Vilifying Nehru and Gandhi has become the "in" thing. To be fair, it is not a new phenomenon, I have been hearing it since I was in my teens. May be I don't know my history well enough and I don't have the information they have. But I don't get it.
I don't think Nehru or Mahatma Gandhi was perfect. I don't expect them to be, not even the greatest of men. Everyone has flaws.
America's founding fathers, the people who said "All men are created equal" had slaves. Knowing that fact helps me get a holistic picture of them and the time/context, it doesn't negate all the good they did.
Nelson Mandela's corruption charges don't take away from what he did for his people.
If learning about their flaws shatters some childish vision of a perfect world, then too bad.
For the past two days my FB, Twitter, Whatsapp timelines have been overflowing with jubilation and excitement. I do not share the emotion.
I am glad Congress is out. I din't vote for Congress in 2009 (because I wanted to punish them for their terrible record on security; remember the incessant bombings each month?), when it was yet to screw up everything so spectacularly, so there was no chance in hell that I would have supported them this time. The discipline, good governance side of BJP was always appealing, but it's ties to RSS/VHP a deal breaker.
I used to believe in a theory, that incentives matter. That BJP would move away from RSS and VHP when it realized that unless it does so, it could never be a real national party that could win 272 on its own. I was holding on to that hope. This election has shattered every assumption about Indian politics. And it has shattered my theory too.
If all it takes for BJP to coast through to 272, is a pathetic opposition and an effective leader, then it has no incentive to move away from it's right wing ideology (as long as it doesn't talk about it too much).
That disheartens me. Not a single one of the 272+ BJP MPs is a Muslim. That worries me.
I refuse to apologize for my liberal views. I retain my right to be skeptical and to call out a false choice (development vs secularism) for what it is. I refuse to allow others to rebrand liberal and secular as dirty words. I hope BJP finds another and stronger incentive to become more plural. A lot of people seem to have projected all their aspirations on to Modi, I hope he does well. For my country's sake.
The nation had an operation to get rid of a cancerous tumor. I am anxious about it's recovery in the hands of a doctor I don't fully trust. I am not excited or jubilant, just anxious with a little relief thrown in.