Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Ashis Nandy in trouble

I am glad that Ashis Nandy is in trouble. He was against fight against corruption. He defended the corrupt.
What was Ashish Nandy doing at Jaipur Literature Festival? What is his contribution to literature? Writing on psychology or sociology is not literature.
On 26/1/2013, Republic Day, he said: “Some may call it a vulgar statement on my part, but it is a fact that most of the corruption comes from OBCs and Scheduled Castes and now increasingly Scheduled Tribes. And as long as this is the case, the Indian Republic will survive.”
“I will give you an example. One of the states with the least amount of corruption is West Bengal, when the CPI(M) was there. And I must draw attention to the fact that in the last 100 years, nobody from the OBC, SC and ST has come anywhere near to power. It is an absolutely clean state.”
“I said that if people like me or Richard Sorabji want to be corrupt, I shall possibly send his son to Harvard giving him a fellowship and he can send my daughter to Oxford. No one will think it to be corruption. Indeed, it will look like supporting talent. But when Dalits, tribals and OBCs are corrupt, it looks very corrupt indeed. However, this second corruption equalises. It gives them access to entitlements, allows the underprivileged to partake of the loot. And as long as this equation persists, I have hope for the republic.”
BSP leader Mayawati responded to Nandy’s statement: “For social scientists in the country to turn a blind eye to the inequities of society is very unfortunate. In fact, it is the SC/ST community and other weaker sections who suffer the most due to corruption. I would like the government of Rajasthan to initiate legal proceedings against Nandy and move towards his arrest. I demand that the organisers of the literary festival remove him from the programme.”
Ashish Nandy may have in mind Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, A. Raja, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Shibu Soren and Madhu Koda. He ignored many politicians who are not OBCs/SCs/STs but are more corrupt. They do not get bad press or jail because they know to manage media and judiciary. Meenakshi Lekhi said they are Brahmins who call themselves Dixit and are corrupt.
Ashish Nandy justified his statement. “I do believe that a zero corruption society will be despotic society. I also said that if people like Richard Sorabjee and I want to be corrupt, I shall possibly send his son to Harvard and give him a fellowship and he can send my daughter to Oxford.”

“No one will think it as corruption. Indeed it will look like supporting talent. But when dalits, tribals and the OBCs are corrupt, it looks very corrupt indeed. However, this second corruption equalizes. It gives them access to top their entitlements As long as this equation persists, I have hope for the republic,” he said.
Ashish Nandy speaks of Singapore as despotic society. It does not have crime rate like India. Corruption leads to crime in many cases. In Singapore rapes do not take place on a daily basis. He did not mention Norway, Sweden, Finland and New Zealand which are not corrupt and despotic.
Ashish Nandy said he had been misunderstood. “As should be clear, there was neither any intention nor any attempt to hurt any community.”
“I will give an example. The state of least corruption is West Bengal. In the last 100 years, nobody from the backward classes and the SC and ST groups have come anywhere near power in West Bengal. It is an absolutely clean state.”
In the evening Ashis Nandy was booked under the SC/ST Act for his comment. Maximum punishment is 10 years jail. He was whisked away from the venue by the back door even as activists of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and OBC groups protested at the venue — the Diggi Palace.
I will be more glad if Ashis Nandy spends 10 years in jail.

Updated: January 27, 2013 — 10:04 am

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