Lord Parekh’s negativity towards India

Monday 11th April 2016

Professor Antony Copley’s  review of Lord Parekh’s book, ‘Debating India’, raises some interesting issues. Gandhi is described as out of his depth in comparison to Bhimarao Ambedkar,  the Dalit leader and author of India’s constitution. Further Ambedkar is described as favoring a Westernized Indian nation fashioning a ‘just’ society.

How can Mahatma Gandhi who shook the British Empire be described as  out of his depth? A Westernized ‘Just’ society? I just wonder who Lord Parekh’s target audience is for his book.Is it the British upper classes, academics and intellectuals who love to hear the failings of the former natives especially from one of their own kind?

Nehru’s foreign policy is described as driven by a search for international approval and so merely perpetuating India’s sense of colonial inferiority. Was Nehru not one of the architects of the nonaligned movement? Along with Tito and Nyerere the fledgling Indian state had the temerity to refuse to side either with the Western Capitalist’s or the Eastern Communists.

As a punishment for daring to be different the Americans and the British armed and propped up undemocratic regimes. Posterity has shown how much blood has been shed by policies pursued in arrogance and a false sense of superiority.It is a gross abdication of professional propriety to make false accusations as that has been made of Nehru. Lord Bhikhu describes the Congress and BJP as new Castes.The parties have no vision according to the Lord. It seems that the fastest growing world economy, a world leader in IT, Space research, Nuclear power all has happened by chance without a vision. Lord Parekh claims that no one has done more than Gandhi for communal harmony. One day hopefully Lord Parekh will acknowledge the fact that Gandhi was a product of a civilization which always believed in diversity and tolerance.

The persecuted Bahai’s, Parsis, Jews and Tibetan Buddhists all have found a safe haven in India. Lord Parekh has lived in the UK for over 40 years and yet India and its supposed failures remain his prime concerns. I have never heard him acknowledge a single Indian achievement. Why does Lord Parekh have so much negativity for India that it is making him lose any sense of balance?

While India’s neighbours are engulfed in violence and while wars ravage  many parts of the world, India is a relative place of calm. 1.2 billion people living in comparative harmony.  Is that not a wonderful example for the rest of the world?While living in the UK and being preoccupied with India, Lord Parekh has failed to put pen to paper and catalogue the corruption and the steady decline of this once great country.

Nitin Mehta

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