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Why I Think India Needs To Follow, Not Mock, Nehru’s Leadership

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During the cold war, there was an immense rivalry between the two contemporary super powers – the USA and the erstwhile USSR. The most important divide was ideological. The issue wasn’t their respective theoretical ideologies, but proving that one’s way of life was superior to the other. By their nature, both these ideologies were antagonistic to each other. Thankfully, despite several face-offs and close shaves, the cold war never escalated to a full-scale war like the World Wars.

After several major events like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cultural Revolution led by Mao Tse-Tung, the nuclear arms race, the formation of two hostile blocs, NATO and Warsaw Pact, the Vietnam war, the drawing of the 38th parallel, and the formation of NAM, the confrontation finally ended with the collapse of the USSR. This was primarily due to their invasion of Afghanistan. With the victory of the USA, the end of the cold war seemed to be augur well for the prosperity of the world. It seemed to be the victory of Liberalism and the defeat of Communism.

Afterwards, many liberal scholars provided theses and theories on the reasons behind the victory of liberalism over communism. A major one was given by Francis Fukuyama in his book “The End of History”, in which he emphasised that the end of the communism shows that there is no better way than western liberal democracy. His thesis was widely appreciated among liberals, but his mentor Samuel P. Huntington challenged it in his book “Clash Of Civilizations”. He said what the world has witnessed and is witnessing clashes between its civilisations. In the early 21st century even what is happening in the middle east region is also one of factors of conflict in civilizations.
Nevertheless, we also cannot ignore this fact that with exemption of some handful countries all the countries including India also have accepted the Neo-liberal policy of the USA by becoming the part of WTO and its multi-cultural society.

Indian Context:

As dated back to those days we had adopted the Indian Constitution. It is manifested with the ideas of democracy and was the fait accompli to rule and being ruled on the path of democratic principles and ideas and would try to make more egalitarian and multi-cultural society. However, the Bhartiya Jana Sangh later Bhartiya Janta Party and Communist Party of India were not in the favor of this. Both the parties have their modus operandi hitherto.
To quote Jawahar Lal Nehru, on the midnight of 14th august, 1947,he said

At the stroke of midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will wake to life and freedom”.

In the preamble of Indian Constitution, some principles like Secular, Democratic, Republic, Liberty, Equality were enshrined because the then leaders thought that only these principles can accommodate the “unity in the diversity” in the country. It is evident from the facts that all these democratic principles were taken from the west, but our constitutional maker framed it in such a way so any inconvenience would’t erupt. It was the establishment of new India.
With the passage of the time, India saw many ups and downs. In 1990, India faced the shortage of food and government didn’t have funds to fulfill the basic necessities of the nation. GDP was not even too good due to nondescript of heavy industries and foreign investment. Till then, India was at its own helm. However in these circumstances, it needed the help of most developed economy, USA and the World Bank. Before sanctioning the funds and loan to the Indian government they put the pre-condition to liberalize their economy. As Narsimha Rao government didn’t have any other option to feed it’s population and the forthcoming situation of famine, govt liberalized the Indian economy.And it resulted into the positive upshots.
As in the scenario of politics, this act was done by the Congress government so the opposition parties must have to oppose it and the main protagonist was Bhartiya Janta Party.

So let me come directly on the essence. As the foundation of the BJP was laid down on the principles of Hindu civilization and supremacy of Hinduism. With the thumping victory of BJP in 2014 lok sabha elections, it gave rise to the Hindu fundamentalism and so called national jingoism, explicitly accomplishing the motives of its parent organization. This leads to the rise of identity politics, ghettoization of the minorities, killing of the dalits and Muslims on the suspicion of eating beef and cow slaughtering respectively,making impediments in the food habits of the cultural diversified people, attempt to revise history, it trying hard on its population not to have critical thinking.
Even in the contemporary times, with the recent speech of BJP president Amit shah where he lampooned the Nehru at the function to release Rashtradrashtra, he said “Congress made Nehru as Prime Minister of the country, who was believer of bringing foreign ideas and discarded the age-old values and traditions while building the nation.”

They pale into insignificance the efforts of all those freedom fighters who uprose the country at par with the rest of the world, these remarks instinctively facilitate in looking back to the medieval age for the nation building. When we are looking forward to learn good things from the West, the party politics trying to look backward for the sake of their interest. One scholar famously said when a person appeal in the name religion, it is soft touch for him to convince for his interest.
We mustn’t forgot that with the help of brilliant diplomacy, Nehru made ourselves strong enough to stand in the international forum by creating Non-aligned Movement with the other nations, which was helpful in de-escalating the cold war. He strongly appealed to all the Third world countries not to join either blocs and with the departure of cold war, NAM had the largest strength of the member countries. Both USA and USSR were fond of the then India’s Foreign Policy under the leadership of Nehru.

Nowadays, with all such events we are witnessing the clash of civilization between Western and Indian tradition. Pragmatically, we’ve adopted many thing from the European countries, and those are very helpful for us in order to organize our society and community. In the 21st century, India became the champion of multi-cultural and cosmopolitan society since its independence and we must protect its values.

With the advent of 70th Independence of India and the prolonged applause, we must pledge to the Indian Constitution and adhere to its principles and must acknowledge the virtue of all freedom fighters irrespective of our political differences today. Those who laid their lives for the sake of all the nationals, couldn’t be owed till the existence of this country.
This country and its nationals will always bow their head in respect of all those lives who contributed their share for the Nation Building.

Sources:

  1. End of history by Francis Fukuyama
  2. Clash of Civilisations by Samuel P. Huntington
  3. India After Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha
  4. https://www.google.co.in/amp/indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/nehrus-idea-of-nation-building-was-replacing-old-traditions-with-imported-ideas-2836813/lite/

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