No nation can prosper if its more well-to-do citizens actually think that the best way to counter the unspeakable squalor and poverty and disease and illiteracy of the vast majority is to take as little notice of them as possible.
‘India's underachievement in the social and economic spheres has been especially glaring in the view of the rapid growth achieved by many developing countries in the world. Our poor developmental indicators have predictably had an adverse impact on India's global image and influence.
At the apex of Hindutva's pre-eminence in Indian polity and society, the Left was collectively scratching its head. It was racked by hermeneutic anxiety: was it witnessing homespun fascism, or was this merely the new face of national conservatism?
Outside of lecture halls, away from radical newspapers and removed from diasporic pressure groups, this might appear to be an overwrought tussle over semantics. But it preoccupied India's Left and its satellites around global academia for several good reasons.
As intellectuals, major and minor, arranged themselves on either side of the debate, the battle lines were carefully drawn. What was at stake went far beyond academic allegiances; the ensuing arguments would not only consecrate new hierarchies of intellectual prestige but also, far more importantly, set the compass for organised resistance to the dominant ideology in the world's largest democracy.
Advocates of fascism – so to speak – were not restricted to those who aligned themselves to Marxism, whether dyed-in-the-wool Hegelians or avowed materialists.