'Gandhi was a greater Indian than Nehru'
People in India, especially the educated lot, had to accept what the government after government took decisions about our country. That is the rule of democracy, and everybody has to follow it. But, criticisms in democracy are inevitable that can make us understand whether we are moving in the right direction.
A distinguished Professor Mr. Ramachandra Guha, who taught in prestigious Universities such as Berkeley, Yale, Stanford, and Oslo Universities, has given his view about the congress party and its leaders, mainly Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel, and Rajagopalachari in an interview to Sheela Bhatt of Rediff.com. He commits himself an admirer of Nehru, yet he has shown how Nehru continued as Prime Minister beyond 1958 thinking that he was indispensible. Leaders, who think they are indispensible, cannot work selflessly for the country, which should be a requirement in politics. Alas, we have hardly any leader today or had in the past after the independence to take our country ahead among other countries in the world. Nehru was supposed to leave the chair of Prime Minister in 1958, and he also went to Kashmir for three weeks for making sure his thoughts on transition of power to younger generation, but in the end he did not do so, and the reason for not doing so is not known, said Guha. Guha tried to assess the reason that, according to him, probably he thought of himself as indispensible as was told to him by others. Leaving power is a difficult task for the politicians that too in a time when there is no real opposition. Nehru took this opportunity and continued until he died. The other major failure of Nehru was in the primary education, said Guha. Nehru, although a founder of the non-align movement, did not put much stress on the primary education since the beginning, and the consequences of that is unemployment, violent young men, caste conflicts of today that could have been avoided by taking the right step in primary education. Instead, Nehru gave more importance to higher education like IITs, IIMs, nuclear physics, etc that should have come either simultaneously or a little later. This is a common sense that if all the people are educated in the country, the scenario would be changed automatically in almost all sectors.
According to Guha, the Congress Party of 125 years is at the crossroads. The Nehru-Gandhi family is ruling this party in such a way that all think they are indispensible, which is not at all right for the country. He has mentioned the name of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in this respect. This is a fact that to hold a post in this party one has to be Gandhi loyalist more than his intelligence, experience, and qualifications.
Remembering these incidents, Guha said. He cited the examples of Bandra-worli sea link in Mumbai, which was supposed to be named after the former legendary Maharashtra leader and former defence minister Y B Chavan, but Rajiv Gandhi’s name was chosen. This is disgraceful, according to Guha.
Ramachandra Guha has established himself as a historian; in that capacity he believes unnecessary mileage is being given to Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi in the country. The emergency and Shah Bano case were created by these leaders that were their whims, and people hero-worship them without
Another one is the new airport in Hyderabad, which, instead of having a name coinciding with an Andhra leader, was named after Indira Gandhi. Does this family think that no other congress leader has made any contribution to the developments in this country?
The interview is a long one having many other perceptions of Guha about this party. In this part I want to conclude by saying what he meant about Congress in one sentence that is ‘The Congress, historically, has been inclusive’.