No, Mr. Godrej, You Are Way Out of Line – This Just Won’t Do

No, Mr. Godrej, You Are Way Out of Line – This Just Won’t Do

A few days ago, Adi Godrej, one of the patriarchs of the well-known and respected Godrej business conglomerate stepped into a minefield when he launched a totally unnecessary salvo on socio-political issues that was contrived and hyped.

Indeed, when we read aapro Adi’s speech carefully, it sounds like a harangue and a bogey all in one. It certainly doesn’t behove a business magnate of his stature and position as a member of one of India’s most respected and admired industrial groups. I propose to assess the entire contretemps in this essay and to tell Adi Godrej (AG) why his exercise is a complete charade and a wild goose chase.

According to the English media, both print and electronic, AG hectored the powers that be on the spectre of “rising intolerance, hate crimes and moral policing”, which he feels will “seriously damage” the Indian economic growth path. Nothing wrong at all in principle, in this pronouncement. In fact, it is a well-proven doctrine in theory and facts. So far, AG is on the right track. Where he is grievously wrong and incorrect is his partial perspective and the Nelsonian eye that he uses. Now, why would I say this?

Because, his loquaciousness and the all-pervasive data base of the contemporary cyber world that we live in, give enough clues about AG’s mind-set and worldview. Earlier, in May 2016, Godrej had pointed out that the beef ban and prohibition of cow slaughter in certain states were hurting the economy. “Because, what do you do with all these extra cows? It is also affecting business, because this was a good source of income for many farmers.” (The Indian Express, 12 May 2016). Now, why would AG pontificate on a legal matter and a socio-cultural / religious issue? Surely, he has read the Directive Principles in our Constitution and what they say about cow slaughter. And, can we hope that he is also au fait about what hundreds of millions of Indians feel on this issue?

Be that as it may, AG’s grandiose posturing three years ago is enough to tell us where he stands now in this entire debate on “rising intolerance, hate crimes and moral policing”. He clearly feels that it is the Hindoos (and members of their allied faiths, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains) who are the prime (if not the only) culprits in this fog of hate and discord. Wait, things get better or worse, depending on where we stand.

AG’s shrill cacophony builds up to a crescendo when he warns in his latest pronunciamento that economic growth will be impacted if “rising intolerance, social instability, hate-crimes, violence against women, moral policing, caste and religion based-violence and many other sorts of intolerance that are rampant across the country,” are not contained to ensure social harmony.

Clearly, AG, despite being a Mumbaikar in real life, is an honoured and honorary member of the Lutyens-Zone (LZ) gang and its latest progeny, the Khan Market gang. AG, going by his tantrums on banning cow slaughter and beef trading, would have no problem in denigrating other symbols of Indic culture and faith. I would like to pose some queries to AG: what are your considered views and thoughts on Vande Mataram, the Somnath Temple, Aurangzeb’s and Tughlak’s genocides or the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus?

Now, Somnath Temple is a litmus test here. After all, the Zoroastrians (Parsis) escaping from Islamic genocide in Iran landed in Gujarat and were given shelter and a new home by a Hindu king who asked for only one thing – that the newcomers should respect the culture and values of their adopted motherland and never cause it harm. To which, the leader of the asylum-seekers responded with a gesture that resonates in the hearts and minds of all of us after so many centuries.

He asked the king’s soldiers to fill a glass with water. He then added a spoonful of sugar to the full glass and showed the Gujarat king that the sugar dissolved in the full glass and did not cause any spillage or loss. The moral: the Parsis would only add to the patrimony of their new country, enrich their adopted motherland and never cause it danger or damage.

Let me put on record that the Parsis, over all these centuries, have truly enriched India. Their contribution to this ancient country of ours and its unparalleled treasure trove of culture and civilisation has been enormous. The more so, because the number of Parsis who took part in this exercise was minuscule. This was a collective effort that is almost without parallel in history. In return, India, too has given the Parsis enormous affection and respect.

Therefore, my question to AG: why spoil the glorious and unblemished record of the Parsis by a totally uncalled-for rant and diatribe? I know you lot are very Westernised (and Anglophone, to boot)? By harrumphing about the restrictions on cow slaughter and beef trading, why cock a snook at the cherished values and thoughts of a billion members of the Indic faiths?

For many decades, we have seen a desi version of the Stockholm syndrome running amok in Indian universities, among the intelligentsia and the politicians. We have repeatedly seen the disgraceful spectacle of the Romila Thapars and her sarkari secularist (SS) gang in a state of denial about the destruction of the Somnath temple. We have also read about the macabre behaviour of the Amartya Sens of this world, fixated on a solitary Muslim riot victim, when the whole of Dacca (where Sen stayed) and East Bengal was witnessing a mass slaughter of the Hindus.

