Cutlet for Cutlet

NB: The comment below is taken from Jairus Banaji's Facebook page dated June 13, 2021 The title of this blogpost is me being sarcastic. I had originally titled it Sovereignty of Capital or Nation as property, but thought it redundant. No comment is required. Readers might be interested in this investigation, and Bharat Bhushan's report on  the Scania scandal. Some journalists retain their integrity. The link to the photo contains the source. DS

A photo of exceptional value. It shows Indira Gandhi dining with Dhirubhai Ambani soon after her massive sweep back to power in January 1980, something that Dhirubhai indirectly helped to engineer by providing the funds that weaned Charan Singh’s party from the Janata government, bringing about the latter’s collapse and thus the Lok Sabha elections that eventually followed. Dhirubhai paid for a lavish dinner at the Ashoka Hotel in Delhi. Here’s what Hamish McDonald says about it in his (unauthorized) biography of Ambani that seems to have scared India’s most powerful family so much: ‘The first big party staged to welcome her back in government was hosted by Congress MPs from Gujarat, and paid for by Dhirubhai, at the Ashoka Hotel in New Delhi. Political observers took note that Indira spent over two hours sitting on the dais receiving well wishers with Dhirubhai at her side’ (Polyester Prince, p.40).

The image of India’s most authoritarian political figure (till then) sitting passively at Ambani’s side while she was congratulated on her victory, and that too for a whole two hours (!), speaks volumes for the new political culture that was emerging in India by the 1980s, one where the famous ‘nexus’ was being forged in new ways, with capital (and more crucially, a new layer of capital) calling the shots at the very top, as it continues to do today , this time ironically with someone whose single-minded ambition is to uproot ‘Congress corruption’ and excise Congress like some tumour from the body of the ‘nation’. I suspect this lasting hatred against Congress is driven to some degree by sheer jealousy at the thought that the founder of India’s biggest corporate empire always took Congress more seriously than he ever did the RSS, the Jan Sangh or the BJP.

Book review: Hamish McDonald; Mahabharata in Polyester: The Making of the World's Richest Brothers and Their Feud

Anne Michel and Simon Piel - Rafale case: Fresh moves towards a corruption investigation

Bharat Bhushan - Scania Scandal: Need to step up to the challenge

Bharat Bhushan: It suits the RSS to allow BJP to encourage defections from other parties

Naxalites should lay down their arms and challenge the ruling class to abide by the Constitution

The Supreme Court, Gandhi and the RSS

A whiff of evil

The Broken Middle - on the 30th anniversary of 1984

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