not!

This article proposes that India’s participation in the non-aligned movement emerged from a discursive structure, constructed in the colonial period, grounded in imperial justice as equity and personified in the British monarch, and emperor of India, as imperial judge.

This is an incredibly stupid proposal. Why did Egypt and Yugoslavia participate in NAM? It was for the same reason as India did. These countries wanted to pursue their own Leftist path without falling under Soviet control. At the same time, they wanted to hold the West at arm's length. 

It is ludicrous to think that Nehru regarded the British monarch as personifying 'Imperial Justice as Equity'.  The 'Colonial period' was characterized by expediency not equity. Judges had no role. If they couldn't convict quickly enough- as happened with Bhagat Singh- a Tribunal was imposed. But just shooting people- as happened in Jalianwalla Bagh- was perfectly fine. True, Martial Law should first have been declared to make the thing completely kosher. But Dyer wasn't interested in keeping kosher. His success in the Afghan War had inflated his ego and this is why his testimony to the Hunter Commission was so truculent. Financially, he did well out of it. 

The discourse not only provided an ideological framework for British rule in India but also for the challenge to it by the Indian National Congress.

Ideological frameworks don't matter even a tiny bit. British rule in India had to make a profit. Challenges to it needed money. The INC got money from people who benefitted or hoped to benefit from boycotts of foreign cloth and the transfer of authority from White officials to Brown politicians.  

The centrality of juridical concepts of neutrality and impartiality

were immediately discarded by the First Amendment to the Indian Constitution which 'set the precedent of amending the Constitution to overcome judicial judgements impeding fulfilment of the government's perceived responsibilities to particular policies and programmes.'

and the absence of a discourse of national power in India under Nehru

Fuck off! It was in the Fifties that the National Cadet Corps was seen as being transformable into a universal system of National Service for all University students. Then people realized that the vast majority of Indian students are unemployable scum. The sturdy sons of peasants were a better bet. However, there was also a great expansion of paramilitary forces in the States. To some extent, there was a suspicion of the 'reactionary' proclivities of the General Staff but there was no repugnance associated with national power. On the contrary, from 1951 onward, the Republic Day parade was a militaristic display. Projecting 'National Power' had a political side. The Army showed great enthusiasm for rounding up and killing Reds if they wagged their tail. The 'anti-national' tag was once Congress's to dispense as it pleased and it showed little scruple in doing so.

explain the discursive position India sought to occupy in the international arena: claimant for justice in a juridical structure in which the UN Security Council played the role of impartial judge.

But India swiftly became disenchanted with the UN. Referring the Kashmir to the Security Council was a stupid mistake which Nehru repented.  

The discourse was both incompatible with a discourse of national power and excluded resort to war as a solution to disputes.

Yet India invaded Goa after J.P Narayan stuck his oar in. 

The Chinese invasion of 1962, which marked a rupture in the discursive structure that underpinned India’s non-alignment, led over time to a foreign policy that emphasized national interests and power in place of justice.

This is foolish. India had already initiated a forward policy. It did not sleep on its rights. Since China wasn't a member of the UN, there was no question of that organization resolving matters.

Mukherjee believes that Nehru & Co were shaped by the Empire. Everything they did must be the legacy of it. Yet there were other countries in the region which had equally been part of the British Empire. Yet, their trajectories were very different. Pakistan joined the Baghdad pact. Ceylon kept Dominion status for decades. Burma zigzagged between different types of crazy. It refused to join the Commonwealth. 

Mukherjee writes-  
 Non-alignment was not the creation of Nehru and his advisors, insofar as they themselves were shaped by larger historical and discursive forces.

This is nonsense. The Pakistani leadership was shaped by exactly the same forces as those Nehru & Co were subject to. They, more logically, chose the West and joined the Baghdad Pact. Nehru's India did not because it was similar to Tito's Yugoslavia and Nasser's Egypt. There was a Nationalist alternative on the Left which would not truckle to the Kremlin.  

The genealogy of the juridical discourse that framed India’s foreign policy of non-alignment in the post-colonial period can be traced back to the complex nature of empire in India in the late eighteenth century and thence through the anti-colonial movement led by the Indian National Congress.

