Mr RajaMohan in his editorial column in the Indian Express dated June 29th, 2006 has come up with the following gem to comprehend India’s new found Global clout and the reactions to it within India.
The real problem lies in the emergence of two world views in India — speaking metaphorically — one of the “bania” and the other of the “brahmin”. The banias are revelling in India’s new prospects on the global stage; the brahmins are frightened at the likelihood of India emerging as a great power. While the Indian businessmen are conquering markets around the world — whether in the North or in the South — the brahmins are dying to merge into the more familiar background of the talk shop called non-aligned movement. And who better than Fidel Castro to provide the comforting certitudes of the past in Havana this September.
The brahmins are afraid of strategising for India’s new role in the world. If there is any serious strategy in India it is now visible only in the boardrooms of Infosys, Tatas and the Ambanis.
The banias have rediscovered their centuries-old trans-border trading traditions and are demonstrating the depth and breadth of India’s management capital. While the banias are focused on outcomes, such as buying up Arcelor, the armies of our nuclear experts are weighed down by the brahminical obsession with the text. While the bania is acquiring assets around the world, the brahmin is defending rhetorical positions. While the bania is playing on the front foot, the brahmin is on the defensive.
If India’s recent nuclear debate is any guide, the lag between India’s potential and its ability to take advantage of it would only grow in the coming years. But the moment will come, sooner than later, when the weight of bania pragmatism will prevail over brahminical inertia.
Indo-pessimism, an intellectual fashion that has reigned for so long, is no longer sustainable amidst the unfolding economic successes of the nation.
The problem is that he could have made his point without using caste metaphors. His own example of Infosys whose founders and top management are Brahmins makes him look like a village idiot.
That said, otherwise, he makes a good point about India’s political and bureaucratic establishment cringing at being pushed onto the limelight of the world stage while the NRI’s and the new global Indians who have played with the big boys of the world and have won are raring to take on the world again on their own terms.
But unfortunately for him both the above groups have Brahmins, Banias and other castes in the same proportion. So his metaphor is plain illogical and insulting.
But then he is not alone. There have been others who have put their foot in their mouths lately.
Veerapa Moily, former CM of Karnataka and chairman of the oversight committee for OBC reservations compared the Reservations for OBC/SC/ST’s with the FIFA policy of regional representation for different continents(sic!).
Well he should look at the latest update from Germany 2006. 6 of the 8 Quarter-finalists have won the World Cup atleast once
* Brazil – 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002.
* Germany – 1954, 1974, 1990.
* Italy – 1934, 1938, 1982.
* Argentina – 1978, 1986.
* England – 1966.
* France – 1998.
They have also hosted the world cups between themselves atleast once. Of the other two teams Portugal is a middling Power in its own right and Ukraine is still a European country. So where are the so called weak Asian, African and North American teams? They have been eliminated in a real brutal competitive environment.
FIFA did not give any of those teams a Bonus goal or allow them to play extra players to overcome their “disadvantage”.Neither was FIFA lenient on them on the field. The rules and treatment were equal for all. That is exactly what fairplay is all about.
Another dimwit, Sagarika Ghose has equated Rahul Mahajan’s escapade with everything under the sun in her column India shining to India snorting.
I will not stoop down to her level to rebutt her miserable rant(sic!).