Justice Katju's attack on the inanity of Dhruv Rathee

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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The inanity of Dhruv Rathee

By Justice Markandey Katju

Indians living in Western countries often imagine that they are bestowed with wisdom superior to the 'natives' who reside in India, and therefore can 'educate' them, and show them the way out of their plight.

One of these 'superior' beings is Dhruv Rathee who lives in Germany, where he had studied engineering, and through his YouTube videos has been 'educating' Indians for quite some time

A look at his videos, however, shows his inanity and superficiality when he deals with political and social issues.

Take for instance his recent interview by Karan Thapar.

In this interview, Rathee says that India is on the road of becoming a dictatorship, and laments the suppression of most of the media. He advocates the removal of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India.

Implicit in his remarks is his opinion that dictatorship is bad for a country, and conversely democracy is good.

Now the test of every political activity and every political system is one, and only one: does it raise the standard of living of the people? Does it give them better lives? Looking at the matter from that angle, democracy can only be a means to an end, not the end by itself. The end must be raising the standard of living of the people. If democracy in a country does that, it is good, but not otherwise.

In India perhaps up to 90% of the people are casteist and communal. When most Indians go to vote they vote as vote banks, only seeing the caste or religion of the candidate ( or the caste or religion which the candidate's party claims to represent ). This fact is expertly manipulated by our politicians, who polarise society and incite caste and communal hatred, to win elections and seek power and pelf. Does this democracy benefit the Indian people?

Democracy means majority rule, but in India the vast majority is feudal-minded, having casteist and communal mindsets. How then can democracy attain the end of giving the Indian people decent lives and raise their standard of living?

In fact what we have in India is not democracy but something masquerading as democracy, as explained below

What India needs is not democracy but a modern-minded dictatorship to solve its basic problems of massive poverty, massive unemployment, appalling level of child malnutrition ( every second Indian child is malnourished, according to Global Hunger Index ), skyrocketing prices of essential commodities like food, fuel and medicines, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, atrocities on minorities, etc. In India this cannot be achieved in a democracy, for in a democracy our political leaders only aim at winning the next elections, for which they polarise society on caste and communal basis, and they have no genuine love for the people or their welfare.

It can only be achieved under a dictatorship of a handful of modern-minded leaders determined to rapidly industrialise and modernise India, by force, if necessary.

Here two examples can be given.

Till about 1920 Turkey was ruled by the Sultan and Khalifa who were feudal minded people who kept Turkey backward and poor. Because of this Turkey was known as the 'Sick Man of Europe', and was often kicked around by Western powers like England and France ( who planned to Partition it by the Treaty of Sevres of 1920 ).

Mustafa Kemal was a general in the Turkish army. He was a patriot, and was determined to get rid of Turkey's backwardness and modernise Turkey. He, with his army associates, staged a coup and deposed the Sultan and Khalifa. They then abolished the sharia law, banned burqa, suppressed the religious clergy, and gave equal rights to women, including the right to education ( Turkish women were uneducated before this ).

All this was done not by democratic means but by a military dictatorship led by Mustafa Kemal. In fact if Turkish people had been asked to vote on these measures most people, being feudal minded, would have opposed them.

Another example is of Japan, which was earlier a backward feudal country under the shoguns, but was rapidly modernised after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 by a handful of the Emperor's advisers. This too was not done democratically but by decree.

Dictators can be reactionary, like Modi, but can also be progressive and modern minded, like Mustafa Kemal. It is the latter which India needs, not the former or democracy.

All this evidently Dhruv Rathee does not understand

Rathee condemned the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal.

I need only refer him to my article

Rathee delivers homilies and platitudes in his vlogs, but has no understanding of political realities. For instance, he gives a totally superficial and half baked explanation of why the British gave independence to India

The truth is as explained in the article :

Similarly, he gives a totally superficial explanation for the Partition of India in 1947

The truth is given below :


Politics is concentrated economics, but evidently, Rathee has little ( if any ) understanding of economics. I have explained the situation in India from that perspective in my video interview and articles below :


The way out for the Indian people is given below :

How does one explain that such a superficial thinker with half baked knowledge got 15 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and 2.5 billion views?
It can only be explained by the fact that most Indians are themselves superficial and inane ( for which I had once remarked that 90% Indians are fools ) so that a glib talker can easily take them for a ride and make them followers.

Dhruv Rathee reminds me of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who led the children of Hamelin to their doom

(Justice Katju is a former Judge, of the Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, the Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

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