Then it was Katherine Mayo Gandhi called her report on India the ?Drainage Inspector'sreport?. Now it is Wendy Doniger. What shall we call her? I know the word. But I?ll be silent.
But I will not be silent on America. It is the great empire of our times. It holds the world through bluff, bluster and blackmail. And it has done the maximum damage to the image of India.
Do you know whether America is your friend or foe? Obviously, you do not, for America lives more often behind masks. It confuses you all the time.
Of course, America over-estimated the powers of human contrivances (weapons) and underestimated the powers of tradition (nationalism). Thus, it overestimated its capacity to Americanise the world and failed to understand the most profound movement of the last century?the national liberation movement. It paid for it.
The ?open society? of America is also a sick society. It wants to be the cop and the robber all at once. With con men and counterfeiters, gangsters and maniacs setting at naught America'sefforts to guarantee ordered life, America remains raw and primitive. It is sick over its importance abroad, sick of the surfeit of crime at home and sick because it has no purposive vision to offer the young.
But what it producing these crops of maniacal and unstable characters in American society? The ?refuse? of Europe. It turned out to be criminal (Hannah Arendt). The American ?lonely crowd? (Reisman) tends to crime. The Americans are mere slaves of a production process. And it is this that produces recurrent spasms and revolts.
The American pioneers made deals with the devil himself, but the Americans of today fail to understand when the angry ones of Asia and Africa make a deal with the devil and take to terrorism. They are prepared to gamble with their destiny by pushing it a little too fast.
The metaphor of American politics is of a wagon train?with a promised land at the end, with an evergreen valley. The men who run this wagon train are supposed to know what America wants. But do they? Between the personal frailties of the Presidents and the public purpose of the Presidencies there is a wide gap. And that is not always determined by the exigencies of the White House but by the unspoken ambition of the ruling classes and the giant corporations.
It is true a Roosevelt or a Kennedy might transcend the limitations of their society. But they were no great visionaries. They were men ill at ease with the broad vision of a Thomas Pakne or Jefferson, or the Utopianism of the ideologies of Europe.
The American society still thrives, but it is sick within. It is the modern Babylon. It frightens nations by its awesome power. And yet it must cry out its heart one day that it wasted its years of unchallenged global power and affluence only to hold the world in its thrall.
American society is the deafest in the world. Its government is deaf by design and its people are deaf by ignorance. America listens no more, not even to the sanest of words. And a large part of the world has grown mute before this unpredictable bully, some out of fear and some for the sake of doles. You cannot reason with America just as you cannot reason with a tiger.
It shall not be said of America, as Thucydides said of the Greeks, that ?we shall be the wonder of the world not only of today'smen, but of all times.? When American power bows out of the world stage, as it must?and that day is not far off?there shall be nothing left to recall it except the memory of a nightmare.
The American President appear larger than life because it is part of the mythology surrounding American Presidents that they should appear in the heroic mould. And yet the private pathologies of the incumbents of the White House, which have come down to us through anecdotes and apocrypha, continue to shock us.
The American Presidents have inherited the mantle of the Roman Caesars. And yet when the pants were down, Clinton was no more than a plebeian on the streets of Rome.
But it does not end here. The world is also called upon to pay a price to keep up the image of America as the Hegemon of the world. And it has the Presidency, the State Department, the Pentagon, CIA, Wall Street, the Church, the Academia and so on to prop up its image. The American ruling classes believe that they are a ?chosen people? to guide the ignorant of the world. Wendy Doniger is one of the foot-soldiers of this chosen tribe. She thinks that Hindus are living in ?darkness? and that we need the light of Christianity. Little does she realise that the torch that Christianity lighted was not meant as Rabindranth Tagore said to give light but to start fires in the world. No, thank you, we can do without your light.