Public Choice Theory, Indira Gandhi and JNU

 Some time back a group of youth belonging to a group called Ram Sene decided to attack women who went to pubs or celebrated Valentine’s Day. Some women were attacked at a pub in Mangalore.

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Later women retaliated by sending pink panties to Ram Sene office. Over period of time both Ram Sene and Pink Panty Sene disappeared from public memory.

India has lot of such Senes (Hindi word is Sena, but I prefer Kannada version- Sene), most of them are promoted by political parties. I will talk about two such senes- Vanar Sene and Secular Sene

Long time ago, in her teens Indira Gandhi formed Vanar Sene, it was a group of children under leadership of Indira, whose job was to shout anti British slogans within compound of her grandfather’s palatial house in Allahabad. Later Vanar Sene decided to something adventurous, they decided to shout slogans in front of a British official’s office in Allahabad.  This time Indira was accompanied by her mother Kamala. By afternoon, Kamala could not bear heat, she fainted. A group of youth helped her and carried her home. One of them was youth called Feroze Gandhi. Thus Vanar Sene gave India two great leaders- Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi.

Daughter of India's NAtive Leader Indira Nehru

Later after India got independence, Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru become prime minister of India. Meanwhile Feroze had married Indira.  Though both Nehru and Feroze belonged to same party, Feroze behaved more like opposition leader than party member. He exposed scams of industrialist R K Dalmia and Haridas Mundhara. This was great embarrassment for Nehru. Nehru had carefully crafted image of himself as secular democrat and world-class diplomat. His image was further damaged when he dismissed communist government of EMS Namboodripad, lost war with China, resulting in India losing huge territory to China and his attempts to make his daughter his successor.

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Nehru and later his daughter Indira loved to project themselves as intellectuals. Indira formed a university called JNU to promote thoughts of Nehru, all those who were ready to work on this project were called as leftist intellectuals, and those opposing them were called rightist and fundamentalists. JNU gave birth to Secular Sene. It was a certifying body to decide who was secular who was not.

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Indira gave charge of creating Secular Sene to her sycophant Romesh Thapar. Romesh’s sister Romilla also called Chuski (she has habit of giving advice over sip (chuski) of tea) became in charge of history department of JNU. Secular Sene under Chuski rewrote history of India. Secular Sene writes history in terms of rightists and leftist. Those supporting Nehru are leftists and those opposing rightist. Leftist build nation and rightist destroy nation.

Later some more members joined Secular Sene prominent among them was journalist Kuldip Nayyar (popularly called Bhola), so Chuski and Bhola became think tank of Secular Sene.

But reality is there is nothing like rightist or leftists, political leaders freely move from one party to another. Corruption, nepotism, casteism is independent of ideology.

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Noble prize winning economist James  Buchanan came with concept of “Public Choice Theory”. Public choice theory argues that economic self-interest is the driving force of politics. So whether it is leftist Nehru or communist Namboodripad or rightist Modi or anarchist Mamta or Kejriwal all are interested in their own welfare and survival.

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