Discussion on “Nationalism” and “Narasimhanomics” at Jaipur Literature Festival
By Pradeep Baisakh, Jaipur: “Nationalism is about fighting the British Empire is what I described in my book: India Concurred: Britain’s Raj” said Shashi Tharoor. He differed from the narrow definition of nationalism being witnessed in various parts of the world now. In conversation on “Remembering the Raj” at Jaipur Literature festival which took place in Jaipur from 19-23rd January Shashi recounted the inhuman policies and action of the British Raj.
Narrating on how the Britishers’ only aim was to remain in power, Sashi said “the soul motto of empowerment of the Britishers in India was to remain in power”. He remembered the famine in Odisha in 1866 where the raj had literally denied to provide ration to the dying people and even warned a leader then, who was out to distribute ration to the hungry people that he would be banished from the country! Over 35 million Indian died unnecessarily due to wrong policies of British Raj, he added.
Vinay Sitapati, the author of on “Half-Lion: How P V Narasimha Rao transformed India” equated the former Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao with the former Chinese premier Deng Xiaoping both of whom introduced economic reforms in their respective countries and opened it to the global economy. “Both of them spoke left but acted right”. Taking forward the discussion Sanjay Baru, the former media advisor of PM Manmohan Singh and author of “The accidental Prime Minister” (About Manmohan Singh), who participate in the discussion at JLF said that every leader is ideological till he/she comes to power but becomes a pragmatist while in power; a reference to Narasimha Rao who always has been speaking the socialist voice became was the PM who brought about liberalization and globalization to Indian economy.
Baru added that ‘demonetization’ was a successful political stunt by PM Modi. People now see him as the biggest crusader against corruption.
Last year JLF had 330 speakers and 3.3 million participants! JLF is claimed to be the greatest literary show on earth.