H C Singh

Decline in Indian Economy During Nehru’s Socialism From 1951-52 to 1965-66

The study is based on the book “India The Emerging Giant” by Arvind Panagariya, particularly the statistics provided therein Indian economy seems to have been led by Demand-Supply principle from 1951-52 to 1987-88 so it suffered particularly upto 1965-66. Connection Patris analysis has been followed to an extent half heartedly.

In this connection it will be pertinent to quote from Arvind Panagoriya book ‘India the Emerging Giant’ as under:

‘Demand verses Supply- If the economy is demand led the development and progress is slow. “Therefore the success of demand driven approach often depends on the governments taking necessary action to relieve the bottleneck stiffing the supply response” Accordingly Patrick in 1966 refuted this concept. Thus the supply-driven or supply-leading approach assigns the government a more active in building institutions and creating inter mediation instruments ahead of the demand… India actively employed this approach in second half of 1970’s and the 1980’s with respect to both the expansion of rural bank branches and what came to be known as priority sector lending” of course there are limitation to this approach of lending money by government to private entrepreneurs and firms who may siphon the amount for personal use and in due course declare the company bankrupt, Govt has to be vigilant, more vigilant than in other fields.”

Because of Nehru’s Socialist pattern of economy on to an extent in USSR model, economic progress right upto 1980 was very slow, if not negligible, for a newly independent country with very high hopes. Between 1951-52 to 1987-88 the economy grew at 3.8%. In contrast economy of Korea and South East Asia grew at rates of 8 to 10% per annum. I pursuit of socialism, 5 year plans were prepared in detail in all the spheres of economy by the Panning Commission which laid out detailed map of policies and ways to implement them. First Plan was for the years 1951-52 to 1956-57. With hopes of making Indian Socialism very successful and productive in all the economic fields so that other newly independent countries in South East Asia and Africa follow Indian model for their progress and economic development. Unfortunately for India in the Indian Variety of Socialism there was virtually no increase in per capita income. Instead of increase in employment opportunities there was decline. At the end of all three 5 Year Plans from 1951-52 to 1965-66 there has been, instead of rise, there was decline as per statistics. The lowest ever GDP recorded pulled down the growth rate for entire 3rd Plan period ending 1965-66 to miserable 2.8 percent while population was growing at the rate of 4 percent per annum.

To demonstrate the contrast between Socialist Economy and its the abandonment for free economy following figures of Poverty ratios as per Planning Commission from 1951-52 to 1995-96 are given. Rural, urban and National Ratios are given below:-

 Year                 Rural              Urban              National

1951-52            47.37            35.46                 45.61

1966-67           64.30            52.34                  62.90

 Poverty fell down remarkably in the decade after Socialism was completely abandoned and there is improvement in the condition of rural and urban Indian in all fields, agriculture, industry , service and electronic and management

         Year                                             Rural                        Urban                  National

July 1995 – June 96                      37.46                      28.04                          35.00

There is marked decline in poverty ratio in rural areas from 64.30 to 37.46 but in urban areas poverty has also declined significantly from 52-34 to 28-24 virtually down by 50%.

 In contrast when Socialism was abandoned for Free trade under Narsimha Rao with Dr Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister the economy grew quite fast as GDP in 88-89 was the highest at 10.5. While average GDP in 88-89 to 2008 has been 7% that means almost double the average population growth, thus improving the living standards of all below poverty line the middle class and of course much more of Upper Classes, Entrepreneurs, Technocrats and Business Managers.

 It will be seen what havoc to Indian economy was brought by Socialist Economy during 15 years of 3 Five Year Plans from 1951 to 1966 and in contrast what and how much Indian Economy improved when GDP rose from 3.5% to average 7 to 8 percent India, thus became Emerging Giant only after abandoning Nehru’s Socialist Pattern of Economy. The reason as to why Indian Socialism failed to usher in economic and social improvement of vast number of Indians below poverty line and unemployed was that controlled economy led to Inspector Raj in India—meaning increase in corruption all round which remained uncontrolled particularly in Rationing Department, Income Tax Deptt and Industries Deptt. There was all round neglect so there was all round decline in GDP, increase in poverty and unemployment.

