How Nehru’s Fascination for Verrier Elwin Helped Christianise India’s North East

How Nehru’s Fascination for Verrier Elwin Helped Christianise India’s North East

And while they swore the dog was mad, 

They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,

That showed the rogues they lied:

The man recovered of the bite,

The dog it was that died.

This classic elegy by Oliver Goldsmith best sums up the graceless drubbing that the Congress party received in the recent polls held in the key states of the North East. Or in CongressSpeak, the party actually won three moral victories. When one observes the Congress party’s campaign (or the lack of it), it’s clear that it didn’t display even a pretence of a fight. Here’s another way to put it.

This serial knockout blow should hopefully bury the Sponsored Election Analysis Industry, which in the wake of the Gujarat polls went on an overdrive to re-erect the balloon of halo behind Rahul Gandhi’s head. But the Lutyens patented brand of sycophancy has no known cure. This brutal piece succinctly but accurately diagnoses the deserved defeat:

Analysing a Congress defeat is no longer rocket science. The only thing that can be said about it is this: When you do the same thing the same way, the outcome will not change, even if you keep trying till kingdom come. The Congress has perfected the art of losing, and in every election, it displays its expertise like a circus monkey repeating the same trick.

Actually there’s an ounce of rocket science involved here. Let’s try and decipher it.

How do you explain the phenomenon of a Rahul Gandhi who flew off to Italy even as his party imploded in the North East? Or the fact that he took to Twitter to give his take on the election results instead of directly reaching out to party workers? The simple explanation for his recurrent bizarre behaviour and antics is the following.

Rahul Gandhi represents the classic case of the supreme and incurable arrogance of a thewless, failed dynast. He is the contemporary equivalent of the so-called Last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar who was more interested in preserving the perfumed decadence of a once-mighty Empire than awaking to the ugly truth that his authority didn’t extend beyond the walls of his rapidly-crumbling palace.


Modern India doesn’t need a [Rahul] Gandhi…Rahul is very arrogant…there’s a big difference between Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi…Amit Shah listens to you and notes down every point….when you go to Rahul Gandhi, there’s a master and servant relationship, that is very disgusting.

That’s Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswas Sarma in a 2016 interview after the BJP swept the state largely due to his efforts. That was a rude slap from a former, diehard Congress strongman, rude enough to rouse a sensible, serious, and grounded political head honcho.

From then on, Himanata kept taking regular jibes directly against Rahul Gandhi, which still didn’t stir the Congress chief to action. The consequence is visible today. The Congress has perfected the art of failure because it has perfected the art of living in perpetual denial.

The BJP left nothing to chance, treading the diaphanous tightrope between confidence and pragmatism.

Indeed, the Congress and its regional clones should’ve woken up the day the BJP formed the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in 2016 and elevated the selfsame Himanata Biswas Sarma to head it. If this is the political side, we also need to turn to another equally (if not greater) significant facet.

Narrative is king.

In the hands of a seasoned and battle-hardened leader like Narendra Modi, this narrative is massively amplified. This in other words, is the same “Modi Magic” that even his sworn enemies praised so highly in the 2014 general elections.

When was the last time that elections in the North East made front page headlines fairly regularly? Instead, we had a TV channel head shamelessly tweeting that he couldn’t report on the 2012 Assam communal violence due to “tyranny of distance” (sic). Six years later, almost every media house began to cover this region at least two or three months before the polls. This was Narendra Modi’s method of compelling not just the media but the entire nation to look at the North East.

Vladimir Lenin’s statue which lies toppled and tattered in the remote town of Belonia after the BJP stormed the Communist bastion of Tripura is a phenomenon like none other in recent history. Two words couch it: comeuppance and fulfilment.

An electoral drubbing is one thing but what took our usual, self-righteous suspects on the Left by sledgehammer-like surprise was the zest and swiftness with which Lenin’s statue was shattered. As also the spree of vandalising the offices of the CPM in many parts of Tripura. Several parallels have been drawn comparing these incidents to what occurred in the immediate aftermath of Communism’s collapse in Russia. And there’s more than a grain of truth in them. The disintegration of an oppressive regime will lead to a fierce blowback from the oppressed.

Most expectedly, our Leftist whingers, like nagging shrews, ranging from Sitaram Yechury to fellow-travellers in the media erupted in mindless hollering just minutes since the news broke. In any case, we don’t need to heed the incoherent wails of these parasitic ergophobics who’ve long since been dismissed by history.

The question we need to ask, and which every media outlet has buried for nearly three decades is this: how did Lenin’s statue get installed in that remote state in the first place?

In other words, we need to travel back to a fundamental grain of the narrative around the North East since India attained Independence. This narrative is almost wholly political. It’s as if the beliefs, traditions, customs, practices and religions of the people of the North East don’t matter at all. This narrative is a large showcase of a criminal neglect of epic proportions that has no parallel both in space and time.

