Mast Kalandar

bandar's colander of random jamun aur aam

Tue, 20 Jan 2015

When NRIs are like colonialists

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There is a famous saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Indian science has a number of well-wishers in the western world, many of them of Indian origin and some others as well. They do us a lot of good at times.

For example, using their contacts to get scientists from abroad to come and give courses of lectures (or giving lectures themselves!).

At other times, they say things such as this or this.

Clive and Macaulay wanted to do their very best to "bring civilization" to India. What they did not realise is that the route they took, via the Maharajas and/or the armed forces, was a way of undermining existing systems.

The NRIs are also suggesting solutions to our rulers in Delhi in the same way --- with the best of intentions. What they ignore is that the country does have democratic and social institutions to bring about change as needed. Implementing solutions from the top is the "colonial" style.

It is true that democracy and social institutions are slower than a wide-ranging revolution, but a revolution implemented from the "top" is usually called by its proper name --- dictatorship.

As such, it is not really their (the NRIs) fault! Our institutions are often so weak, we are unable to tell the "bosses" in Delhi where our nose starts and their rule ends. These Delhi-wallahs are willing to treat the entire country as a big social experiment just as the Viceroys did in the past.

The NRIs need to realise that what they say carries the same weight with our politicos as the statements of Macaulay did with the Viceroys and the result is colonial-ism, 21st century style.

Gunpowder is a wonderful thing, but you would not hand it over to a man ready to wage war. Sanskrit is a wonderful language, but it is a weapon in the hands of those who want to replace science with pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.

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