Confused Pragmatic

Political commentators are turning amoral and cynical. A prominent tweeter was singing praises of the British – to the extent saying, what if they had massacred people at Jallianwala.

No reply at all

Why do you keep on talking about Jallianwala Bagh? Look at the non-corrupt governance provided by the British. (from a tweet by @pragmatic_d).

Has @pragmatic_d done any checks on records and reports during the times, when the British were providing clean administration to Indians? Two messages asking him to substantiate his statement got no reply.

Some evidence

The Indian State, on Independence and for at least the previous 20 years, was seriously worried about corruption.

In fact, this anxiety on corruption forced JL Nehru to set up, in the early fifties, a 3-man Corruption Commission – with JB Kripalani, Paul Appleby (a Ford Foundation consultant), AD Gorwala (a retired ICS officer) as members.

Back home

Meanwhile, back in Britain, the British Prime Minister faced a series of scandals.

For instance, between WWI and WWII, many questions were raised in the British Parliament – and outside. About Neville Chamberlain’s holdings in ICI shares estimated at 11,000. His son, Francis Chamberlain, had joined the Kynoch Works, an old firm with which the Chamberlain family was associated. As also with BSA Company (Birmingham Small Arms) in which he was a director.

The base of corruption in India

In fact the British Raj created legislation which directly encouraged corruption. For instance, against money-lenders, in India. But much before this, way back in 1928, then a much-less famous man, wrote

Corruption will be out one day, however much one may try to conceal it; and the public can, as its right and duty, in every case of justifiable suspicion, call its servants to strict account, dismiss them, sue them in a law court or appoint an arbitrator or inspector to scrutinise their conduct, as it likes. – Mahatma Gandhi in Young India (1928).

But then, this is secondary issue.

Cynical, insensitive – and …

Even if the British were able to give a corruption-free rule, would it mean we should accept rogue-rulers, who will corner unarmed people, against a wall and shoot them dead?

Just because you were the one who was not shot, does not mean, you can pragmatic, Shri Desi. This is just like Carnegie Institute suggesting that Genghis Khan’s killings of millions of people, was good for the environment.

Responsibility before … pride

With more than 45,000 tweets to his credit, more than 11,000 followers, featuring on nearly 200 lists, tweeple like Pragmatic Desi (User Name – pragmatic_desi; handle – @pragmatic_d) cannot give gubbish to their followers. A self-described blogger on the Indian National Interest platform; these tweets are ‘personal’.

Whatever that means.

It still makes me question, what kind of Think Tanks India is getting?

  1. October 13, 2011 at 4:14 am

  2. D. N. Rohith
    October 14, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    hey .. that hashtag is a satire. check the other tweets with that hashtags.. the stupid things British Raj would have said as an attempt to cover up their mistakes.

  3. October 15, 2011 at 10:25 am
    Rohith – Thanks for taking the time to clarify. With so many ‘followers’ you are a small part of the mass-media all by yourself. Considering the number of tweeple who follow you, this tweet stuck out in terms of tonality.

    I went through the tweets that day with the relevant hashtag. Most of the tweets were clearly satirical – and some were absolute classics.

    The tonality of your tweet raised questions in my mind. I did tweet to you twice – to check back the nature of the tweet.

    Since there was no reply, it further aggravated the intensity of questions in my mind.

    In my (considered) view, the killings at Jallianwala Bagh is less appreciated today – and corruption problem is over-exaggerated (?). And this tweet fell squarely in that box.

    I am sure that Big Tweeters like you do realize that on many days the number of people who read your tweets may be bigger than some other mass media outlets – which makes us small people to examine your tweets in greater detail than what the tweet merits.

  4. October 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    @anuraag: 🙂 but I am not pragmatic_d .. just one of his followers 😛 Realised there was a misunderstanding and hence the clarification. 🙂

    Well I certainly dont want you to get biased because of misunderstanding which might affect 2ndlook 😀

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