This is sheer nonsense. There was no Communist threat back then. Moreover, there was never any fucking 'juridical discourse' in the creation or dismantling of Empire. There were Legislative and Executive acts. But those acts did not arise out of the discourse of jurists or ideologues. Fiscal and geopolitical considerations had salience. But what decided the issue was the balance of military power.  

The British engagement with India was not a homogenous phenomenon

Yes it was. British people were involved. Otherwise there was no British involvement.  

but rather characterized by two competing but also collaborating political discourses: the ‘colonial’ (the major) and the ‘imperial’ (the minor).

No. There was only one 'political discourse'- viz. whether the guys doing the engaging were British and whether what they were doing was on the orders, or with the complaisance, of the British Crown in Parliament.

Since the monarch assumed an Imperial title only in 1877, discourse was always of 'Colonies' though India came to be designated an Empire. But there would always be a difference between 'Colonies' which ultimately depended on the force projection of the Royal Navy and India which required a separate military establishment and an administration of some complexity to finance the standing army.

Whereas the ‘colonial’ stressed territorial conquest, power, violence, domination, and subjugation, the ‘imperial’ stressed justice as equity for the colonized, represented by the figure of the imperial monarch as arbiter of conflicts between the British administration and the Indian people, and between different groups of Indians.

This is utterly false.  The Viceroy and the Secretary of State for India, between them, monopolized the legal authority given them by the Crown in Parliament. But that legal authority arose only out of 'territorial conquest, violence, domination' etc. It is not the case that Indians could appeal to the Privy Council to set aside determinations made by the administration. 

This discourse of the imperial, with its two constitutive aspects of the discourse of justice as equity and the figure of the imperial monarch as judge had implications not only for the anti-colonial movement but also for the post-colonial state

The British monarch has never been a judge. The gates of King's Equity shut in the early Seventeenth Century. Justice in India was stare decisis or based on Legislative Codes. It was not equitable- though no doubt some districts had a tradition of 'justice on horseback'.  

The fact is all countries which were once ruled by the Brits have elements of the British legal system. But Cyprus is different from Israel and Pakistan is different from India or Burma. Post-colonial states in the same region have taken very different trajectories even if they had the same Imperial hegemon. Mithi has a bizarre view of both history and the law. What evidence does she rely on?

In the absence of a legislature, the Supreme Court was the predominant law-making body.

This is utterly false. There was no Indian Supreme Court till 1950. Mukherjee is speaking of the 'Supreme Courts' of the Presidencies which were replaced by High Courts in 1862. 

The chief law making body was Westminster which delegated authority to the Governor-Generals and their Councils. The Courts might refuse to register a regulation but the thing could always be pushed through. 

In any case, periodic Codification is a pragmatic necessity to limit jurisdiction shopping and enable harmonious construction. Iran under the Ayatollahs has embraced such Codification. It is not the case that Justice can be devoted wholly to Equity. It must be largely rule bound and predictable. A small range of equitable remedies may be available but they do not guarantee that the outcome will be equitable. 

Decisions by the court played a central role in bringing about social change in India in the early nineteenth century.

No. Social change brought about some judicial decisions.  The Law is a service industry. By contrast, changes in the property regime were by Executive fiat.

As Henry Maine commented in 1876, ‘in the absence of formal legislation ... the true revolutionary agent in India has been neither the executive government nor the legislature but the court of justice,without which the existence of British rule could hardly be conceived.’

Maine had spent a few years in India and was trying to fit Indian jurisprudence into a Whig ideological framework. As a matter of fact, about a dozen Indians who had been nominated to Legislative Councils later became High Court Judges. In other words, the executive chose the legislature which in turn was a stepping stone to the Bench- but only because candidates had shown themselves to be loyal and reliable. Thus the Judiciary was very much at the bottom of the pecking order. It was a grievance of the Indians that those few of their number who cracked the ICS got shunted off to the judicial side. 