The wholly political character of the post-Independence narrative around the North East served a very useful purpose: to lull Indians into forgetting the fact that the people of that region have a hoary history dating back to antiquity, share numerous facets of beliefs, deities, worship, customs, rituals, and traditions, and are essentially Hindus. Because the topic is far beyond the scope of this essay, I will refer the reader to this learned paper by one of the most erudite scholars of our time, Dr. Koenraad Elst. An excerpt follows:

Girilal Jain quotes a research volume about Puri: The archaic iconography of the cult images on the one hand and their highest Hindu iconology on the other as well as the existence of former tribals (daitas) and Vedic Brahmins amongst its priests are by no means an antithesis, but a splendid regional synthesis of the local and the all-Indian tradition. And he comments: The uninterrupted tribal-Hindu continuum finds its lasting manifestation in the Jagannath cult of Puri[…] The Lingaraja temple in Bhubaneswar, built in the eleventh century, has two classes of priests: Brahmins and a class called Badus…said to be of tribal origin. Not only are Badus priests of this important temple; they also remain in the most intimate contact with the deity whose personal attendants they are. Only they are allowed to bathe the Lingaraja and adorn him and at festival time; only Badus may carry this movable image… the deity was originally under a mango tree. The Badus are described by the legend as tribals (sabaras) who originally inhabited the place and worshipped the linga under the tree. [Emphasis added]

Hundreds of other such examples can be cited in addition to Jagannatha Puri and Lingaraja. This has always been the approach and method of Sanatana Dharma. It is one of offering the same reverence to a different religious practice, deity, custom, etc as well as assimilating it within the infinite pantheon of Sanatana Dharma. When we think of it, the beauty of this approach lies in its sheer simplicity and accomplishes two things at once: it preserves cultural and traditional continuity, and fosters inter-community harmony.

The contrast couldn’t be more savage when we consider the havoc wreaked by the peaceful armies of Christian missionaries on every non-Christian soil their viperish foot stepped on. Over sixty years, they systematically, leisurely uprooted precisely this cultural and traditional continuity and wrecked the inter-community harmony in the North East thanks to their bellicose religion which is premised on spiritual larceny.

And it wasn’t accidental.

It owes to two characteristic character-flaws in the person of Jawaharlal Nehru: a highly-developed immunity against wisdom, and an incurable fascination for white skin. Nothing else explains the manner in which he literally squandered away the destinies of millions of people in that region by gifting it to the vile Verrier Elwin.

Ramachandra Guha’s book on Verrier Elwin. Pic Courtesy: Google Image Search

One doesn’t need to look hard for clues before declaring Verrier Elwin as vile: the fact that genuine cricket commentator and counterfeit historian Ramachandra Guha has authored a whitewashed volume on Verrier Elwin is proof enough. A real scholar, Dr. N S Rajaram tells the naked truth about Elwin. And about Guha.

The Army Chief General (later Field Marshall) Cariappa [advised] Nehru that the northeast should be developed to bring its population into the national fold. But a British missionary called Verrier Elwin advised Nehru that the region that had many tribal communities should not be interfered with to preserve their pristine character. This left the field open for foreign Christian missionaries who went on to dominate the area. […] …the Nehruvian author Ramachandra Guha in his compilation Makers of Modern India…[B]linded by Nehru worship while devoting many pages to his own hero Verrier Elwin! Who was this Verrier Elwin by the way? Elwin was a British missionary who exploited tribal girls, sometimes under-aged, in the guise of being an anthropologist. When he was 40 Elwin married a 13 year-old tribal girl Kosi who was his student. He treated her like a guinea pig, the subject of his anthropological studies including publishing intimate sexual details in what is called participant observation. After nearly nine years of marriage, Elwin left her and married Leela, a tribal girl in NEFA (Arunachal Pradesh) leaving Kosi in dire poverty. In the process it undermined national security by creating a vulnerable northeast[Emphasis added]

This diabolical pervert managed to seduce Nehru to such an extent that he appointed Elwin as the Anthropological Adviser to the Government of NEFA (today: Arunachal Pradesh). The missionary inside Elwin remained unsleeping. Behind his sugary insistence on preserving tribal identities, customs, etc worked the same colonial chicanery that held that India was never a nation of one people with a shared heritage, and that the tribals were the “original aborigine inhabitants.”

The result?

A near-total segregation of almost the entire North East for over fifty years. Elwin’s preservation policy left a devastating trail of Churches, inter and intra community hostilities and the “separate” Christian State of Nagaland. Dams, highways, heavy industries, universities, and hospitals for the rest of India. Bibles and Churches and Communism and guns for the North East.

Indeed, one must laud the evil genius of the Congress-Communist regimes. For seven decades, the story and the history of this tragic and criminal isolation was visible in plain sight — a chilling, real-world manifestation of darkness at noon. Yet almost no one chose to see it.

It is only when we assess the Narendra Modi-led BJP’s triumph in this backdrop that the enormity of the victory becomes clear. In a single stroke, he forced a conscience-deprived intelligentsia and their media concubines to turn their arc lights on the region.

Because they hate him viciously. Because of this, no distance becomes tyrannical. Because of this, no election becomes trivial. Because they hope that a non-BJP victory in each Gram Panchayat, Municipal, student body, and assembly by-election, he will lose his nationwide appeal and that that would somehow spoil his prospects in 2019.

And because of this forced coverage, the whole nation gets to see the exact slime behind “Mr. Clean” Manik Sarkar’s brazen rule-by-ideology that ran unchallenged for twenty-five years and ennervated Tripura.

However, the emphatic triumph in the North East is only the latest in a long series of how Narendra is undoing the all-encompassing toxic legacy of Nehru.

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