But for a series of major blunders by Nehru across- the spectrum-it would not be an exaggeration to say that he blundered comprehensively-India would have been on a rapidly ascending path to becoming a shining, prosperous, first-world country by the end of his term, and would surely have become so by early 1980s-provided, of course, Nehru's dynasty had not followed him to power. Sadly, Nehru era laid the foundations of India's poverty and misery, condemning it to be forever a developing, third-rate, third-world country.
By chronicling those blunders, this boo highlights THE FACTS BEHIND THE FACADE.
This is a compact book summarising 97 major blunders of Nehru. However, while all major blunders are not covered, none of the minor blunders are included.
The focuses being on blunders, this book does not cover Nehru’s positives-there are a sea of books eulogising Nehru, and reader can refer to them.
It is not the intention of this book to be critical of Nehru, but historical facts, that have often been distorted or glossed over or suppressed must be known widely, lest the mistakes be repeated, and so that India has a brighter future.
This book is different from my earlier voluminous book "Foundations of Misery: Blunders of the Nehruvian Era" (available on Amazon both in the digital and in paperback edition) which does not cover as many blunders as this book does, nor lists them systematically and exhaustively; but which deals in detail with the background, history and particulars of the Integration of the Indian States/ Kashmir: BCE to 1950s/ Tibet: Erasing a Nation/ Himalayan Misadventure (India-China War); The Sinhala &- the Tamils (On Sri-Lankan Tamil Problem); India's Self-Inflicted Poverty/ socialism, Babudom &- Corruption; Being Foreign to Foreign Policy (Disastrous Policies on External Affairs); Ill-informed Internal Policies, Mental &- Cultural Slavery/ Distortion of History &- Cultural Heritage; Dynacracy (Dynastic Democracy), and so on.
This book has a wider coverage compared to the above, but does not deal in the background, history and details like the above does. Many aspects which you would find in this book you would not find in the book above, and vice versa.
Shashi Tharoor titled his book 'Nehru: the Invention of India: Yes, Nehru was honest, upright, knowledgeable, secular, cultured, hard-working, and a man of integrity. He was a capable leader, who gave his all to the nation. One also has to appreciate Nehru's physical fitness, despite his busy and stressful life-it was thanks to yoga and his healthy life style. His was reportedly a singularly unmedicated body till about two years before his death.
He wrote books, and they were good, though not great. They were rather average.
He was courageous-unlike the current nobodies moving under loads of security. Once during the 1947 riots, when he saw a person being attacked in Chandni Chowk, he stopped his car and personally charged-in to save him.
He was a popular leader. He valued the virtues of parliamentary democracy, secularism and liberalism. He was one of the founders of Non-Aligned Movement.
As an unfailing nationalist, he implemented policies which stressed commonality among Indians while still appreciating regional diversities. He was instrumental in setting up of the Planning Commission, National Laboratories, IITs, IIMs, and a vast public sector.
Nehru was personally an honest person. If you read MO Mathai's book 'Reminiscences of the Nehru Age’, you would come across many examples of his uprightness. MO Mathai was his PA. Like when Mathai suggested to him that he could deduct expenses for typing and other such incidentals from his income from sale of his books when filing income-tax returns to get deduction that was legally permissible, Nehru answered in the negative saying that when he had not incurred the expenses how could he seek deduction, even if legally allowed.
There is another good example from Kuldip Nayar's 'Beyond the Lines': "This incident might prick the conscience of today's leaders. Bhim Sen Sachar, then chief minister of Punjab, approached Nehru with an embarrassing request. Vijayalakshmi Pandit had stayed at the Shimla Circuit House, then part of Punjab, and had not paid the bill of Rs 2500. Sachar was told by his governor, C. Trivedi, to put the expense under some miscellaneous state government account. However, Sachar was a stickler for propriety. Nehru said that he could not clear the bill at one go but would pay the Punjab government in instalments. Nehru sent the amount in five instalments, each time drawing a cheque on his personal account."
Unfortunately, Nehru allowed others to be corrupt-reminds one of Manmohan Singh!
There are a host of books that eulogise Nehru. What can be mentioned here would be a drop in the ocean. However, this book seeks to highlight the vital and critical aspects about Nehru that are often swept under the carpet. Nehruvian blunders are summarised in this book, but they are not covered in detail. For details, please read the book "Foundations of Misery: Blunders of the Nehruvian Era" (www.rkpbooks.com), available on Amazon both in the digital and in paperback edition.
'Blunders' in this book is used as a general term to also include failures, neglect, wrong policies, bad decisions, despicable and disgraceful acts, usurping underserved posts, etc.
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