Swapan Dasgupta

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Swapan Dasgupta in 2016

Swapan Dasgupta (born 3 October 1955) is a senior Indian journalist.


  • "Many of those who read history at Delhi in the mid-1970s and later, still bear the ugly scars inflicted by the thought police of sarkari Marxism. 'There are two interpretations of history', a leading representative of the Red Cretin Brigade used to inform his students casually, 'the bourgeois interpretation and the Marxist interpretation, and the Marxist interpretation is the correct one.' ...Whereas the British Marxists established their reputation by crafting their radical concerns their Indian counterparts took cheeky short cuts. it may also explain why substantive research on Indian history has increasingly become the prerogative of British, and a few American and Australian universities. The presiding deities of Indian historiography have meanwhile devoted themselves to writing politically correct text books that present history as chapters of received wisdom. They have also drafted resolutions for the Indian History Congress and written articles in the press on the Ayodhya issue."
    • Swapan Dasgupta Indian Express of July 23, 1995. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7
  • It is one thing of offer, as Mr. Advani has consistently done, a powerful critique of the prevailing political culture. But the problem lies in designing an alternative... How, for example, does the concept of Hindu Rashtra...square with the notion of 'justice for all and appeasement of none? The campaign for the Ram Mandir, while important in symbolic terms, is unlikely to be a substitute for a comprehensive, alternative philosophy. Having tapped the reservoirs of anti-status quo, the BJP is unlikely to progress if its critique stops at the secular-communal issue. Mr. Advani has struck a powerful blow at the shibboleths of Nehruvian consensus; his successor will be frittering away the advantages if a simultaneous assault is not launched on the other article of the reviled faith - socialism.
    • Times of India, 14/1/1991. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (1991). Ayodhya and after: Issues before Hindu society.
  • Some people (cabal members) who thought that they had a monopoly over truth and over wisdom found that the masses didn’t agree with them…These people are now confused …and want to say that they’re the repository of the entire truth and everything else is false consciousness.
    • Swapan Dasgupta, a Rajya Sabha MP, in reference to the Lutyens’ cabal, had stated in a debate at Jaipur Literature Festival 2017, [1]
  • "An atmosphere of hate was systematically built up. The whole purpose of it was to suggest that only one community has a veto over decision-making in India"
    • Quoted from Twitter on Mar 12, 2020 [2]
  • In 2008 or 2009, I approached a leading publisher with a proposal to write a political study of the Modi phenomenon. Their editor got back saying that the staff was horrified at the very idea that a sympathetic study of Modi should even be considered.
    • Quoted from Twitter on Jul 25, 2020 [3]
  • I don’t think that this arrest will either frighten or silence Arnab Goswami. It will enhance his appeal and make the Shiv Sena and Congress appear ridiculous.
    • About the arrest of Arnab Goswami, who was arrested and put into jail in November 2020
    • Swapan Dasgupta Nov 4, 2020 [4]

"A mighty fall from a moral high ground", 2014


Swapan Dasgupta ""A mighty fall from a moral high ground"" in The Asian Age, 5 April 2014.

  • Whatever the reasons behind dubbing Modi an international pariah and the subject of a diplomatic boycott involving both the US and the European Union member states, one conclusion was inescapable: it was a brazen attempt to pronounce judgment on the internal affairs of a sovereign country. Modi, after all, hadn’t been held guilty [of] "mass murder" by an Indian criminal court. Indeed, there were no charges against him then or subsequently. Yes, the Gujarat leader had been pilloried mercilessly by both his political opponents and the human rights lobby that has formidable international links. A political aversion to Modi was translated into the diplomatic censure of a man who held a [c]onstitutional position. It was a step too far and one that didn't lend itself to an easy U-turn.
  • For them, flaunting an anti-Modi badge ensured privileged access into the corridors of UPA power. And there's no denying that until at least a year ago, the US remained the flavour of the season for both Congress ministers and a supplicant media.
  • [...] France [...] too had invested heavily in the Congress establishment and in the skewed advice of its so-called India experts.
  • Today, the countries that had kept up a civilised relationship with Modi despite the US’s strictures—these include Japan, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Israel[,] and even China—are happy with the knowledge that their transition to a new regime will be extra smooth. Nor will the others who changed their tune midway feel disadvantaged. It is only the US that invested politically in the witch-hunt against Modi that feels seriously threatened.
  • Having exposed its fangs publicly, Washington will not readily admit it miscalculated horribly. If Modi comes to power, a working relationship with the US Embassy will be established. But let us have no doubts that the repair job will also be accompanied by surreptitious attempts to undermine him.
  • The US hates having to admit it was ever wrong.

2022 Interview

  • It’s true. This violence was unexpected. Nobody expected it. There is victory and defeat in elections, but the way violence started right from the counting centers has never been seen before. To date, this has not been seen anywhere in India. The BJP workers or even the organization were not prepared for this level of violence, this allegation is absolutely true.
    There have been attacks on our workers. Close to 50,000 workers had to be homeless. Close to 20 people were murdered. During all this, our organization could not help its workers in the slightest.
  • The violence that started on the afternoon of May 2, 2021, had only one objective – to break the backbone of the BJP organization. BJP got 38% votes, the Majority of the Hindu vote was in favor of the BJP, which means the support of a large percentage of voters was with us. Therefore, the aim was to create such an environment using violence that in the future, support for BJP should be eliminated, and the backbone of the organization should be broken. The fear should be such that the supporters of the BJP do not come out of the house and the same thing happened.
  • It cannot be denied that this is happening in Bengal. 30% of the total population there are Muslims (some say 23%, some 25%, but 30% if the voting figures are to be considered). The border districts adjoining Bangladesh, such as Nadia, Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Malda, and a large part of South 24 Parganas, all have become completely Muslim dominated.
  • If we look at the political aspect of the demographic change in West Bengal, today there is a political veto of the Muslim community. This means that it is the Muslim community that decides who will rule, and how. This also means that Mamata Banerjee may be ruling, there may be 10 more Bengali Hindu ministers, but the one who will be driving them from the backroom will be the Muslim community.
  • The media in Bengal today is not free media, even though there is no gun trained on the media there. These people do not hide the truth or news because of the fear of guns, but they hide it because of money. The government gives money to media houses, and according to the government, the news is reported. This practice has far-reaching consequences. Suppose a historian is collecting information about Bengal violence in the future, what will he find? When he looks at the current news and newspapers, he will think ‘nothing major happened, some minor incidents happened.’
  • This is the state of the Bengali media. There is no free media, in fact, it is not even the media, they are just typists for the state government.
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