Updated: May 8
Historically, it has always been that, a small minority group lands up ruling the majority.
Take the case of Britain's rule over India. With just 40,000 British soldiers and 1600 British Civil Servants, Britain a relatively small island, located 7,000 kms away, ruled the undivided Indian subcontinent of [300 million people, enabling it to extract US$45 Trillion of wealth for themselves from India in a mere 173 years (1765 -1938).
The British were able to achieve this remarkable feat only because of their employing a large number of Indian soldiers and civil servants. Such Indians, are also known as 'Coconuts' because they are brown on the outside, white on the inside. Indian in looks but British in thinking and attitude.
The British understood that Indian education and society was at the centre of India's fabulous prosperity. Thus millennia old Indian education institution of Gurukals that taught a variety of subjects in traditional Indian languages and inculcated rich Indian culture were systematically and brutally dismantled , by the British.
The British introduced an 'English only', education system to be provided, only to those few chosen by the British as worthy of education. Their goal, to extinguish the light from the minds and deaden the consciousness of the Indian people, so as to produce a limited number of compliant 'coconuts'. The British in 120 years (1817 to 1947) successfully reduced India's literacy rate from almost 100% (regional languages) to just 16% (Mainly English) It was not adequate that the 'Coconuts' thought and behaved like Britishers but they were subtly conditioned to develop a disdain for the remaining 90% of their fellow Indians. To hate them and everything about India and Indians. Even though independence came to India in 1947, the character of our schools changed little. In 1965, I had the privilege of being admitted to Pune's best school at that time. We had some magnificent teachers, working in this old system, who unconsciously succeeded in making us good 'Coconut' citizens.
Our school, The Bishop's School converted ordinary children into extraordinary individuals, transforming my siblings, schoolmates and me, into splendid 'Coconuts'. No doubt we received a strong foundation, enabling us to succeed. Unfortunately we grew estranged from our own people and culture. We knew a lot about Britain and America, but hardly anything about ourselves.
Children are automatically drawn to other children irrespective of caste, colour, religion or race, until adults start filling their minds and hearts with divisive nonsense. At our school, if we were seen speaking to common Indian children, we were reprimanded for speaking or interacting with 'Chokra Boys'. The word 'Chokra' meaning boy in Hindi.
The elite of India's armed forces, civil society, bureaucracy, judiciary, police, Industry media and political class all come from these 'elitist' institutions and culture. Unfortunately most of them are 'Coconuts'.
While Coconuts always had a privileged advantage over other Indians, with each passing year their power and influence declines. That is why we now see the rise of 'Bharat' and 'Hindustan', an increasingly proud nationalistic Indian people inexplicably fitting into India's complex cultural mosaic. The rise of the BJP a nationalist political party along with other regional forces are signs of that change.
This is also why India's oldest political party the Congress party, the English language media and their fraternity, etc. are traumatised by the experience of a continuing decline in their relevance. They are struggling to remain in power and dominating control of India, so as to retain their privileges and status.
Most of these elitists believe it is their manifest destiny to remain masters of India by tradition and by right, irrespective of their merit or contribution.
When wealth, status and power is acquired without earning it, people grow intellectually, morally and spiritually lazy. Such elitists have no vision, no strategy, no plans for the people, but for themselves they only to seek how to enhance their own wealth, status and influence.
In the absence of a common national and social narrative except remain in power at any cost and often without scruples and reap disproportionately the benefits of India's wealth and labour, the people find it increasingly difficult to accept these elitists.
The influence of coconuts may have declined sharply within India but they still retain good influence internationally, because of their command over the English language, and knowledge of foreign cultures, languages, oratory and communication skills, understanding of international institutions and politics.
There is much commonality between these foreign entities/ governments and Indian elites in thought and style. Therefore it is but natural that many land up working closely with foreign entities to further their individual interests often at the expense of the Indian state and people.
The Coconuts were valuable assets during colonisation to serve as a bridge between the Colonial powers and the Indian masses, but now they are a great liability to a free India. As the power and influence of coconuts continues to decline, they cannot afford to operate subtly and in sophisticated ways. They are compelled to be more open, loud, aggressive and violent. Unfortunately for them, they have been self destructing, consumed by their own toxicity and negativity.
No one can rebuild a civilisation, if the masses are excluded and kept on the fringes. This realisation has dawned on more and more former coconuts like myself. We have discovered the limitations and great shortcomings of our good but biased and skewed learning and education.
This awakening has transformed millions to the possibility of bettering themselves their societies and humanity.
Many people, friends, associates and colleagues who interact closely with ordinary Indians in a spirit of respect and openness have awakened to the beauty called India/Hindustan. India's rich and diverse culture, languages, and wisdom have generated a passion to the rebirthing of India free from cultural, ideological and religious colonialism, be it Middle Eastern or of European origin.
Armies can be suppressed but never a people awakening to their potential and destiny.
India's time has come to take her rightful place within the world, and its being led together by awakened Coconuts and 'Chokra Boys'.
Interesting Links: What The Economist said in 2014 after India's elections