Dr Jay Dubashi
WE Indians suffer from what I call an ‘F’ complex, meaning ‘Foreigner’ complex, which colours all our relationships with them. We continue to be in awe of foreigners of all sizes and colours, particularly White ones, and those from the West, and this awe has given us a permanent inferiority complex. This applies to Muslims too, who are also foreigners in our eyes, because Islam itself is a foreign faith, and they came here, like Westerners, as conquerors. Our relations with Muslims go back a thousand years and they were not pleasant ones. The relations with Westerners go back five hundred years, and they too were anything but pleasant.
Let me come to the point. Take the recent affair of a young man called Robert Vadra. This is an unusual name, even for a man married into the Gandhi family, for the name is neither fully Indian nor fully Christian, and seems to be a mixture of two. The man is almost certainly an Anglo-Indian, which means a foreigner, or maybe half-foreigner, and some of us seem to be dazzled by his exploits in the real estate business, perhaps because he is son-in-law of a woman, who is also a foreigner, actually a White woman, not an Anglo-Indian.
It is impossible to believe that politicians in Delhi did not know that the man was deep in sleaze, while the politicians cried hoarse, in Parliament and elsewhere, about corruption, but dared not bring the young man’s activities to light, either in Parliament or elsewhere. Even the so-called anti-corruption activists, including Anna Hazare, kept mum, even though, I am sure, he knew about it. Why did they keep silent so long? Again, the ‘F’ complex.
Now take the Nehru-Gandhi family, which has presided over the destiny of this hapless nation, one way or another, for nearly 75 years, ever since, Jawaharlal Nehru became Congress president in 1936. The family’s love for foreigners, and foreign lands is well-known. Nehru himself was educated, not in Allahabad where he was born, but in Harrow, England, from primary school onwards, where the Lords and the British royalty send their children. Were there no schools in Allahabad at the time? But Harrow is superior to Allahabad, for Harrow is White, and Allahabad, being Hindu, is Brown, and therefore, below par.
Jawaharlal’s daughter married a Parsi, with the name of Feroze, a Muslim name, for the Parsis are quasi-Muslims and were thrown out of Iran because they were not full-fledged Muslims. Jawaharlal’s sister, Vijayalakshmi, almost married a Muslim – the Nehrus have a tremendous fascination for Muslims and other foreigners – and tried to run away with him, but was held back and married a Hindu from Nagpur. Indira Gandhi’s eldest son also married a foreigner, not a Muslim but a Catholic, who was working ‘au pair’ in Cambridge, where Nehru himself had been an indifferent student.
Her daughter married a man with the unlikely name of Vadra or Bandra, who seems to be a genius at making money out of nothing, like those road-side magicians who make mangoes sprout from nowhere and whose pigeons, real live pigeons, jump out of old hats. And the newspapers and TV channels go ballistic with stories of acres after acres purchased and sold for vast quantities of money that seem to materialise from nowhere. Only a foreigner or a semi-foreigner or someone with what looks like a foreign name can work such wonders, while we slave at our ten-to-five jobs and barely subsist from one day to another.
Why are we so mesmerised by foreigners, especially White foreigners and Muslims – the Indian government has been kind to both – while the locals are neglected? In fact, Westerners too are in awe of Muslims, particularly Muslim princes and business tycoons, but never Hindus or Buddhists. One reason is that India was invaded by both Muslims and Westerners who, let us put it straight, conquered us and kept us down for hundreds of years. There is always a close bond between the conqueror and the conquered, a bond not of friendship but fear and hatred. That bond continues well after the conqueror has left the land of his conquest, leaving behind a shattered society which he had repressed and raped. You may think you have got rid of him, but he is there all the time in your mental landscape, his image hovering over you, like a dark ghost. The Europeans came over here over five hundred years ago and some of them, like the British, didn’t leave until last century. Such a long stay in somebody else’s land is bound to have an impact on the relationship, and we are still labouring under that impact.
The British may have left but the White Man has not – he is still here, figuratively speaking. See how one foreign woman has captured the largest political organisation in the country, which is now being used to run the country. The men in the Congress, prime minister downwards, are putty in her hands, cowering in their shoes in her presence. They are told, stand up, and they stand up. They are told, sit down, and they sit down, just as in the British days, when the White Man was king. Would they have behaved like that, had she been an Indian, like them? They are worse than eunuchs, men of no consequence. They are all highly educated Indians, some of them with doctorates from Cambridge, England, where she once worked, but they are Brown and dare not say a word in her presence.
They all stand up and shout in unison, like men in a chorus, when the son-in-law is lambasted in the press or on TV. He is a businessman, not a politician, neither a member of the ruling party, nor in the government. But he receives literally royal treatment and one minister went so far as to say that he would give his life for the woman, and perhaps her family, including the son-in-law.
This is a country of 1.3 billion Indians, a country with a proper Constitution and a functioning Parliament, and a democracy to boot. But nothing seems to matter. The Singhs, the Chidambarams, the Khurshids, treat the Constitution as a worthless piece of paper, and they all stand up and salute, when the lady’s limousine passes, as their predecessors used to do when the Viceroy used to pass, top hat on his bald head, and the union jack on the bonnet. It is as if we were a mid-eastern country and the lady was a sheikh, living not in the 21st century but in the thirteenth, or maybe earlier, under a Timurlang or Chengez Khan. But we are told from the rooftops that we are a democracy, the largest in the world.
All we can do is ask for a proper enquiry, but nothing is going to happen. The men caught in the other scams are still roaming freely, and this scam too will go the same way. For we have lost our self-respect as a people, and as a nation, and even the so-called Opposition has become totally paralysed, like a man who has lost the will to live, and is now totally at the mercy of some strange people who have taken hold of his country, his life, and his self-respect as an Indian.