Sunday, November 23, 2014


Dr. Seshachalam Dutta

   “Fools come to power when dynasties rule”: _ Jawaharlal Nehru.
    Absolutely, fools did come to power from his dynasty!

            When the newly elected Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, delivered his inaugural address, while most of the defeated Congress leaders bit their tongues, some, regarded as intellectuals of the party tried to critique the speech finding faults with it. One of them, Kapil Sibal, erudite and mostly vocal, despite his humiliating defeat summoned the courage to devalue the speech saying “it was empty” and that Modi had failed to acknowledge the leadership of Nehru while paying tributes to all past leaders. Essentially he faulted Modi for the conspicuous absence of mention of Nehru in his speech. We may ignore the part of emptiness of his critique but analyze why Modi did not acknowledge the contributions of Nehru to nation building and, more importantly, why he should not have acknowledged the debt of the nation to Nehru! The whole 2014 election and resurgence of democratic new India is obviously overthrow of the Nehru dynasty foisted on the country for more than half a century. The epochal election and its results are symbolic of a clear defeat for everything Nehru had created through his dynasty and what his dynasty stood for.

We will examine the political character of aristocratic Nehru, a successful politician but a poor statesman; power hungry, lacking in vision and foresight and overall a veritable failure, while Modi- is a quintessential Swayam Sevak who dedicated his life for the service of the have-nots in the Nation upholding the ideals of Sangh, uncorrupted and incorruptible.

To illustrate the mindset of Nehru we shall look at his inaugural speech of 1947, regarded as one of the oratorical masterpieces listed in the anthologies, judged by the artistry and rhetorical trivia.

Nehru spoke:
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now comes the time when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of the Nation, long suppressed finds utterance.” A little later in that speech he said “At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, …….and she never lost sight of that quest or has forgotten the ideals which gave her strength.”

Modi’s quest is for those very forgotten ideals, rather than engage in an adventure into marsh-land of dialectical materialism which Nehru wants India to step into calling it a “new order”. This was Nehru’s slogan, mildly termed as “secularism”.

What did he mean by destiny, a divine ordinance? Nehru was a self-styled atheist mildly portrayed as an agnostic in contrast to Mahatma Gandhi and Modi. Then, who fashioned the destiny? How can an atheist reconcile with destiny? In the final hours of dawn of freedom, was it fashioned by the failed Indian leaders? To begin with, it was the midnight in India, not the time for the world to sleep, as Americans were breaking for lunch and Europeans were at breakfast and Japan woke up at the same time. It was the night of no celebration for millions of Indians in the Indian subcontinent where they were driven out of their homes, dispossessed of their fortunes and even livelihood, their women raped and men massacred in hundreds of thousands. He glossed over their destiny or dismal plight that was not providential but was the direct outcome and result of the greed for quick grab of political power and incompetence of their leaders. Nehru could not refer to this tragedy reference to which was conspicuous by its absence in his “inaugural” address as he was the master sloganeer, he designed the slogans of communalism and secularism and nothing in between. His slogans were based on simplistic concrete and distorted thinking.

When Hindus fight Muslims it is a “communal act” and to talk of God in public pulpit is against secularism and is a “communal expression.” Yet his followers among the Muslims were the rabid, narrow minded fanatic lot, which included those who wanted world wide Khalifat (Califate) which exactly is the slogan of the ISIS in Syria and Iraq! Even the architect of Pakistan Jinnah was against Khalifat.  Later one of his Muslim followers of this persuasion became the President of India. For him dividing Hindus on Caste lines and setting one against the other is not communal and his Government continued to do exactly that and that is how his dynasty depended on the solid block of votes of residual Muslim minority exploiting their fears and uncertainties, balanced by the fragmentation of Hindus. That was the reason he was vociferous when Muslims were criticized and he raised the slogan of secularism against Hindus.

