Prithvi & Raj!

Maharashtra’s New Chief Minister’s name reminds me of the Great Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Prithivi Raj Chauhan was the last of the Hindu Kings ever to reign from Delhi. Thereafter Hindu rule in India ended, quite literally, in the North. Muhammad Ghori finished off all the Hindu remnants in 1192 AD. This is very significant, because, just one year prior, 1191 AD, Prithvi Raj had defeated Ghori and captured him. Despite all what is written in the Hindu books, Chauhan released him. When the tables turned a year later and when Ghori captured Chauhan, he showed no mercy. Prithvi Raj was hauled away to Gazni and presented as a spectacle and later beheaded. This ended our fragmented Hindu rule of the North. Thereafter, the Muslims ruled over India for the next almost 700 Years. The last of the Muslims, Bahadur Shah Zafar, The Last Mughal, was replaced by the Britishers in 1857.

If you see, the Britishers ruled over India for only 90 Years. Yes, indeed they were there before and also a powerful influence. But why blame the British when our own Rajas were incompetent and sucked up to them. Our Rajas had reached their nadir. They needed the Britishers to secure their crown. Constant squabbling, palace intrigue and self-indulgence, they had no time or inclination to rule. They chose to fly and feed the pigeons and fornicate. The Praja (inhabitants) were left alone. Little did it matter who was at the helm. For our Rajas, Harem mattered more than Humanity.

Britishers were true gentlemen of sorts. They did not vanquish these rascals. In fact, they serviced these Rajas and charged them accordingly. At the same time, they had plans to sunset them some day. Hence they introduce the Doctrine of Lapse. If the ruler was incompetent or did not have a direct heir, they annexed his kingdom. The Law was heavily biased towards the British. And why not! They were doing us the favours. When we went under Queen Victoria (1857) our systems got regularised. Most of our penal, educational, Administration and infrastructure got stabilised. The Britishers left us many “Templates”, good and bad, which we still use it to this day.

I am not an anglophile, but I do believe that the 90 years of British rule was more momentous than the 700 years of Muslim rule. I have one strong reason to believe this. The 90 years of British rule provided us a transition from Religious Aristocracy to Secular Democracy. It would have been difficult if the Britishers had not managed this project. I say this because; this region has a tendency towards Dictatorship- Khalifat (Representatives rule by religious law) is considered desirable than Jhamooriat (Democracy).

And the rule of law, law enforcing, roads, railways, airways and of course, Town Planning made by the British has survived to this day. When Edwin Lutyens was building Delhi, he knew the fruits of his labour would be enjoyed by the Indians. Still he put all his efforts to give his best. The writer, Kushwant Singh’s father, Sir Sobha Singh got contracts to build many part of Lutyens Delhi. Kushwant Singh has written very fondly about those times in his book- Delhi.

Just check out our period of developments. India developed best, when Indian’s were not at all involved. There were three worlds. One was world of the debauched Kings. The others were formed of the destitute. And finally there were the ones that took matters into their own hands. And they were not even one of us. It’s strategic now to understand that the Raj always kept themselves separate. Think again, is it possible to rectify or usher in a change if you become one of them- partners in crime!

So, its British 90 years against the Indian 60! They missed the century. Any bets that we will score the maiden ton. The British aggregate and we dissipate. Even Muslim rule amalgamated. Left to ourselves, we are as base as the Amoeba. We multiply by dividing. What’s wrong with us? What are the reasons for our self-destructive qualities? There is a germ somewhere which inclines us to do what we do. We are all focusing on the wrong tenets and misleading symptoms. Caste, religion, culture, history etc. has to be discounted one by one to un-earth the layer which actually triggers this problem.

Now, let’s get back to Prithvi Raj. This time I mean our new Chief Minister. Highly qualified technologist sent over to rectify. Just like our historical Chauhan, this Chavan also sits within a faction ridden environment. There are many hearts he has broken to take that chair. Many Hopefuls make a hopeless situation. This Chavan will also dole out mercy to the undeserving. Then time and scam will intervene and he will be hauled away to Delhi and beheaded, metaphorically. If you are in Mumbai, you will come to know, it doesn’t matter who is the Chief here. He doesn’t do much besides occupying the Varsha. Varsha comes and Varsha goes, but Mumbai goes on forever.