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Why We Need Nehru Today

By Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava

14 November, 2015

Today we celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Pt. Jawahar lal Nehru, the architect of modern India and the first Prime Minister of India. This occasion provides opportunity to explore his contribution to modern Indian state.

He laid the basis of democracy in the country. He was leader supreme but he never attempted to misuse the influence on the masses for his personal benefits or the party. He even encouraged Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then a young parliamentarian to speak more in the parliament; he was impressed by his oration on foreign policy. He always respected parliament, always participated in its deliberations., brought top people in the position of President, was not keen on Rajendra Prasad to get second term as President of India but bowed to the feelings of the party, brought Dr. S. Radhakrishnan as first vice president and helped him to be president, was a great orator even in one day he gave several speeches extempore on different topics, due to his deep knowledge unlike the leaders of today who read the prepared speeches and use the foul languages, show of cheap political communication.

Nehru’s second contribution lies in the practice of the secularism in the country. His own analysis was that India was a country with several faiths that lived together since centuries and developed a common composite culture which could not be torn away. His secularism became the bed rock of the philosophy of the country, India survived several onslaughts of the people with narrow religious thinking but it was his views on secularism which he implemented with full efforts at the level of governance that India has become a country with strong bases of pluralism and composite culture. No power can now dismantle it as it is now the philosophy of constitution which has been socialized completely in the thoughts of Indian people due to his great efforts. That is the reason whenever there are attacks on the secularism or composite culture of the country, these forces are defeated. He successfully made secularism the mainstream thought of the Indian people.

His another contribution lies in making Indian society free, equal. Today enrolments of the girls have increased in the schools. They participate in the all spheres of professional lives. What happened to sibling of India; Pakistan where equality in all terms are not available to women but Indian political system allowed the girls to reach on the pinnacle though social forces were always obstacles. Even in top positions of the corporate world, media, politics, bureaucracy, technical human resource power they are well on top. Nehru thus allowed to dismantle the social psyche of the Indian people about the half world.

He also worked over the improvement of governance, brought Appleby from USA to improve the governance. IIPA was established thereafter. He was in opposition to ICS and his thoughts proved prophetic because police system in India is still highly suppressive and much corruption is due to bureaucracy. He also gave a thought to develop expert ministers and C D Deshmukh was made finance minister with this objective though this experiment could not be carried forward.,Nehru also helped India to follow an independent foreign policy. Non alignment was devised by him during the age of cold war. He aimed to remain out of the conflict of cold war and military alliances like SEATO, CENTO ,NATO, Warsaw Pact etc. Today India follows an independent foreign policy; its credit goes to Pt. Nehru.

Another contribution of Pt. Nehru is in the inculcation of scientific spirit among the people. He criticized the superstition, mysticism in religions. His belief on human efforts with a base of scientific thoughts was a great idea of progress in a country where religion had always played the most important influence. He gave a new thought direction to a country filled with religious thoughts.

Nehru gave so many novel ideas, directions that India emerged as a country with modern outlook. He must be credited to have established IITs, IIMs and technical institutions in the country.

His major contribution in nutshell is that he gave a philosophy of modern age where democratic values are paramount, where the spirit of secularism prevail in unbounded manner, where religious orthodoxies are fought with increased vigour of scientific way of living., where a spirit of equality, liberty and social justice influence the psyche of the masses.

In the contemporary age when the pluralism and social harmony with composite culture is under attack, thoughts of Nehru become more relevant. He is symbol of all great modern values hence any attempt to disown his heritage will be a grave loss to India as a whole and humanity at large. India needs Nehru more than ever due to prevailing problems where ages old great humanistic values of Indian society are under threat. Need is to rediscover Nehru and to disseminate what he thought and lived for.

Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava is Assistant Professor, CSJM Kanpur University (affiliated College) and Vice Chairman CSSP, e mail-vpy1000@yahoo.co.in



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