For him, history begins with him even though he speaks of the “forgotten ideals which gave her (India) strength”. These are ideals of inexorable Hindu culture of past. For him, ‘this one age ends and new one begins with him’ the only leader of bygone days of India was Gandhi, of whom he extolled that “the ambition of the greatest man of our generation to wipe every tear from every eye.”  There is no record of this attribution to Gandhi; even Lord Buddha did not claim this. He called Gandhi, the architect of our freedom, the “Father of our Nation.” “We have been unworthy followers of his.” That much was true. Gandhi was a man of God, a true Hindu. To the dislike of Nehru he spoke of Ram Rajya and worked for the uplifting of Hindu untouchables. Nehru wondered why he was wasting his time on such projects. With all the talk of communalism, the worst was the consequences of not carrying the untouchable for the fight against the British. At the political front, Ambedkar and Jogendranath Mandal in Bengal were supporting the division of India on the promise of representation of Harijans in Government. Mandal became a cabinet Minister in East Pakistan. No one knew, in the plebiscite, how many of the Harijans were beguiled to vote to join Pakistan in critical border areas. Gandhi, a master politician was acutely aware of this and Nehru had no vision of the consequences of ignoring the issue. He had veritable contempt for the Hindus, or any reform of their society.

On this occasion on August 15th 1947 we see the contrast in the expressions of other great leaders in the assembly. The president of India Rajendraprasad spoke on the same Midnight of August 15th of 1947; the speech was somber and devoid of flourishes. He remembered the sacrifices made by the ‘patriots’ who faced bullets, those who walked to the gallows and ‘others who endured living death in the cells of Andamans.’ He further said, “The country, which was made by God and Nature to be one, stands divided today, separation from near and dear ones….I would be untrue to myself if I did not confess to the sense of sorrow in this separation”. Nehru has no such sentiment of God’s work or sorrow for separation in his speech! Nehru said “We think of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen”. What did he mean when he said “our brothers and sisters who …can not share?” Muslim brothers got their country and they were celebrating at the same hour.  Whom was he referring to? He could not acknowledge they were the unfortunate Hindus; to say so is communal! He never mentioned their unbearable suffering and destitution caused by the loss of their land, properties, and damage to their wives, children and families.

Then Vice-president Radhakrishnan spoke in somber tones mindful of the misery faced by the new citizens of the “independent” India. He reminded British did their part to divide the Nation, but we had our part to accept the blame. He boldly acknowledged the tragedy of the hour. ““While India is attaining freedom, she is attaining it in a manner which does not produce joy in the hearts of the people or a radiant smile on their faces,” he said. He called attention to the National faults of Indians, ‘domestic despotism, obscurantism.’ Even hardly an hour passed after getting freedom, he cautioned the new nation against “corruption in high places’ and ‘nepotism’.

It was indeed nepotism that promoted Nehru’s sister to Ambassadorial post to Moscow where she lived in such opulence that Russians wondered how a newly developing country could affords such luxuries. He carefully promoted his daughter who had no respect for democracy to succeed him, and who later exercised ruthless oppression of civil rights of Indian people through “emergency” and “abrogation of constitution.”  It was Nehru’s nepotism again, promoting Gen. Kaul, a relative of Nehru who bungled Indo-China war. Finally, the Vice-President Radhakrishnan said that “we take pride in the antiquity of this land …….at the moment it stands, still responding to the thrill of the same great goal”, not stepping into new order of Marxian Dialectical materialism of Nehru. This is in stark contrast to Nehru’s frame of mind.

Was Gandhi regarded as Father of the Nation? This appellation was offensive for many segments who were not Congressmen. Hindu Mahasabha never accepted or endorsed this title, or Muslim league or those in favor of Partition of India including communists.  The communist leader Dange gained fame among world communists for comparing Gandhi to Marx unfavorably. Even RSS which was the largest nonpolitical organization, in spite of their respect for him did not accept this characterization... Gandhi universally was accepted as a foremost leader who awakened the conscience of the Nation that Indians should not be subject to colonial rule. He was mostly successful in uniting diverse groups, including, Muslims, Hindus, socialists and communists. As a human being, he had his own follies as any other human being. He strongly dictated who should be leaders in the party. On one occasion, he set up a little known candidate against Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and as his candidate was defeated, he bemoaned that it was his defeat! He named Nehru as his successor for leadership and prevented democratic challenge to Nehru by Sardar Patel twice.  Otherwise Patel who was elected by the Congress high command would have been the legitimately elected Prime Minister of India, and history of India would have been

Although Nehru carried the most reactionary Muslims, he was not able to convince that they would get fair share in the power of the new Government. Gandhi sang songs that said Ram and Rahim and Ishwar and Allah were the same with no takers among the Muslims for this attempt to get folk music to bring the theology of Muslims closer to theological concepts of Hindus. Nehru knew quite well that Gandhi had failed in befriending the Muslims. Finally when Congress won the general election in 1937 defeating Muslim league with the overwhelming Muslim support, Muslims were disillusioned by Nehru’s empty rhetoric of “communalism-secularism” slogan also which was the beginning of the thrust for the partition of India.

