14th November marks birthday of India’s first Prime Minister and a prominent freedom fighter Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru became the Prime Minister of India at the most turbulent time in the subcontinent. Creation of a new state, transition of power, partition, communal violence, Kashmir war, mass migration of Hindus from Pakistan and integration of princely states were some of the key issues that Nehru had to immediately address.
Nehru put a strong foundation of free India with five year planning process, pragmatic economic policies (mixed economy) and foreign policy of non alignment. I think his biggest achievement was maintaining the democracy in the most diverse country of the world during its years of inception while successfully integrating the country and leading the way out of the most volatile period.
His achievements are endless but someone could argue that controls and regulation delayed the economic progress of India and humiliating defeat in 1962 Indo- China war exposed his misjudgment and weakness of India’s defense. A historian could say that current corruption in India has its roots in Nehru’s government with the election of Indira Gandhi as president of the Congress and start of a dynastic era that continues till today with Sonia Gandhi/ Rahul Gandhi controlling the government.
What are your thoughts?