Chowkidars Of The Raj

The incident at Delhi Golf Club illustrates unreformed colonial attitudes. One can see the stone-etched names of such contractors while moving towards the Viceregal Palace, now renamed, as the Rashtrapati Bhawan. They and their children inherited the membership of elite clubs like Delhi Golf Club.

Written by Tarun Vijay | New Delhi | Updated: June 29, 2017 5:04 pm
The Delhi Golf Club (Source: delhigolfclub.org)

Serfs behave like that. They treat everyone as Rudyard Kipling’s Ramu or a maid who shouldn’t be sitting with the sahibs. The Delhi Golf Club is no different. They may not even know where Meghalaya is. The graceful lady, Tailin Lyngdoh, wearing a beautiful jainsem, had entered a “foreigners” club.

In fact, the basic character of Delhi’s elite is slavish. Selected roads were barred for the natives. Those who testified against revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh were given lucrative contracts. One can see the stone-etched names of such contractors while moving towards the Viceregal Palace, now renamed,as the Rashtrapati Bhawan. They and their children inherited the membership of elite clubs like Delhi Golf Club. They built the Imperial Hotel in memory of their old masters where you see nothing but the pictures of the British rulers — one of the greatest acts of savagery of these rulers was the Bengal famine that took the lives of three million Indians.

The rich and elite of Kanpur — once a centre of revolutionaries — have named their local club, “Cawnpore club”. They know that the legal name of the city is now Kanpur. But they would like to show they are different. To claim the legacy of British elitism, the name must remain the way the British spelt it.

It’s a mindset that thrives on negating everything you belong to. It loves to describe the dark age of the British rule as, “The Raj” — as if whatever existed earlier did not have the rule of law. They will laugh snidely if you say Indians discovered the zero, Indian numerals were adopted by the Arabs and in the West, we were great in arithmetic and science and 2,000 years before Harvard or Cambridge were conceived, we had Nalanda and Takshshila which had collections of more than a million hand-written books on science, technology, and much more.

You will see pictures of marauders and annihilators of an entire race — Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and British viceroys. Dark-skinned turbaned Indian servants would be squeezed in one corner of the picture while the sahibs and memsahibs would be having a nice time in their wooden floor ballroom. From government circuit houses to the palatial homes of the rich, I see such paintings displayed as works of art.

Authors with a command of English are perfect in telling lies to create an aura of scholarship around them. I was amused to find one asking, “Remember former BJP MP Tarun Vijay’s comment about women from the south with dusky skin” in an article about teaching children to question and dissent. I explored all transcripts, including the interview I gave to Al Jazeera, where I single-handedly fought the people who were bending backwards to declare India a racist country. Unfortunately, I misspoke at the fag end and have expressed my regrets. Nowhere did I say what this writer attributed to me. Such people will not remember Nachiketa, who questioned the god of death, at the tender age of 13. No elite school in Delhi will even teach about him. This elite is the chowkidar of the legacy of those who plundered India.

I stayed for several weeks at Mumbai’s Raj Bhavan when the scholar, Mohammad Fazal, was the governor. One evening at the dinner table, I saw bone china crockery embossed with the British royal insignia. I was shocked. Fazal sahab was infuriated and ordered them to be changed. It was just a small reminder that we love to behave like the angrez.

I wish Delhi Golf club gets de-licensed — some officer must stand tall for India and ignore influential members — and a grand North Eastern Culture Centre be established. The “koi-hai” elite can go and eat at Hotel Imperial, which has a better British ambience and encourages looking down on “natives”.