Finally when Jinnah emerged as a Muslim leader, it was too late to prevent the breakup of the country by 1946. It was the “communalism” of Nehru’s party that lost the support of Muslims who gave an overwhelming victory in 1937 elections.  According to the chronicles of partition by Arthur Hanson, “In the final hours of partition, Gandhi met Viceroy Mountbatten and proposed that Jinnah be the Prime Minister of undivided India.” By then it was too late and Jinnah was ignored by Nehru and Nehru had negotiated the transfer of power to himself directly with Mountbatten. {This, one Kerala journalist called “backstabbing of Gandhi by Nehru,” which prompted violent response from Congress recently.}

In the Correspondence with Iqbal, Jinnah complains of Nehru who arrogantly dismissed him in his approaches. Probably, the triumph of Congress against Muslim league gave him the confidence to treat Jinnah as a non-entity. This aggravated Jinnah and caused him to fanatically seek partition. All in all Nehru owes his political fortunes to Gandhi. But there is nothing common between the character of Gandhi and Nehru. Gandhi was totally dedicated for the country and never aspired for power. Nehru who was hungry for power never wanted a delay in the transition of power; even after suffering paralytic stroke he never resigned and was upset with the mention of a successor. When Gandhi died his worldly possessions were a pair of eyeglasses, worn shoes and a pocket watch. Gandhi left nothing for his children.

Modi similarly is closer to the ideals of Gandhi. In contrast when Nehru died his estate was 9 crore rupees valued many times that amount in today’s rate. Not a penny was given to any charity and Indira Gandhi was to inherit the entire bootie.

When Modi came to visit U.S a few years ago he was hosted by a physician couple. He came with a small bag and said that he had to wash his clothes every day because; he would wear one pair and washed the other daily! For decades he dedicated his services to RSS work on meager rations. Even though he calls himself as Chaiwallah, a self denigration indicating modesty, he earned a masters degree in political science. He is more a Gandhiite in his life style than a Nehruvian.

Nehru had an air of aristocracy. For all the talk of dynasty, he was a grandson of a “low echelon office worker”, a Punkha puller. (When Shyamprasad                                                                                                                                                                 Mukarji mentioned this on the floor of the parliament, Nehru vent into a rage!) He, on the other hand bequeathed Rs. 90,000,000 to his daughter and planned for her succession creating a dynasty with a coterie of sycophants; even though he said, ‘Fools comes to power when dynasties rule’. Fools did come to power and finally it took sixty long years to dismantle the corrupt dynasty...with the victory of Modi.

There is hardly anything to draw inspiration and emulate Nehru for Modi. Nehru was a total failure both in domestic and International policies. He failed to keep Kashmir totally in India creating an ambiguous status. If the provinces in Pakistan were given the same status as Kashmir, India would not have been divided. Nehru insisted on a constitution that gave total power for the Center. This is the power he used to abolish the duly elected communist Government in Kerala by presidential order without justification.

It is a frequent refrain from many supporters of Nehru crediting him for establishing democracy in India and as an architect of Indian democracy. Even before Independence, Indians were so enlightened that they elected congress against Muslim league and Justice party composed of hench men of British, Rajahs, Jamindars and aristocrats, as early as in 1937 election, in spite of wide spread arrests and intimidation by the British Government. Instead of advancing democratic way of life, Nehru ruled with the same repressive laws used by British, using section 144 to arrest without warrant and extended jail terms for political opponents. He imprisoned his own friend the Chief Minister of Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah. Press and media were totally controlled. There was only one Government radio station and later one Television station and none others were licensed. All the photo events and receptions both abroad and in India were constantly displayed to brainwash the people to depict Nehru as a world leader. The trick was later tried by Sonia Gandhi to project Rahul as a peoples’ leader by using state controlled Television which only services mainly rural India. The only way people of India addressed their grievances was by Hartals, stopping the trains and burning the buses for there were no outlets for expression of dissent.  In Later years, in order to avoid International condemnation, he made the State Governments to arrest, first RSS and then communists; the latter were released and killed in “false encounters.” This prompted the creation of Naxalite, a communist terrorist group.  Any citizen, even students would not get passport to travel abroad as a matter of right, as in British Raj. The Supreme Court decision in 1965 forced the Government to issue passport as meeting the recognized citizen’s right, which the Government grudgingly accepted.  Still to date obtaining a passport in India is not as hassle free compared to advanced countries.  This was the record of Nehru’s civil rights legacy.