 

December 30, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, World History | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Problem of Kashmir and Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits

Jawaharlal Nehru, though he himself was a Kashmiri Pandit the first Prime Minister of Independent India proved to be a weak PM particularly as long as Lord Mountbatten was Governor General of Dominion of India. He continued to be ineffective and docile till Sardar Patel, iron man of India,was alive. Nehru committed many blunders in the case of Kashmir as outlined by Vidya Bhushan in South Asia Today:

The first and biggest blunder was to make Jawahar Lal Nehru PM instead of Sardar Patel and another blunder was to assign Deptt of Kashmir Affairs to Nehru while all the other State Affairs were under Ministry of State under the charge of Sardar Patel.

Another blunder was to name the head of government of Kashmir as Prime Minister and not Chief Minister as was the case of hundreds of other Princely States. Also to name Srinagar Radio as Radio Kashmir and not All India Radio Kashmir.

But the greatest blunder was to let Mountbatten include a clause on the Instrument of Accession on Kashmir to India, that “will of the people” will be taken into account, which led to one crises after another viz referring the Kashmir question to UN, agreeing to cease fire when entire Kashmir could be conquered by Indian Army within a week and finally agreeing to plebiscite.

It is unfortunate that all these blunders on Kashmir were committed by Pt. Nehru, directly or indirectly which cost India thousands of valiant Indian Army personnel’s life and also of Kashmiris besides lakhs of crores of rupees during 62 years besides 1965 war with Pakistan Kashmir and also Kargil war, without any solution to Kashmir problem.

Before the conquest of Kashmir by Muslim Afghans, entire population of Kashmir was Hindu. But now there is absolute majority of Muslims in the Kashmir Valley but in Jammu area majority is of Hindus and in, Ladakh Buddhist before and after independence. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh in early 8th century who conquered and ended Muslim (Afghan) rule after about 700 years. Just as he captured NWFP from Afghans, made both Kashmir and NWFP part of his (Indian) empire. B.N Sharma’s views in this context are touching so these are reproduced below:

” Have we ever tried analyze the course of almost complete demographic swing in favour of Muslims as the ethnic cleansing of Kashmir Pandits was going on under the benevolent gaze of the previous secular government at Delhi so aptly described by a Kashmiri Muslim Khurshid Vani—‘when bullets, blood and fundamentalism made their first inroad into the valley, 1.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits left their paradise in fear, but 3000 families stayed back to fight, to survive and to live or die in their homes.’ Sadly more than a decade and a half later, the staying power of these gritty Pandits stands diluted by joblessness, anxiety and loneliness, not to talk of nagging fear. There are no grooms for daughters, no relatives to share family with, no hope of the return of exiled and, of course distress sale of ancestral properties. And the plight of Those who stayed back against all adversity.”

During Ranjit Singh’s reign over Kashmir and there after British rule by Dogra rulers Kashmir was quiet—no apparent Muslim dominance. But since independence because of Nehru’s follies and Pakistani indirect and direct intervention Kashmir problem has arisen and has got intensified. It is true and shocking but the secular government of India could not prevent it or do anything for return of Kashmiri Pandits which seems a remote possibility now. It may be possible, either after final agreement in black and white with Pakistan or after disintegration of Pakistan (NWFP becoming an independent state or joining Afghanistan) or when the Taliban menace is over either by peaceful settlement or by intensified war by USA as US President Obama has claimed by mid 2011 when all US Forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan. If one of this possibility becomes reality, as it is hoped and peace returns to Kashmir after few years then and then alone it may or will be possible for Kahmiri Pandits to return to their homes in Kashmir and become integrated Kashmiris as before independence of India.

December 25, 2009 Posted by | Cold War, India, Indian History, Muslims, Pakistan, Pakistan's Origin, Creation and Turmoil, Political Commentary, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, World | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hindutva – Its true meaning and implications

After defeat of BJP in the 2009 elections, there is much talk about HIndutva, whether it should be diluted to keep the RSS with BJP as its cadre party and source or to abandon it altogether to make BJP a truly secular so that it also attracts Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and other small minorities of India to make BJP truly All India Party and an All India challenge to Indian National Congress.

