Sometimes I wonder that we Indians have a strange way of evaluation, we judge not by his/her performance, but how his grand daughter in law or great grandson perform. More over,
- A person who took the reign when whole country was in chaos, communal riots were rampant, language was a burning problem, even then integrates hundreds of parts with such diversity into one country is labelled as one who ruined the country. But another person who whips up communal feelings to win election, whose party labels 69% of the population anti-national is a great leader.
- A leader who takes over when the country faced decades of negative growth rate and is able to achieve 3.5% sustained growth rate for full decade, (that too highest in Asia) was a failure. Another leader who takes over after a decade of 7.5% growth rate, is lucky to have crude at one third price, booming world economy and manages to bring it down to 6.1% is a maverick.
- A person who loved dissent so much that he made a person, who was prominent leader of Hindu Mahasabha which openly supported British during Quit India Movement, is now being labelled his murderer.
Like any great man he also had some failures. But, Kashmir was definitely a different ball game, Raja Hari Singh wanted to remain independent and India could not have used force like Hyderabad, as it was a Muslim majority state. Only when Pakistan occupied almost one third through Kabalis, he agreed to sign accession but with special status (article 370). Anyway, by hindsight we can say it could have been handled better. Sardar Patel was another titan, who did great work in merger of princely States, but whether he could be a better PM will be purely a matter of opinion. We must realize that when whole country was facing gigantic problems, which at this age we can’t visualize, only a man of grand vision, extreme tolerance was probably the best choice. If you read any book on Asian history from 1950-1960, you will find that India outperformed all other newly liberated countries, even Ceylon, Burma, Indonesia and Malaya which were far better economically to start, now we are even surprised to see the name of Burma. Unfortunately, he became a tired leader after 1960 and India never produced leaders of Nehru Patel caliber after independence.
Regarding India-china war, Genesis was Nehru like most Indians of that time had great territorial ambitions for India. We claimed Aksai Chin, which even British never had in their possession, when china built up a long road, free India came to know about it after 2 years that also through Pannikar, India’s ambassador in China. In Arunachal, McMohan line was never recognized by China. Tawang valley came into British possession only 2-3 years before our Independence, that too with lot of protest by Tibet.
Nehru failed in making army strong, but he was successful in keeping army within barracks, otherwise we might have become another Pakistan or Burma. Moreover, could India afford to spend massive amount on defense at that time?
His another blunder was Krishna Menon and Lt G BM Kaul, but didn’t Modi made so many non-performers on highly important post including Irani as education minister.