 The fact is, in English speaking jurisdictions, Judges could achieve little (till the rise of PIL based activism in the Eighties in India). That is why Indian lawyers preferred to turn politician rather than plume themselves on elevation to the Bench. Interestingly, Viceroy Landsdowne credited the Cow Protection movement with turning the Indian National Congress into a mass organization. The future lay with Religious and Economic demands not 'discourse' on 'Justice as Equity'. 

Mithi writes

The need to reconcile differences between the Supreme Court and the Governor General in Council led, in 1853, to the creation of a Legislative Council in the image of a British law court: it applied judicial categories, followed judicial procedure, and included among its members the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, another judge,and a barrister.

A Legislative Council is not a Court. Parliaments follow parliamentary procedures. But they are not Courts.

Between 1853 and 1857, the judges asserted the autonomy of the Legislative Council, which, in their view, was charged with ensuring that the executive acted within the law by redressing the grievances of the people.

This is sheer nonsense! 'Judges' were not asserting 'autonomy'. None were members of the Legislative Council- which was seen as a dumping ground for incompetent officials. 

The plain fact of the matter is that Judges didn't give a tinker's fart for the 'grievances of the people'. They had no remit to inquire into them. Mithi is attributing ideas which only became current in the 1950's to the 1850's. But the Indian Bench continued to be viewed as reactionary till the Eighties. 

The 1853 Charter Act  was a stopgap measure, supposedly to weaken the power of the Council of Directors of the East India Company who nominated the membership  of the Governor-General's Council which, since 1833, had differentiated executive from legislative functions. Still, the fact remained, John Company had to be given an  extension till Westminster had leisure to think about how India should be governed. The separation of legislative and executive powers, which already existed, was merely cosmetic. In theory, the measure increased the 'voice' of the other Presidencies which, since 1833, had fallen under the authority of Calcutta. But this entirely European Council was too small to 'represent' much. The suspicion was that the various Governors sent the most useless fellow on their staff to Calcutta.  

Thus the Legislative Council was reconstituted discursively,

'Discursively' means in a 'rambling' manner. The Brits weren't such fools as to set up a talking shop where orators might ramble or rabbit on and on. Nor did Westminster believe that some process of ratiocination could substitute for the intuition of those with command on the ground.  

with the executive and the people acting as defendant and plaintiff, and the legislators as judge.

Utterly false. In England, the Legislature can unseat the Executive (i.e. the Cabinet) if it feels it has failed the people. but this was not the case in India. The Governors were appointed by Westminster. Council members were their own nominees. 

Although the Legislative Council was remodelled in 1861 and dominated thereafter by the colonial executive, the notion of justice helped to define the nature of representational politics espoused, after 1885, by the Indian National Congress.

This is an absurd invention on Mithi's part. The Council was a mere rubber-stamp. Consider the following typical enactment from February 1855- 'During the absence of the Governor-General from the Council of India, it shall be lawful for the Governor-General alone to exercise all the powers which might be exercised by the Council of India'. In other words, Boss-man can do what he likes while off on a nice holiday in Ooty. 

Indians despised the Council and petitioned Westminster directly with their ever mounting grievances- in particular after an Income Tax was instituted to pay for military operations during the Mutiny. 

At a later point, the INC was mooted by ICS men on the administrative, not judicial, side. But it developed along Irish, not Whiggish, lines. 'Cow-protection' was its first success in achieving 'mass contact'.

On the other hand, it is true that some Indian Judges- like Ranade- were active in both Social Reform as well as Nationalist Politics. But they emphasized the study of Economics, not Law. Why? India's problems were economic. It was not the case that a benevolent Judge could restore prosperity. There had to be root and branch economic reform.

It was never the case that Indian 'Judges' wanted 'autonomy' or that they thought they could adjudicate between the Executive and the People. They simply lacked the relevant Economic and Statistical knowledge. It is only quite recently that the Bench has been viewed in India as responding to PILs and 'redressing the grievances of the people'. But, it seems that fad is over. Mukherjee & her ilk have now gone back to the traditional view of the Judiciary as essentially reactionary and in bed with the Government. Still, at the time when Mithi was writing this, belief in the magical power of Public Interest Litigation and a 'Rights based approach to Development' had academic, wholly imbecilic, advocates.

