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Saturday, Nov 27, 2021
Outlook.com
essay

No Aliens Under Our Beds

Among the biggest political delusions we have laboured for long is the 'foreign hand'

No Aliens Under Our Beds
No Aliens Under Our Beds
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

My favourite example of parliamentary humour, however, was a placard that sometime in the early 1970s was hung over the capacious form of the architect-turned-politician Piloo Mody. It bore the words: 'I AM A CIA AGENT'.

Mody represented the Swatantra Party in the Lok Sabha. Founded in 1959 by C. Rajagopalachari, the party promoted liberal ideals and a free-market economy. The prime minister of the time, Jawaharlal Nehru, saw Rajaji's Swatantra Party as a reactionary right-wing formation opposed to his own progressive socialism. As he once joked about his old comrade-turned-adversary: "He likes the Old Testament. I like the New Testament." Through the 1960s, however, the Swatantra Party grew in influence. It was the second largest party in the fourth Lok Sabha, where its sharp-tongued leader, Minoo Masani, harassed and harried the prime minister—who now was not Nehru but his daughter Indira Gandhi.

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