|Japan's latest maglev train|
When Japan was test-running the fastest maglev train in the world, India was discussing whether Taj Mahal was originally Tejo Mahalaya, a Hindu temple. In spite of all the great slogans like ‘Make in India’ that the Prime Minister bestowed on the nation, nothing has changed for the better since the BJP came to power. Many things changed for the worse, in fact. There is more communal polarisation, for example. There is increasing disgruntlement among the economically weaker sections. And history is being twisted out of shape.
History as social science is being replaced by history as fantasy and myth, says the editorial in today’s Hindu. Why is India still so much obsessed with religion and its infantile myths and rituals, when countries like Japan are making rapid progresses in science and technology in spite of the conservatism that runs deep in the people’s veins?
The BJP wanted to come to power and used religion as an easy tool. Fine. One can understand the game given the history of the country’s politics. Having achieved the goal, why does the party still cling on to the tool? It’s like the hunter searching for the shot bullet instead of the fallen game.
Why can’t India grow up? Is it because the right wing is suffering from an acute identity crisis? No one feels the need to assert a particular identity raucously unless one feels insecure or inferior on account of that identity. Even the strident assertions of the superiority of one’s religion and culture usually have their roots in some painful feeling of inferiority.