Ayn Rand’s Indian Follower is a Strange Beast

Ayn Rand has a cult like popularity in India.  That we all know and see how she is so respected.  She, born a Russian, was a laissez-faire queen and evangelist of individualism.

In India, the statistics say that her books outsell Karl Marx 16:1!  Ayn Rand is read 16 times more than Karl Marx is.

What is interesting is the demographics of who really idolizes her.  According to a Left-wing blogger:

David Seaton, a left-wing American blogger and journalist living in Spain, sees a darker explanation. Rand, he conjectures, is probably a favorite with upper-caste, rich Indians, who take one of her key precepts, the rejection of altruism, as a license to ignore India’s searing poverty and institutionalized racism. In that sense, he argues, Indian Randians are a mirror-image of those in America, who prefer to close their eyes to their country’s growing wealth gap, its persistent racial discrimination, and the vanishing of its vaunted meritocracy.

So, he says she is a favorite with the Upper caste rich Indians, who are into individual liberties and want India’s system to stick.

Well, the demographics – as per me – of Indians who follow Ayn Rand, is an epitome of a confused mind.  Here is why.

The Ayn Rand cult followers are:

  • Mostly Middle class
  • Have rejected or revolted against the idea of religion in some way, specially the collective ritualistic ways of it.  So, you can’t see them appreciating an all-family attended havan, if – and it will – they have a personal commitment to go to.
  • Most of them are more likely than not to end up as Leftists and Secular (anti-religion)
  • They have an anarchist bend of mind, which is but a pretension (will explain why) and do not support collective action or rules.  In fact, I am willing to bet that most high brow intellectuals you see targeting and criticizing Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Baba Ramdev’s almost anarchist actions are sure to have graduated from the Ayn Rand cult.  So these so-called “anarchists” hate all other anarchists.  For, it is not only enough for these people that someone work towards anarchy, but bring an anarchy that establishes THEIR ORDER!

So you see we have Anarchist-Leftists who are Individualistic and Liberal Secularists who are seeped in their ideology of Individualism embraced with anti-Free marketism.

Ayn Rand in India has unleashed a strange beast.  A beast that is confused, masochist and self-serving at the same time.  Someone who wants to break down the millennia old civilizational identity using the weapon of Individual choice and freedom, only to establish his own idea of identity on the masses.

In US, Ayn Rand’s fans are very different.  They are usually on the Far Right – socially and even religiously.  Alan Greenspan was a die hard Ayn Rand fan, and he swore by mininal checks and regulations on stock and capital markets and refused to bring it under control.  Until he had pushed the economy hurtling towards the cliff.

If Ayn Rand was a reaction to Bolshevism, then Indian Ayn Randians are a bunch of morons, for they are Leftists.

If Ayn Rand was for self and against religion, then American right are also a bunch of morons, for they are hard core conservatives.

What is needed is not a rightist or a leftist or even an Ayn Randian – but an intelligent person.  To think and understand the current situation – at whatever time one may choose to act – in its completeness and act the way it is needed.  Instead of coming into a situation with pre-conceived maps, which may well be revolting against your own mindsets!

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Drishtikone - Online Magazine on Geopolitics and Culture from Indian Perspective.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.