Monday, March 28, 2011

Delusions of Intellect

Delusions of Intellect: "

Ramachandra Guha is a deconstructionist’s delight, a hypocrite’s role model and a template for aspiring court historians. What does St. Stephen’s feed its wards that entire armies of them become Hindu haters and gatekeepers of the West? The list of its alumni who’ve made it big is truly horrifying: Natwar Singh, Digvijay Singh, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Khushwant Singh, Barkha Dutt, Mukul Kesavan, Prem Shankar Jha, Samir Jain, Vikram Chandra, and Ramachandra Guha. All of them, ultra-careerists endowed with a special knack of recognizing the buttered side of the bread, all of them united by the tough fibre of visceral hatred for the Sangh Parivar and the BJP. And of late, Narendra Modi.

Guha’s latest piece is a generous outpouring of smelly textual excreta that flows over 1286 words. And that’s putting it charitably: you can’t dignify this horrendous retching by terming it a personal attack on Narendra Modi. Guha doesn’t have a point unless you want to call vile pamphleteering as a point. And he fails spectacularly at the said vile pamphleteering. Mr. Guha, I’ll show you how it’s done.

Ram Guha is the latest proof that Mahatma Gandhi still retains career-making prospects of epic proportions. From a cricket commentator-historian to Pontificator on Everything From Ecology to Arundhati Roy to Hagiographer as Historian , Guha has traversed thousands of miles. On occasion, he loves to share his wet dreams about the fact that he’s engaged in researching on the Mahatma and that it’s educative, transformative, blah blah blah. The one thing he doesn’t say is this: how much of what he’s learnt from Gandhi does he actually practice. Your answer is as good as mine: none. Gandhi was the king of frugal living. Guha wears his suits, knows his cocktails, travels by cars and flights and attends expensive book release functions. This is a gushing, fawning, almost-slavish and for those very reason, very accurate “profile” of the guy who goes around today preaching about the subliminal impact Gandhi can have on your life. Gandhi preached and practiced the dictums of hate none and forgive thy enemy. Guha has left behind massive trails of undisguised BJP, Hindutva, Modi, and Sangh Parivar-bashing. Gandhi’s ishta devata (personal God of choice and liking) was Rama while Guha’s mouth-frothing incoherence on the Ram Mandir issue is well-known. Gandhi spun the charaka as a means to cleanse the soul of impurities. We know what Guha spins.

Are these the transformative experiences Guha has had in his soul-altering research on the Mahatma including the stuff about the Sabarmati Ashram?

Here’s the thing Mr. Guha: you see what you want to see. There’s no other way or explanation. You travel to Ahmedabad and fail to see the commendable BRT implementation in the city. Instead, you see some monument built to honour Mahatma Gandhi and get all riled up like a braindead model who found a pimple on her cheek. Really, who’s paranoid here, Mr. Guha? Finally, if you hate Modi so much, you should as a matter of principle, stay away from Gujarat.

Mr. Ramachandra Guha, how can you look at yourself in the mirror?