18 June, 2021

Rhythm Of History

Change is inevitable, but 100 years later, the circumstances in India are not very different

Rhythm Of History

The Congress is tottering to its fall and one of my greatest ambitions while in India is to assist it to a peaceful demise," observed Lord Curzon after he took over as Governor-General in 1899. Prophetic pronouncement? Only, it’s taken 100 years for Goliath to crumble. The warhorse which galloped to victory in spite of the Curzon Curse now stands with no firm hand on the reins. This year, the wheel has come full circle.

India steps again into a new century, this time too with stirrings of nationalistic feelings. An estranged sibling the enemy now. A colonial overseer then, with an infant Congress growing to maturity on the platform of nationalism. National consciousness in turn spawning communal consciousness. Cut to the 13th Lok Sabha elections: anti-Congressism proves to be a great binder, carrying a Hindu revivalist party to power. Any different now than it was then?

Looking back at a fledgling Congress in 1899, it’s not difficult to see that the antecedents of the Indian National Congress are rooted in Hindu revivalism. What social scientist M.N....

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