On Financial side, he established permit raj, Government control of every private enterprise. One could not build even petroleum station (gas pump) without a permit from the central Government, leading to extensive corruption; He talked of socialism (a slogan from Hitler to newly founded African dictators) and practiced crony monopolistic capitalism of the established business houses. Modi has nothing to emulate Nehru in all this. Modi has seen how other Eastern Industrial nations advanced in free economy and India with all resources fell behind countries like Singapore and South Korea. India was set back decades economically because of Nehru’s rule.

Nehru was a total failure in foreign policy too. If Nehru were not the prime minister of India, it would have been a member of United Nations Security Council and also a nuclear power like China. India would have been grandfathered like China as a free Nuclear power. He postured like a world leader on the wings of China. He preached Neutrality in International politics but failed to maintain his stand leaning toward Russia for support. Tellingly, UN security council passed resolutions condemning India three times on Kashmir Issue and was only saved by the courtesy of Russian veto.  Similarly Russian veto saved UN sanctions on the issue of annexation of Goa. Nehru was out of touch with the realities of contemporary world order. After touring the country with the Chinese premier with a slogan “Indu-Chini bhaayi-bhaayi” (Indians and chinese are brothers], China Invaded India in 1962, there was no one to support India, not even Russia and US had to come to rescue despite contempt for Nehru. History of Indo-China conflict is locked up in secrecy, so after 60 years we still would not know who initiated the conflict! Thus even in foreign policy, he is not an example for Modi.

Modi is a staunch Hindu Nationalist proud of Hindu Heritage. It was galling to hear Nehru speak of secularism to Hindus, as it was preaching to the choir. Hindutwa is the most tolerant of all religions. There is no other religion that advocates tolerance like Hinduism does, as illustrated by the verse:

Na Buddhibhedam janayed ajnanam karmasanginaam
Yojayet sarva karmaani vidwaan yukta samaacharaan ( Bhaghavad Gita 326,)
Also: Prakrutir gunasammohaah sajjente gunakarmasu
taan akrutsnavido mandaan skrutsn-navichaalayet (Gita 3,29} Meaning:

Do not disturb or the mind of an ignorant man, if he is engaged in the performance right and noble acts. He may be a dullard, but an accomplished wise man should not unsettle his mind. Meaning such person may be engaged imperfect form of religious beliefs, by unsettling with scholarly confrontation, he may not be corrected, but otherwise may refrain from good and noble deeds he would performing. Thus he is lost to both worlds. He might be transformed by the example of the conduct of the scholarly wise man. So Hindu should never attack any one following other faiths however imperfect he notices them to be. So Hindus never convert or attack other faiths. It should be recognized with some pride that Hindus are unique people in this aspect. Hindus presume that faith leads to goodness in people so attacking their faith or changing it will deprive them of their faith as well as their goodness. To lecture secularism to Hindus is like preaching to a choir or even an insult. Hindus tolerated such insult by Nehru and his dynasty of six decades or more.

So Nehru should have addressed his sermons on secularism to his Muslim friends where he consistently failed. His dynasty followed the same approach to Hindus and their “secularism” is to legislate that Muslims can have four wives at a time. The slogan is so disingenuous that they turned around and subsidized Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca with taxpayer’s public funds. No other political party in any country that follows the principle of separation of Church and State (the true meaning of secularism) would sink so low.

Ideals of Modi are Vivekananda, Subhash Chandra Bose, Lokamaanya Tilak, Arabindo, who predated Gandhi in fighting British. On National construction his ideals are Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru has no place among the nation builders. He needs to tender no apologies for not including Nehru in his speech. If he mentioned Nehru in his speech he would be considered a hypocrite.

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