Fifth column: An end to socialist elitism?

Modi does not see poverty as romantic or alluring. Having lived in poverty, he knows the indignities it imposes if you are not a tourist.

One example of elitism concealed in a socialist tradition will suffice to explain what I mean, even though there are a hundred. One example of elitism concealed in a socialist tradition will suffice to explain what I mean, even though there are a hundred.
Written by Tavleen Singh | Published on:June 15, 2014 12:32 am

Sonia’s NGO advisors and her NGO environment minister closed down projects that could have created real jobs in some of India’s poorest states. No government has been more well-disposed to the NGO sector than the one just gone and the result is that there is now an NGO for every 600 Indians. Most of these NGOs are frauds, so this columnist was delighted to read the Intelligence Bureau report that exposes their fraudulence. But NGOs were useful to the last government because they provided a useful veil for the elitism and corruption that lay beneath.

Scan through the names of the recently defeated younger Congress MPs and you will see that they are nearly all heirs. If that is not corruption already, then ask yourself why so many politicians want their children to inherit their constituencies? Is it not because politics has become a profitable family business? Unfortunately, this venal commerce has been embraced by nearly every political party, including the BJP. One reason why the advent of Modi was opposed by senior BJP leaders was because they saw that he might put an end to the ‘socialist’ elitism that they have become so accustomed to.

So will everything change now that Modi is Prime Minister? It will not be easy to end a political culture that has become engrained deeply in political parties across the country. But a good beginning is to start dreaming a new dream for India and this thankfully has already happened. The Prime Minister reminded MPs that they were guardians of the hopes of more than a billion people and not in Parliament just to enjoy the fruits of power. Next time he draws their attention to this, he should add that people are no longer as patient as they once were. They are impatient, angry and desperate for the development and change that he promised during the campaign. The veils of ‘socialism’ that concealed the deeply elitist and corrupt nature of our political culture have now fallen away, so it is very, very important that those who sit in the Lok Sabha remember who voted for them and why.

Follow Tavleen Singh on Twitter @ tavleen_singh

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