The British in India had few illusions as to the foundation of their authority. The fact is, the White Man would have his throat slit- Judge or not- if the People had their way. In 1901, at the age of 70, Meredith Townsend published 'Asia and Europe'. As an old India hand, he affirmed what everybody had always known. Indians had no loyalty at all to the British. But they would do what they were paid to do provided no better arrangement appeared feasible. But then, the Mughals could have told the same story. 

It is true that some lawyers paid lip service to the supposed sovereignty of the King Emperor. But India was ruled by the Crown in Parliament. Mithi says that Indians were utter fools. They thought Kingji is a wise judge. If only he hears of our sufferings, he will take action. But such was not the case. It is true that the one King Emperor who attended the Durbar was approached, when Tiger shooting in the Terai, by a great mass of peasants from Champaran. But he refused to look at their petition. It had to go through the proper channels. Mithi thinks Indian lawyers were as ignorant as these peasants. The freedom struggle was led by people who didn't want to be free. They wanted Kingji to come and look after them. After the Brits left, Nehru turned to the UN as India's new 'maa baap'. Then those nasty Chinks invaded and India suddenly had to grow up. 

I'm not kidding. This is what this Professor of History actually believes.

That the Indian National Congress’s opposition to colonialism was grounded in its faith in the inherent justice of the empire explains why it was constrained to identify with the empire even as it criticized the policies of the colonial administration.

Perhaps Mithi is saying- 'India didn't want to be a Colony. But it wanted to be part of the Empire'. This means- 'India wanted Dominion Status- like Canada'. But this meant that India would be subject in all matters to its own Legislature, not Westminster. Britain would not concede this till after the Second World War.  

The problem with this view is that Indians could see that Westminster was running India badly and doing so to feather its own nest. One petition, from the taxpayers of Calcutta, examined in Westminster in 1861, makes it clear that no Indian believed in 'the inherent justice of the Empire.'   Indians wanted India to be run in the interests of Indians, preferably by Indians. Why? That way they'd be better off.

Mithi thinks Indians were stupid. They thought 'Imperial Justice' had some magical property. 

This explains why the discourse of justice as equity that had helped to launch Congress’s politics of anti-colonialism also constrained them.

What the fuck does 'justice as equity' mean? Courts of Chancery were Courts of Equity. They ceased to exist in 1875.

Some Congress leaders- notably the 'garam dal', e.g. Bal, Pal & Lal, wanted complete independence. Others may have been more cautious. But it was clear that 'Home Rule' or 'Swaraj' was the aim. Nobody was saying Kingji must come and set up a Court of Equity for us Indians. 

Unable to envision national independence outside the empire,

in the manner of the Revolutionaries as well as the traditional, Religion based, haters of the British 

Congress failed to articulate a discourse of freedom.

Very true! Bal Gangadhar Tilak said 'Swaraj is not my birthright. I don't want it. Please don't give it to me. Could Kingji kindly come and give me patting on head and some sweet sweet Justice as Equity? I would be frightfully obliged, haanh ji haanh, chashme buddoor.'  

The goal of home rule that Congress articulated in its most radical phase before Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi assumed the political leadership was not the same as the demand for national freedom, because home rule, insofar as it sought legislative powers within the empire, assumed the ultimate sovereignty of the emperor.

But that 'ultimate sovereignty' would be as meaningless as that of the British monarch who 'reigns but does not rule'. The truth is India was following in the footsteps of the Irish. Indians often refer to Annie Beasant as Irish.  

Indeed, within this framework, freedom itself was perceived to be a gift of imperial justice:

Nonsense! Indians knew very well that the Emperor had no power. Moreover, they were busy reading about Mazzini and Garibaldi and the Irish Fenians and so forth. The more energetic were killing British officials and raiding banks- like Bagha Jatin. During the First War the Revolutionaries sought to get German arms to launch an insurrection. 

its source lay not in the strength of the people, but in the benevolence of the emperor as impartial judge.

