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Nehru Deserves Better treatment by PM Than a Tweet


(Kuradi Chandrasekhara Kalkura)

It is yet another death anniversary passed off like any other, as though not significant events. He was the first Prime Minister of Independent India, who guided its destiny in the most turbulent period of history for about 17 years.

It is said, when Queen Elizabeth of United Kingdom asked Nehru, how he was able to write so much, he replied: “Madam, I was the Royal guest of your father in various jails in British India for about  nine years.”

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned for the longest period, 3259 days during the Freedom Struggle; even more than Mahatma Gandhi.

He was the most dreaded Indian leader of the British Empire. Gandhi was an inspiration. Nehru was the mouthpiece of India for the whole world. That made the alien rulers fear of him.

Remember he was destined to live in the then biggest mansion in India, Anand Bhavan, Allahabad. On 15 January 1941, Gandhi had stated: “Some say Jawaharlal and I were estranged. It will require much more than a difference of opinion to estrange us. We had differences from the time we became co-workers and yet I have said for some years and say so now that not Rajaji but Jawaharlal will be my successor.” (1. Science & culture, Volume 30. Indian Science News Association. 1964. 2. Aditit De (8 September 2009). Jawaharlal Nehru – The Jewel of India. Puffin Books)

Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned nine times during the freedom struggle and was in jail for 3259 days.

First Term (88 days) From 6 December 1921 To 3 March 1922, Lucknow District Jail, 88 days.

Second Term (266 days) From 11 May 1922 To 20 May 1922 – Allahabad District Jail, 10 days, and from 21 May 1922 to 31 January 1923. Lucknow District Jail, 256 days.

Third Term ( 12 days) -From 22 September 1923 To 4 October 1923 -Nabha Jail, 12 days

Fourth Term( 181 days) -From 14 April 1930 To 11 October 1930, Naini Central Prison, Allahabad, 181 days.

Fifth Term ( 100 days), From 19 October 1930 To 26 January 1931 -Naini Central Prison, Allahabad, 100 days.

Sixth Term (614 days) -From 26 December, 1931 To 5 February, 1932, Naini Central Prison, Allahabad, 42 days ; from 6 February, 1932 To 6 June, 1932, Bareilly District Jail, 122 days -From 6 June, 1932 To 23 August, 1933, Dehra Dun Jail, 443 days; From 24 August, 1933 To 30 August, 1933 Naini Central Prison, Allahabad, 7 days.

Seventh Term (558 days),From 12 February, 1934 To 7 May, 1934 -Alipur Central Jail, Calcutta, 85 days; From 8 May, 1934 To 11 August, 1934 -Dehra Dun Jail, 96 days; From 23 August 1934 To 27 August 1934 -Naini Central Prison, Allahabad, 66 days; From 28 October 1934 To 3 September 1935 – Almora Jail, 311 days.

Eighth Term ( 399 days) – From 31 October, 1940 To 16 November, 1940 Gorakhpur Jail, 17 days; From 17 November 1940 To 28 February 1941 Dehra Dun Jail, 104 days; From 1 March 1941 To 18 April 1941 -Lucknow District Jail, 49 days; From 19 April 1941 To 3 December 1941 -Dehra Dun Jail, 229 days.

Ninth Term (1041 days)  From 9 August, 1942 To 28 March, 1945 -Ahmadnagar Fort Prison, 963 days; -From 30 March, 1945 To 9 June, 1945 -Bareilly Central Prison, 72 days; From 10 June, 1945 To 15 June, 1945 -Almora Jail, 6 days. (source : Ministry of Culture, Government of India)

The event, 55th anniversary like many others went lackluster.  It is the failure, rather the bankruptcy of the Congress think tank. There is no wonder, for Ram Manohar Lohia said even in his condolence message. “Even Congress would rather not remember him (Nehru) for his memory poses difficult questions to them.”

Nehru has almost been caricatured as a villain by the present dispensation; some, most among them born after Nehru’s death, even referring to him as ‘unpatriotic’.  They had neither seen nor read nor even cared to know from the records the popularity of Nehru among the Indian masses and the respect he commanded in the World forums.