AG, why do you want to join this disgraceful bunch of poseurs and intellectual frauds? Because your unilateral and one-sided stance does not question or condemn the principal threats to our Indic civilisation. I am certain you do not want to censure the nauseating spectacle of the hate and discord that are spewed from the hundreds of Indian mosques every day. You do not take a stand against the repeated acts of synchronised violence by Muslim mobs against Indic places of worship (primarily temples). Your acolytes will jump at me and point out that I do not have any proof about your stand on any of the issues I have posed.

Yes, I do not have specific proof about your views on the questions I have asked you. However, the smoking gun evidence is there in your pontification of June 2016. You have fired the same armament now, after the latest elections and the resounding victory of the present regime in the national polls. Clearly, this is too much of a coincidence.

Let me be very blunt here, AG, and do some plain speaking now. The landslide win could not have come about without a massive consolidation of the votes of the followers of the Indic faiths. Caste, sub-caste and economic class were subsumed under a common preferential umbrella. The non-BJP players were perceived as those who had carried out repeated onslaughts against their most valued symbols of identity that they had zealously but silently guarded and nurtured for tens of centuries.

Our country in the last 7 decades has witnessed an appalling spectacle – a national elite that denied India’s basic civilisational roots. The game plan of this bunch was simple – India’s basic genes and DNA would be transformed and mutated through diabolic techniques fine-tuned in laboratories and test-centres. Ultimately, the virus would be transmitted from the chosen few in urban India to the vast majority in the country’s rural heartlands.

The entire plan nearly succeeded. For many decades, we saw a desi version of the Stockholm syndrome running amok in Indian universities, among the intelligentsia and the politicians. At the grass roots level too, there was a clear road map. UP, under the successive regimes of Mayawati and the Yadav family, has seen concerted and disturbing attempts by vocal and aggressive minority elements to rubbish the sentiments of the majority people. Though the situation is not nearly as perilous as in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal, where 4-5 districts have almost become no-go zones for the Indian state machinery, UP saw some examples of Hindu exoduses from pockets where Muslims are in a majority. In a few places in UP, Islamic violence continues unabated.

Desperate attempts were made by the MSM and the SS lot to whitewash these events. However, a simple motor trip along the national highways in western UP will show you, AG, that large swathes of land have been bought over by Muslims with funds from undisclosed sources. Indeed, UP, Kerala, West Bengal, parts of Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra are seeing a replication of the Sudetenland phenomenon in pre-war Czechoslovakia.

This was when Nazi Germany financed the minority Sudeten Germans in the western border areas of Czechoslovakia to consolidate and strengthen their land holdings and economic clout. Whereas the Sudeten Germans had Henlein and his murderous goons, UP and India have the Azam Khans, Digvijay Singh in MP and Mamata Banerjee in Bengal. As I have said repeatedly, the ISI and the Daesh read the same history books as we do.

You, AG, along with the members of the SS brigade should also try and remember some truisms from your Anglo-Saxon role models. John Dryden warned us a few centuries ago that we should be careful about “the fury of a patient man”. More appropriately, there was Francis Quarles who wrote: “Beware of him that is slow to anger; for when it is long coming, it is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept. Abused patience turns to fury.”

However, I would return to our own sages. Sri Aurobindo, as early as in 1905, had said: “We have to create strength where it did not exist before; we have to change our natures, and become new men with new hearts, to be born again … We need a nucleus of men in whom the shakti is developed to its utmost extent, in whom it fills every corner of the personality and overflows to fertilise the earth. These, having the fire of Bhawani in their hearts and brains, will go forth and carry the flame to every nook and cranny of our land.”

Dr.Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in his convocation address in Bombay University in 1937 (when, AG, some of your family elders may have heard him) had warned in prophetic terms that the new Indian youth must not “in any case permit the destruction of the vital elements of their own civilisation.”, even though they “have drunk deep at the springs of western knowledge” and absorbed “for their benefit and for the national good, the best elements in western culture and thought” The majority community in our country now refuses to lie down and be trampled upon. The “Hindoo” worm seems to be finally turning over. Employing a slightly different and politically milder analogy, the Indian pachyderm is finally becoming assertive. Why should this bother and upset you, AG? This is not kosher at all.

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Jay Bhattacharjee

Jay Bhattacharjee is an advisor in corporate laws and finance, based in Delhi. His other areas of interest include socio-political issues and military history. He has been a commentator and columnist from the mid-1990s