Vijay, a former BJP MP, is an author, social worker and journalist

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  1. S
    Shamsul Islam
    Jun 30, 2017 at 9:26 pm
    Tarun ji good that you remember Indianization. You should have raised these issues as Rajya Sabha member. If that was not possible you should have at least convinced RSS to discard its attire, shirt and a short, a complete replica of the Raj dress. Even the recent change of RSS attire, short replaced with a trouser, is a borrowing from the Gora sahebs. You should ask your Alma mater to choose from dhoti, langaut and sadri/bandi. Let charity begin at home.
    Reply
    1. S
      Shamsul Islam
      Jun 30, 2017 at 1:19 am
      And Tarun ji what about Hindutva elite which wants to have India without minorities. You forgot how you denigrated South Indians. There should be a limit to hypocrisy.
      Reply
      1. B
        Babul Supriyo
        Jun 30, 2017 at 12:46 am
        A very well written piece.. Marvel the way your expressed it Tarunji.. keep writing cuz u make it worth reading.. warmest
        Reply
        1. H
          Hanuman
          Jun 30, 2017 at 12:17 am
          Is gau-raksha at ude modern (post-2014)?
          Reply
          1. M
            M Jalem
            Jun 29, 2017 at 9:33 pm
            Bravo. Another plea for changing the colonial mindset so thoroughly ingrained by Macaulay.
            Reply
            1. I
              INDIENKENENR
              Jun 29, 2017 at 9:31 pm
              It is a long journey to the restoration of Indian Civilization on Indian subcontinent where modern Indians haven't even yet thought of their first step- so low is the nation's spirit fallen. In fact, Macaulay Education System corrupted, they don't even know properly and correctly of their main stake in the world arena. Yes, they are past masters at 'infighting', traitoring, dividing and never ever uniting around their core nation. Tarun Vijay speaks of our troubles as from a long servitude to first Islam barbarians, then to the Christian sort. It came to that bad end because Indians then were as bad as they are today, namely not in the know of their own self, their nation, their nation's stake. Here is some help: India, wrong name anyway, is home to Vedic Civilization. Indians are essentially Vedic folks. As such, Indians are the most advanced human type possessing peak knowledge of the science of materials as well as spirit i.e, spirituaity. That is the prize to look for now. Get it?
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              1. H
                Harsimrat
                Jun 30, 2017 at 11:15 am
                Ashoka who killed 1 lakh people and made another 10 lakh homeless was initially a brute Hindu ruler. Chola empire of Hindu rulers encouraged Devadasi tradition. Whereas muslim king Gyassudin at the time of Iltutmish, who ruled Bihar, Bengal area was greatly loved by his people for being generous. Muhammad shah Lashkari Bahmani And Ahmed shah Bahmani were good rulers who worked for their people and revolted against Mughal in South India. Akbar being a Muslim never was a barbarian and instead his era is one of the most secular and tolerant one for all religion. Lord William Benting will always be remembered as fine ruler who abolished Sati system of burning widow and opened up posts in higher judiciary and civil service for Indian. Warren Hastings was a great scholar of Sanskrit made available English translation of Gita. Viceroy Lord Ripon introduced I'll very bill which allowed Indian judges to try Britishers. Every Indian was missing him when he voluntarily resigned back to UK.
                Reply
              2. N
                Npon-resident
                Jun 29, 2017 at 9:07 pm
                Tarun Vijay the British Left us 60 years ago , there are many Indians living in US , Britain ,Canada, New Zealand ,Australia and ask how many of them would like to return to Mumbai(not Bombay) ,Kanpur (not cawnpore) , really do you think it would matter to these indians residing under english rule .
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                1. S
                  Shamsul Islam
                  Jun 30, 2017 at 9:28 pm
                  Ask Tarun to change RSS attire, fully borrowed from the RAJ.
                  Reply
                2. P
                  Prasad
                  Jun 29, 2017 at 8:45 pm
                  Vijay, a former BJP MP, I regret to observe, suffers from a complex, called inferiority complex. Can he change history by bickering about a mistake by the club staff? He would do well to comment on some serious topic AND in a more logical way. If Cawnpore in used instead of Kanpur, is it really some thing to be criticised. And what of the Raj? The write up was not up to it to be published, But it is his opinion, however inconsequential it might seem.
                  Reply
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