Selected pungent words were used by Acharya J.B.Kripalani, Ram Manohar Lohia, Rajaji, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee to criticize Nehru. Each one them reserved their best to convey their condolences and shed the maximum tears (Some say that they wept inconsolably)  to the builder of Modern India, a man who firmly laid the foundation for a scientific temperament, initiated the economic development, paid utmost respect for Parliamentary Democracy; particularly to the numerically meager opposition.

“Eleven years younger than me, eleven times more important for the nation, and eleven hundred times more beloved of the nation…” This is what C. Rajagopalachari “Rajaji” wrote in Swarajya when Jawaharlal Nehru died in 1964.

Rajmohan Gandhi’s book on his maternal grandfather, The Good Boatman, also mentions how devastated Rajaji was by Nehru’s passing away—there is a very touching sequence about Rajaji condoling with Indira Gandhi at Teenmurti Bhavan, the Nehrus’ residence in New Delhi.

Vajpayee is on records in the Parliament: “Sir, a dream has been shattered, a song silenced, a flame has vanished in the infinite. It was the dream of a world without fear and without hunger, it was the song of an epic that had the echo of the Gita and the fragrance of the rose. It was the flame of a lamp that burnt all night, fought with every darkness, showed us the way, and one morning attained Nirvana.”

He is called by names for his Kashmir policies, particularly Article 370 and Special Status. It must be brought to the notice of all the Critics that there were 299 members, including Patel and Shyam Prasad Mukherjee in the Constituent Assembly and Nehru was one among them. Crediting one for all the glory of the Constitution and debasing a particular for its pitfalls is downright hypocrisy. The amalgamation of the Indian Princely States, consisting of 40 percent of the Geographical area and population of the total territory of India was made possible by the struggle and agitation in those states, then the Instruments of Accession. This is not to belittle the services of Sardar Patel. If there were to be a hostile atmosphere in the Principalities to the Indian Govt, the tallest leaders of India could not enter them. e..g. Even in a small State like Banaganapalle, 200 Sq. k.ms territory and one lakh population in Kurnool Dist of A.P. there was a State Congress rebellion under the leadership of Pendekanti Venkatasubbaiah, who later became a Parliamentarian for six terms.

In Hyderabad, there were stalwarts like Swamy Ramananda Teertha and Burgula Ramakrishna Rao who led the campaign against the autocratic Nizam. Telangana Armed Struggle of the early 1940s was a major event that made the Nawab shaky, in spite of the Razakars led by Kasim Razvi. This broke the backbone of the landed gentries like Kurakarnis, Deshmukhs and Doras and the tyranny of the local Patels and Patwaris.

There are many biographies and autobiographies on the leaders and by the leaders of the Princely States who fought their rulers under the banner of the State Congress. Recently I read the Biography of Burugula Ramakrishna Rao, “Rajanethignudu Burugula” by  Prof.Veldanda Nithyananndam of Osmania University and Autobiography of S.Nijalingappa  My Life and  Politics in Kannada and Sapatramu in Telugu, the Kendra Sahithya Academy award-winning Autobiography of Gadiyararam Ramakrishna Sarma and some more.

They are all unanimous that the AICC was emphatic about the need, necessity, and importance of the local spirit. This is corroborated by the correspondence published by the National Book Trust (NBT) in 2010, between 1933 and 1950 between Patel and Nehru. Two states, Junagadh and Hyderabad, could create enough troubles. What would have been the political scenario if some more were to join them? So, due credit shall be given to the local leaders and the enlightened Rulers like the Maharajas of Baroda and Mysore.

Nehru deserves better treatment by the present Prime Minister, more than a Tweet: “Tributes to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Ji on his death anniversary. We remember his contributions to our nation.”

He need not emulate one of his distinguished predecessors, Vajpayee, but surely shall be more charitable, to justify his position. If he had visited the Santhi Ghat, he would have gone high in the estimation of his opponents.

Nehru might have erred and faulted not only in Kashmir and in many other areas. As he himself said in his WILL “I have received so much love and affection from the Indian people that nothing that I can do can repay even a small fraction of it, and indeed there can be no repayment of so precious a thing as affection. Many have been admired, some have been revered, but the affection of all classes of Indian people has come to me in such abundant measure that I have been overwhelmed by it. I can only express the hope that in the remaining years I may live, I shall not be unworthy of my people and their affection.”





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