Was George V an 'impartial judge' between Dublin and Westminster? What about Edward V? Had he impartially judged the Boer cause? Why on earth would Indians- unless they were childish and stupid- look to the 'benevolence' of a crowned nincompoop?  

So far as Congress was concerned, it was not as the citizens of India that Indians were going to be free, but as the subjects of the emperor.

Indians were already subjects of the emperor. What they wanted was to be liberated from the Crown in Parliament. This meant 'Swaraj' or 'Home Rule' as the first step to complete independence.  

That the discourse of the Indian National Congress was firmly lodged within that particular epistemologico-juridical paradigm

is false. The 'epistemologico-juridical' paradigm Mithi is speaking of is pure feudalism. Indians could have said 'Kingji, kindly appoint your sons or nephews or cousins or other relatives to be Nawabs and Rajahs over us. We don't want Law Courts and Bureaucracies. We want direct, paternal, rule by those of your blood.' Did Indians say any such thing? No. Mithi is talking nonsense. 

explains why its mode of politics took the form of pleading and petitioning by a small group from the educated elite led by the lawyer, the quintessential political representative at the time.

Dadhabhai Naorojee got elected to the British parliament. So did Bhownagree. They didn't 'plead' and 'petition' simply. Soon they were joined in London by radicals like Shyamji Krishna Varma and Veer Savarkar.  

Almost all of the  most eminent leaders of Congress were lawyers, including Mahadev Govind Ranade,

he was a judge. He did not practice law.  

Bal Gangadhar Tilak,

who was a Maths Professor before becoming a journalist. He did not practice law 

Chitta Ranjan Das, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, as well as J. Nehru.

But the 'Grand Old Man' of Congress, Naoroji, wasn't a lawyer. Neither were Aurobindo or Azad or Vivekananda or Amba Prasad Sufi or Annie Beasant.

Jawaharlal Nehru did practice law for a year or two, but gave up so as to devote himself entirely to politics.  

With the rise to prominence of Gandhi, a political breakthrough occurred in the form of a demand for national independence rather than imperial justice,

The Home Rule League had already made that demand. But the Revolutionaries were more than a step ahead. 

and in the launching of a mass movement to rival the politics of pleading and petitioning.

pleading and petitioning had ended much before. Curzon's partition of Bengal had been reversed by a mass agitation. 

Gandhi’s disdain for law courts and the discourse of justice is illustrated by his decision in 1920 to launch the non-violent non-cooperation movement with a call for the boycott of every British law court and with a ban on practising lawyers from leading the struggle for national independence.

This was in imitation of Sinn Fein. But Gandhi failed to set up a parallel judicial system. In 1922, just when Ireland and Egypt and Afghanistan had got independence, Gandhi unilaterally surrendered and went off to jail like a good 'pleader' and 'petitioner'.  

Gandhi, who asserted that the British colonial state had relied on the law courts to perpetuate its rule in India, predicted that allowing the lawyers who dominated Congress to continue to lead the movement for independence would be nothing short of committing ‘national suicide.’

But he let Motilal Nehru and C.R Das, senior lawyers both, take the Swaraj Party into the legislature where they failed miserably. Gandhi had already slit the throat of the Congress/Khilafat combine thus postponing full Independence indefinitely.

The Gandhian discourse of freedom was distinguishable from Congress’s in that it

failed completely in 1922.  

was grounded in the Indian discourses of spiritual or renunciative freedom known as moksha and nirvana,

Mithi is of Hindu origin. She thinks Muslims did not exist on the sub-continent. Yet, they were the majority in sizable portions of the East and the West of the country. It is ludicrous to think that Azad or the Ali brothers were interested in moksha or nirvana 

which bore little relations to Western discourses of political legislative freedom grounded in the idea of a state on the one hand, and ideas of property and individual rights on the other.

