Pratap Bhanu Mehta, prominent left liberal academic and critique of Modi government has resigned from the position of Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University. “The contemporary world has unsettled so many of our political and philosophical assumptions, and I increasingly felt the need to reorient myself academically. Hence, the decision to step down,” said Mehta in his resignation letter.
Before the whopping electoral verdict of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Pratap Bhanu Mehta had been heard saying, “The last five years have been a mutilation of the Indian soul,” he said. “They stand for everything that is un-Indian,” and “against every promise that this democracy gave to each one of its citizens.”
But now Pratap Bhanu Mehta has joined the cabal of left-liberal intellectuals in the fields of media, academia, and cinema who feel that they have become irrelevant with the rise of right wing. The ‘values’ left-liberals held dear find no resonance with the values held by the modern political class which hold the governments in most of the countries around the world.
In fact, a large part of the youth today despises the hypocrisy of left-liberal intellectuals like Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who were embedded in the ‘system’ for decades and yet refused to speak against its evils. They sought state privileges and institutionalized entitlements in return to keep the hypocrisy of old political class underneath.
The electoral success of PM Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, and many other ‘non-liberal’ politicians across Europe gave a chance to left-liberals to look inwards. Many prominent left-liberals across academia, media and cinema have realized that they have become irrelevant and need to reorient themselves.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s confession of the need to reorient is not the first. In India, first such confession came from Sagarika Ghosh, who happens to be poster girl of everything that is wrong left-liberal elites. In an article written in Times of India on May 28, five days after Modi government was elected to power with even greater majority, Ghosh wrote, “Liberals today are indeed guilty of many of the sins they are accused of such as intolerant judgmentalism, seeking excessive state patronage and refusing to condone family corruption.”
She added further that “They (Liberals) must also be open to opposing views and take a firm line away from inherited privilege. Creaky CPI (M) style leftism (now evaporated in most of India) will not do anymore, as it only strengthens brute state power.”
The next confession of the Left-liberal brigade came from Karan Thapar, another member of Lutyen’s cabal whose family institutionalized itself the Nehru Gandhi family for four or five generations. As evident from the above tree, Karan Thapar’s family has close links with Nehru-Gandhi family which was in power back in 2012. He was a close associate and schoolmate of Sanjay Gandhi.
In an article dated June 03 in Hindustan Times, Thapar wrote that ‘The 2019 election result is verdict against people like me’. “A new voice, a new attitude and a new definition of Indianness has been articulated and Modi is not just its expression but, possibly, its personification. Meanwhile, people like Pertie (fictional character) and I, indeed a whole class like us, find ourselves in a forgotten or even left-behind minority,” wrote Karan Thapar.
“People like Karan and Pertie are so upset is because a new India has arisen and they’re not part of it. Instead, they’ve ended up on the wrong side of history,” he added further. This is a major confession as the persons who institutionalized power circles for decades are no longer part of it. “I’m still imprisoned by the thought that Modi has made people like me irrelevant,” he added.
Ranbir Kapoor, a dynast from Bollywood also made a veiled attack on Bollywood liberals and said “We Industry Walas don’t see the work done by Modi ji, but people do.”
People across the dens of left liberal establishments in Media, Academia, and Cinema are now confessing that the era of institutionalized corruption and state entitlement is over. The values left-liberal establishment held dear find no takers among the youth. The resignation of Pratap Bhanu Mehta and his confessions about the need to reorient him academically a major landmark in self-realization process of left-liberals. Academia is last to realize that it has become irrelevant, the media and cinema has realized it earlier. However, the confession by Mehta could become trigger point for many academics to ‘reorient’ themselves.