This is with reference to news item ‘Nehru blamed for 1962 war debacle’ (DE 18 March). Our future generations need to know history as it is and not as it is presented. Nehru not only ignored but also suppressed the warning from his Deputy Prime Minister about China’s designs way back in 1949. The world laughed at us when we raised the thoughtless slogan of Chini-Hindi bhai bhai. Apart from 1962 debacle Nehru has made many more Himalayan blunders that have cost the country dearly. Non-alignment was a schoolboy’s fantasia and its sponsors, India, Yugoslavia and Egypt were pauper states going around the world with a beggar’s scrip. Western world took them as Soviet surrogates. Egypt is back to Islamic Brotherhood, Yugoslavia is dismembered and Nehru’s Congress has won us the sobriquet of most corrupt country in the world. Nehru’s obsession with the Soviet Union won us adversaries throughout the democratic world and nobody gave tuppence to our democracy, a fact that came out true with the imposition of Emergency by Nehru’s daughter.
Kashmir is the living example of unreal, unethical and unreasoned piece of statesmanship. Going against his cabinet colleagues, Nehru took Kashmir issue to the Security Council only to receive rebuff and humiliation at the hands of Anglo-American bloc. On his visits to Kashmir Nehru used to open his public address with the rhetoric that Kashmir is the crown of secularism on India’s head. Where Kashmir’s secularism is today and where is the crown? It is 65 years that we have been trying at our own peril to prove true what is not true about Kashmir. Nehru swindled Maharaja Hari Singh, patronized Sheikh Abdullah till he rose to become an oriental despotic potentate; deposed, arrested and charged him with sedition, and then giving him a clean chit let him off the hook. The grand finale was brought about by sending him to Pakistan to negotiate a deal over Kashmir. Ayub Khan had sized him up rightly and cut him to size. How many lies are we to tell about Kashmir to the world only to cover up this fraud and calumny.
Few historians have debated the wisdom of Nehru in retaining Mountbatten as the Governor General of India after independence was won. Mountbatten had approached Jinnah also but he refused. We know that Nehru wanted to oblige Mountbatten who had been often visiting the Socialist club in London where Nehru and Krishna Menon often came to embellish their pseudo-socialist ideology.
Nehru’s secularism was more of bravado than conviction. He never explained to the Indian nation why he opposed creation of Pakistan for half a century and then suddenly one fine morning came out in support of partition of India. He was absolutely wrong in characterizing Pandit Premnath Dogra and Praja Parishad movement as communalist and Sheikh Abdullah and NC nationalist. The Sheikh’s nationalism is best understood by the letters which his once close associate Kashyapa Bandhu wrote to him after leaving active politics.
But we have to give Nehru credit for two important things. One is of providing sound foundation to democratic dispensation in India and the second is laying out broad base for India’s scientific and technological advancement. If we are able to carry the country forward along these two priorities, we will be too glad to forgive Nehru for his blunders and own him as the architect of new India.
Dr. K.N. Pandita