As a matter of fact, Hindus whose Daddies or Uncles had been Dewans conceived of 'political legislative freedom' as grounded in the sort of territorial states in which they grew up. However, they expected these States to link up- as was indeed happening in Gandhi's Kathiawar and elsewhere. The descendants of Dewans- indeed, some ex-Dewans of smaller states- became lawyers. What they did for their bread and butter was argue about 'ideas of property' and 'individual rights'. 

However, what the masses wanted was Economic reform and the reestablishment of Religious hegemony of a vernacular type. That is what they got out of the Freedom Struggle. The 'Liberals' could not avert this outcome.  

Thus, even as the Gandhian movement sought to free India from British colonial rule, it did not envision taking responsibility for running the government of post-colonial India.

That may be true of toothless nutters like Gandhi. But Motilal and C.R Das and so forth wanted to run things.  

In short, being grounded in the ultimate telos of spiritual freedom, the Gandhian movement did not develop a discourse of governance as legislative freedom.

Gandhi may have had shit for brains. But Patel was a man of a very different stripe. Some Congress-wallahs were, it is true, quite useless. But many weren't. 

The fact can't be gainsaid that Congress formed Ministries- generally of superior cohesiveness and efficiency- just like the other parties. Gandhi was increasingly ignored except when it was convenient for everybody to go to jail rather than appear to have sold out. 

Owing to the Gandhian movement’s unwillingness to construct a legislative discourse of governance coupled with freedom, Congress, on taking office after independence in August 1947, immediately

ignored Gandhi completely till he started to make a nuisance of himself and then, surprise! surprise! suddenly and very conveniently got shot 

restored its original discourse of imperial justice.

How so? 

India’s approach to international relations in the post-colonial period was historically conditioned by this juridical discursive framework, but with the difference that the role of the emperor as imperial judge was now given to the Security Council of the United Nations.

By the end of 1949, the UN had given up its attempt to mediate in Kashmir. What India wanted was not 'an imperial judge' but a Sugar Daddy to whom, however, India would refuse to put out. Actually, it was Pakistan which first showed India how to play off Uncle Sam against Uncle Joe Stalin. 

India did have an interest in de-colonization and saw the UN as potentially playing a useful role- provided the principle of Non Alignment was accepted because this would reduce Great Power conflict over the liberation of strategically located territories. But India's own concern was to remain very poor and weak because mendicants are supposed to look like shit. 

Why were both Gandhi and Nehru so utterly shite? The answer is that they didn't get that India is a Hindu country. If Hindus get rich and strong, India will be rich and strong. By 1932, all the minorities had told Gandhi to fuck off. It was obvious that either there would be a Hindu India or a collection of linguistic States which however might be perpetually at war. 

The big question was- would Hindus in different parts of India back a war against non-Hindus? Indian History said no. Hindus are disunited. But Democracy changed that. Suddenly Hindus were united. The Chinese incursion showed that the Tamil and the Punjabi- even some Bengalis- wanted to biff them Chinks. That was a game changer. Moreover, it turned out Hinduism is different from Islam or Christianity. It can keep a multi-lingual nation together. 

By contrast Gandhism and Nehruism were, as Mithi suggests, essentially puerile. They represented a 'world of illusion'. The Bania and the Kaula and the Buddhijivi and the Tambram didn't know that Hindus liked fighting and getting rich. They thought the main teaching of the Hindu religion was 'starve to death. If a foreigner starts beating you, lick his arse.' There is a good reason why Hindus hate the Caste System and Holier-than-Thou cunts with Brahminical surnames. 

The popular response to the Chinese invasion showed India was united and that the Commies could always be slaughtered if they turned 'anti-national'. In other words, India could be a country like any other. Talking holier than thou bollocks while passing around the begging bowl was simply stupid. 

Once Shastri came to power, India could start growing food to feed itself and biffing the Chinks in Nathu La. Indira continued that trend. Now the dynasty is dying nasty. Power has returned to the Hindu Nationalists who started it all. 

Sadly Mithi can't admit the obvious. She has to talk bollocks. Why? She is a Professor in Amrika. Intellectual affirmative action- i.e. pretending your brand of beggarly brown people are utter cretins, at least when compared to you, is the key to career advancement. It's a shitty job- but someone has to do it. 


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