Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Home Truths for Rahul Gandhi

Home Truths for Rahul Gandhi

Author: A. Surya Prakash
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: April 2007

In what is clearly an indictment of PV Narasimha Rao, one of India's greatest Prime Ministers, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi declared a couple of weeks ago that the Babri Masjid would have been saved if a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family had been in active politics at that time. Though Mr Gandhi has belatedly tried to make some amends, this incident has once again brought to the fore the feudal mindset of members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, their insecurities (which prevent them from acknowledging the contribution of leaders outside their family) and their persistent efforts to distort historical truths.

Since Mr Gandhi has sought to give us a glimpse of what would have been if a member of his family had been at the helm in December 1992, here is a summary of this family's track record when it did hold the political reins. Let us begin at the beginning. Acting on the advice of Lord Mountbatten, the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel the task of integrating all the 565 princely states in the Indian Union. Even as Sardar Patel set about his task, Nehru, in a display of pettiness typical of this family, moved "Kashmir Affairs" from the Department of States to the Ministry of External Affairs, which was under his charge. Patel executed his responsibility in a clinical and ruthless manner and successfully completed the gigantic task of stitching together 564 princely states into the Indian Union. Nehru took on the responsibility of integrating one princely state (Jammu & Kashmir) and we all know the consequence - this has remained India's most problematic State for the last 60 years.

But Nehru's Kashmir blunders did not end here. In October 1947, Pakistan sent in thousands of heavily armed tribesmen into Jammu & Kashmir in a bid to capture it by force. After Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, the Indian Army marched in and began pushing back the intruders who had captured Baramulla and cut off power supply to Srinagar. Even as our gallant soldiers were driving out the intruders, Nehru cried halt to the Army operation and, much against the advice of Sardar Patel, took the fateful decision to lodge a complaint against Pakistan before the United Nations Security Council on January 1, 1948.

With this single act, Nehru demoralised the Army (which wanted just a few more days to throw out the intruders), allowed Pakistan to retain 30,000 square miles of illegally occupied territory in Jammu & Kashmir and internationalised the Kashmir issue. So, while Nehru made a mess of the Kashmir issue, Patel coaxed, cajoled or bamboozled recalcitrant princes like the Nizam of Hyderabad and a couple of pro-Pakistan princes on the Gujarat coast to fall in line and accede their territories to India. But for Patel's firmness, we would have lost Hyderabad and the coastal areas of Gujarat to Pakistan in1948 itself and Hyderabad, in the words of the Sardar, would have become an "undigested lump" in India's belly.

Let us now examine the report card of another member of this family - Mrs Indira Gandhi.

In 1975, Mrs Gandhi imposed an internal Emergency and turned a vibrant democracy into a dictatorship. Her Government wrecked the Constitution through a series of horrendous amendments, jailed most of her political opponents under draconian laws, ordered forcible sterilisation of men in the reproductive age group and sent bulldozers to drive out the poor from the cities. All this would never have happened if a non-Nehru-Gandhi had been the Prime Minister.

Thereafter, between 1980 and 1984, Mrs Gandhi's Government offered tacit support to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale just to spite the Akalis and allowed him to store deadly weapons in the Golden Temple. When things went out of control, she ordered the Army to march into the shrine, causing huge loss of human life and hurting the pride of the Sikhs. Thereafter, Mrs Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards leading to a pogrom in which more than 3,000 Sikhs were lynched in Delhi and other parts of northern India at the behest of Congress leaders. None of this would have happened if a non-Nehru Gandhi had been the Prime Minister between 1980 and 1984.

Coming to the era of Rajiv Gandhi, his approach to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) eerily resembled the Sikh militancy story. This too ended in the tragic deaths of hundreds of brave, young soldiers and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. All this would never have happened if a non-Nehru-Gandhi had been Prime Minister between 1984 and 1989.

There are several other decisions taken by members of this family, which have resulted in much social, economic and political strife. For example, Rajiv Gandhi succumbed to pressure from the Muslim clergy and amended the law to deny maintenance to divorced Muslim women after the Shah Bano case. Thereafter he felt compelled to appease Hindu sentiment and so had the Ram Temple in Ayodhya unlocked and a 'shilanyas' performed. Yet, Mr Rahul Gandhi showers abuse on Narasimha Rao and expects us to believe that the family that blessed the 'shilanyas' would have saved the masjid! The list is endless.

However, since Mr Gandhi has sought to run down Narasimha Rao, we need to ask ourselves whether members of this family have ever had the civility to acknowledge the contribution of national leaders from outside this family, be it Sardar Patel, BR Ambedkar or Narasimha Rao. When Narasimha Rao became Prime Minister we had mortgaged gold to the Bank of England because we had run out of foreign exchange. By the time he completed his five-year term, he had laid the foundation for India's emergence as an economic superpower. I shudder to think what would have been India's fate if instead of the cerebral Narasimha Rao, a Nehru-Gandhi had been the Prime Minister between 1991 and 1996!

Narasimha Rao, along with Mr Manmohan Singh, not only gave India hope but also unlocked the creative genius of Indians, which had been bottled up during the era of the Nehru-Gandhis. The Nehru-Gandhis will never acknowledge this, but we do not have to be so ungrateful. Now that Mr Rahul Gandhi has sought to besmirch the image of Narasimha Rao, we must demand the appointment of a Truth Commission to document the commissions and omissions of every Prime Minister so that our post-independence history, which is currently corrupted by the mythology promoted by the Nehru-Gandhis, becomes a more honest narrative.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements