Nehru: Enigmatic Leader or Failed Statesman?!


Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, He was called among the founding leaders of india’s freedom struggle.
UK educated – and the son of an eminent lawyer Motilal Nehru.
Nehru took the reins of country during great expectations. He as at situation to take great decisions and forward the country at a time when condition of country was unstable.

The article is analysis of some od the decisions he took.
1. Declaration to take Kashmir issue to the UN
Paksitani tribesmen invaded Kashmir in 1947, India was upset. October 1947 when the last days of the Pakistani tribals were at distance of hundred kilometers from Srinagar, the cabinet met in Delhi. At that meeting, Manek Shaw Army Colonel (later Manek Shaw was made Field Marshal) was present from army’s side.

Shaw said in an interview about that meeting of Cabinet in New Delhi . He said, “As usual Nehru spoke on issues like the United Nations, Russia, Africa, God and others. But after listening to all Sardar Patel lost his temper. Patel said, ‘Jawaharlal Do you want have kashmir ? Or you want to lose it? The Nehru said – Of course, I want Kashmir. Patel said then, please give your order. Then, without listening to Nehru, Patel told me to pursue military action”. Indian military planes were sent in the Srinagar and fitting reply was given to pakistani tribals
But at the same time, the leaders of India and Pakistan were invited by Jinnah to come to negotiate. To discuss this Governor General of India Lord Mount Betten, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel gathered .

Patel objected to the invitation of Jinnah, and advised not to go to Pakistan in the meeting. But Nehru and Mount Beten were soft on Jinnah’s invitation. It was decided Nehru and Mount Betten would visit Pakistan for talks. But on the eve of the tour Nehru fell sick and Beten alone went on a tour of Pakistan for talks with Jinnah.
When the conversation was taking place, Nehru suddenly on November 2 announced on AIR (aakashvaani radio) a unilateral message to the nation that he would raise the issue at the    United Nations ,and the decision to join India or Pakistan or remain independent , will be a done by referendum (जनमत संग्रह) among the people of Kashmir.

India is paying the price till today for that announcement of Nehru. Since then this point has been surrounded by controversy and demand for a referendum keep arising at times among the people of Kashmir have.

2. Hindu Code Bill
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first after winning parliamentary elections implemented Hindu Code Bill saying it would improve Hindu Society. But he had expressed inability to implement uniform civil code.
Hindu society had this objection on it that if Social reform is needed then why only Hindu society, people of all religions in the country should be brought under its scope.
But he said, ” It should start first with the Hindu society, then would be extended to other religions.” But a uniform civil code has not been implemented in India to date. Any efforts to make a uniform civil code get widely objected by other religions.

3. The right to sanction China over Tibet
Nehru was very anxious for friendship with China. To appease the Chinese, he was taking many such measures. Nehru had turned down the offer of the United States in 1953 which offered India to be a permanent member of the Security Council of UN instead of that Nehru advised to include China in the Security Council. If Nehru had accepted the offer, India would have emerged as extremely strong Nation strategically at the international level several decades ago.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s series of generosity towards china did not end just here. Nehru on April 29, 1954 signed an agreement with China as the principle of Panchsheel. With this agreement India accepted Tibet as part of China. Nehru, for the sake of friendship with, without taking Tibet into confidence, approved China’s right over Tibet.

Analysts believe that since that very agreement of India geo-political situation in the Himalayas changed forever. Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Tibet began the process of expansion, which continues till today. Tibet,The roof of the world, called for protests against China which are still running. The result of China’s plans to expand in Tibet, has bolstered China today. Now and then China keeps on violating line of control and even claims Arunachal Pradesh state, as the southern part of Tibet, . Nehru’s one mistake has made India pay off heavy losses.

4. Indo-China War – When China Back-stabbed
Nehru’s wanted to resolve border disputes with China by peace and deals. No one doubted his motives. But he failed to read the Chinese wicked moves. To resolve disputes with China, under the ‘Panchsheel’ agreement he gave rights over Tibet to China. But India paid heavily for Nehru’s trust on China.
China attacked India in 1962. Since independence, India has lost only one battle. It was this war in which India was disgraced. Nehru’s “Hindi Chini Bhai -Bhai” (India and chinese are brothers) slogan did not work., And India lost her brave sons in large number during this war with China.

Patel had sensed the potential threat from China. A little before his death, November 7, 1950, he had written a letter to Nehru. The letter advised India to be careful with Pakistan and China. But fears of Patel , were blown in the wind by Nehru.

5. The Division of states
Nehru on linguistic grounds divided Madras State to make Andhra Pradesh, and Bombay State to make Maharashtra and Gujarat. Formation of linguistic states continue , once the process had been started. Today, condition is that over a dozen states are sparking with fire over creation of a separate state in the country.

These were the some of mistakes along which proved very disastrous for India along with some from the economic policies based on Socialistic Model, now widely accepted as blunder which numbed the development of country until Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao corrected in 1990’s with alignment to global economy, competetive markets.
Did Nehru fail to the analyse the situations or take positions which he wasnt a master at, while freeedom movement being the time where he could best apply his strength ?


by Vivek Arya


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