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November 26, 2013 / subramanyam

My Take on Chamchagiri

          Ramachandra Guha’s “A short History of Congress Chamchagiri” yesterday. To me this might be the smallest book/essay of Ramachandra Guha I would ever read. In this essay he wrote on how the Chamchagiri  or a culture of sycophancy has started and is prevailing in the Grand Old Party of India.

          Definitely a bold take on congress and Ramachandra Guha calls a spade a spade in the book . In his 4 part essay, Guhaji  shows us how Nehru tried to be as democratic as possible and how he kept the family and dynasty politics at bay. Chamchagiri He then goes on to show as to how, due to the misguided zeal of some one else, Indira came to power and how she changed the things once for all.  He gives good insights into what Indira’s sons were doing back then and the way they entered politics & how their kids too are now in the political map of India.  Slowly but certainly we witness how the children and grand children of Nehru ended up being the first family of India.  As you read you would appreciate the flow.

          Then, he also speaks about the influence this family had on the other political parties of India, on how almost every party except the BJP and Communists fell prey to this cult of person and family worship.  He gives nice examples to substantiating this and shows us how  Nehru’s fight against the deep-seated feudal hierarchical tendencies of the Indian society is being diluted by almost all the political parties of India. 

          Ramachandra Guha then speaks about one possible incident that could have thwarted all this.  He makes us remember one point in history which could have changed all this and how India was unlucky at that point of time.  What was it ? read the book. 🙂

The book also has references to some very old news stories and one nice satirical piece on one of the well known readers of India. All in on a very nice and quick read (I finished it with in 30 mins)  Do read it and you would thank me for recommending it .



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