Netherfield Ball – MP Swapan Dasgupta Leads The New Right-Wing Elite at Hindol Sengupta’s Book Launch, Teen Murti Bhawan
The party secrets.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Their books will never be banned. They will never be called antinational.
They are the beautiful anti-liberals of the right. These days, it is said, everybody in Delhi wants to be them. They are the new elite.
One evening The Delhi Walla attends the launch of Hindol Sengupta’s book The Modern Monk: What Vivekananda Means To Us Today in Teen Murti Bhawan, a notorious mansion that mystifyingly continues to serve as memorial to an antinational called Jawaharlal Nehru. But we refuse to dwell on skeletons of the past, especially when venerable sights, such as the elegant visage of Swapan Dasgupta, are to be witnessed. The capital’s most profoundly patriotic thinker, he is still not a minister in the government, still not our High Commissioner to London, but last year he was nominated as MP by the rulers and that gives him a right to enjoy his tea with partial content.
Mr Dasgupta is accompanied by wife, Reshmi. A stunning woman, she has no patience for paparazzi and, with commanding grace, she refuses to pose for the camera (see photo 5 below).
Also spotted: the handsome Ram Madhav (see last photo below). Holding an important chair in the ruling party, he is rumored to be involved with a secretive rightist cult.
Does Mr Sengupta, the author, too, lean towards the right? It is difficult to say for his teeth are tolerable and he is in blue jeans.
In any case, most attendees seem to lean towards the right only because their faces look so unfamiliar—after all, the new order is still not very old and its members have not yet been able to gain admission into the right drawing rooms. Until that time, these much-ignored personalities are destined to subsist in some sort of virtual reality. (One man in an orange kurta is overheard talking about tweeting against some over-rated actress of Hollywood for her rudeness towards some honorable figurehead.)
The only exception in this crowd of strangers is the mischievous Ratan Kaul, a diva so sophisticated that she professes to have no ideology. Seen in every party, her graceful eyes are darting around in search of important faces, as always.
Strangely, not a single of the elegantly-attired women have resorted to one of those prettyish handloom saris of the Nehruvian era that used to be imported into the capital from remote tribal outposts of the empire. Veterans of the left will recall that Romila Thapar always appear in society in those saris. Alas, the great historian has not condescended to grace the occasion with her august presence.
Curiously, for some inexplicable reason, not everyone wants to be publicly singled out in this gathering. One woman, vehemently refusing to be photographed, declares: “You cannot assume everyone here is a right-winger. Some of us have come because we are personal friends of the author.”
The anonymous woman is sounding extremely haughty. She must be a liberal left-winger.
The right time
2. (Hindol Sengupta)
4. (Swapan Dasgupta)
5. (Reshmi Dasgupta, left)
8. (Ratan Kaul)
10. (Ram Madhav)