Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, like
others were, in 1947, was a freedom fighter first, before being the politician
of the Independent India, who was going to be its first prime minister.
And in spite of the differences
with his fellow freedom fighters, he was one of the luminaries who could
comfortably be placed in the second line with fellow members with the mutual
respect they had for each-other. Naturally, the first line was the Mahatma
But, then, that was it only.
Probably, it was one among the many
harms that the sudden demise of the Mahatma caused to the cause of the
Mahatma, the architect of the
Indian Independence Movement and the Father of the Nation, had foreseen
something and had advocated of dissolving the Indian National Congress to establish
a new political order in India with wider participation and diversified
Till August 15, 1947, the Indian
National Congress was an independence movement.
After it, it directly donned the
role of a political party when India needed a 'political movement'.
What the Mahatma advocated was
the propagation of a political movement.
Had the Mahatma been there, the
nation could have this much needed change, under his guidance and unselfish
love for the motherland.
After few months of getting
independence, Mahatma Gandhi was taken away from among us when a fanatic killed
him, and with it died many hopes of having a transformed India in the future.
Now, it was solely to Nehru and
the Indian National Congress. Still there was some sanity till the first
elections were held in 1951-52 because of the larger breed of the freedom
fighter in the formative years of governance. But cracks were appearing. Many
Congress stalwarts left the party because of Nehru.
These could have been accepted as
products of regular political process had it not been for Nehru's political
What India needed when it got a
wounded independence, riots, displacements and millions of humiliated souls was
people in the office with highest standards of probity and personal integrity. There
are many to be placed on that pedestal, but when we look back now, we can
easily say that the person at the top, Jawaharlal Nehru, could not follow his dignified
past of the pre-independence days.
The first and the foremost
pre-condition of that probity was to take everyone else as the equal partner in
the nation-building process while at the same time, following the strict
discipline of the politics of probity.
Sadly, first Feroze Gandhi and
then Indira Gandhi gave us a paradox that pushed us to question Nehru's motives
as he went ahead with his prime-ministerial terms, from first to second, to
On mass level, no one knows about
the family descendents of almost of the leaders who worked for us to give us
August 15, 1947.
Paradoxically, on mass level,
almost everyone knows about the Nehru-Gandhi family.
And ironically (and
pathetically), most in the independent India would be unaware of the family
tree of the Mahatma that followed him in
the independent India, family tree of the Mahatma who was the real Gandhi.
Jawaharlal Nehru erred here, willing
or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, pushing India into a long and tumultuous
future that followed one-party rule and dynasty politics and was cursed with an
immature and almost non-existent opposition for decades.
Nehru was the blue-eyed boy of
the Mahatma. He should have listened to him. It was his duty. He should have worked
to give us the political movement that the Mahatma 'wished' during the
formative years of the independent India.
But.... and this 'but' raises
many valid questions.