 The word Hindutva was coined and used first of all by V.D. Savarkar. “Hinduism is a religion that all Hindus follow with all the rituals and worshiping all the Hindu Gods, Lord Rama, Krishna, Hanuman and other regional gods whose statues are all over India and worshiped by devout Hindus. It also means respect and if possible knowledge of Ramayana, Mahabarat, Vedas, Shastra and other many millennium old Hindu or Vedic Literature. Hindutva also means that India Civilization embraces all those who live in India, to whatever religion they belong but they have to love Indian Civilization in contrast to Muslim Civilization as propagated in Mecca and Christian Civilization as explained and propagated by Pope of Rome.”

 RSS Chief K S Sudarshan in 2201 while addressing a large gathering in Hardwar said ” The time has come when both Muslims and Christians who are living in India should Indianize their religions. They should sever their links with Mecca and Pope and instead become swadeshi.” (The Tribune Chandigarh March 9, 2001) An extremist Hindu Brig B N Sharma (Retd) in his book, ” A Nation on Fire,” defines Hindutva as: Hindutva collective essence of ” Hinduism and is the end product of three elements, cultural nationalism, intense patriotism, and a pride in the collective memory of India’s past glory.” But Brig Sharma, as the title of book reveals, is not moderate but fundamentalist. He has ridiculed so called seculars who are more concerned with vote bank than with nation’s interest.

 If BJP follows fully and faithfully what K.S Sudarshan says then BJP can never become all embracing Indian Political Party where followers of any religion will be welcome, just as Hindus, without any discrimination. It is pertinent to quote Dr Chaudhary as under.

 “The seeds of pathological antipathy and diabolical hatred against Muslims and Christians in India sown by Savarkar have now fully fructified, thanks to the constant watering and manuring of seeds at the hands of the Sangh Parivar. It resulted into the shameless act of demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in 1992 followed by communal holocaust all over the country in which hundreds of innocent citizens lost their lives. Then came the systematic persecution of Christians resulting into the horrendous act of burning alive of an Australian Christian doctor engaged into healing lepers, along with his adolescent sons in Orissa.” (South Asia Today)

 If BJP follows Hindutva, in its full form with all the implicayions, it may attract towards BJP more and more Hindus with the active help of more than a dozen RSS volunteering organizations in virtually all fields like student and teacher organization, workers of industrial and academic fields, women and in tribal sphere etc,etc… But still it will remain only a Hindu Communal organization. To be a Secular All India Party BJP will have to dilute HIndutva and make it appear truly an Indian Civilization and part of all comprehensive Indian Cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic groups of whole of India.

 It was mainly Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s farsight and determination that transformed Bhartya Jan Sangh a Hindu Party like RSS into BJP an All India National Party like Indian National Congress and captured power in 1998 and ruled the country for full term of 5 years without virtual alliance with any party except Akali Dal as in Punjab. If BJP tries to be a truly secular party lot of uncommitted voters from religions and regions will support it.

 Since Advani’s praise for Jinnaha, when he visited Pakistan, without bothering to go deep into Jinnaha’s thinking in 1940’s and actions in 1946 to instigate West Bengal Government of Muslim League to abandon the rights and rules of and go ahead with ‘Direct Action’ which led to Kolkata Killings—it was certain that Advani should either quit BJP Presidentship and as leader of opposition, Lok Sabha, or would be ousted. Accordingly during early December 09, on the advice of RSS Chief, virtually little known in national politics, Nitin Gadkari 52 years old was chosen to replace Advani as BJP president. In Advani’s place Sushma Swaraj, who once contested elections against Sonia Gandhi in South India though lost but proved to be both daring and well-versed in parliamentary affairs, was nominated as leader of opposition while another prominent BJP young leader Jaitley was to continue BJP leader in Rajya Sabha.

 All these developments had to be stated in brief because both Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely are moderates and not enthusiastic about Hindutava. They are more interested, like Vajpayee, to make BJP an All India Party to include all Indians of all castes and religions. It is heartening to note that in his first interview on 20th December 2009, Godkari, new BJP Chief has said ” I would like to involve more Dalits, Tribals and Muslims in the BJP” He father said: “I would like to concentrate on youth workers and farmers. I will concentrate my polities of development at the national level.” If Godkari sticks to what he has said in this interview, it would mean dilution of Hindutava for BJP.

No doubt Muslim terrorists, jehadis of many hues and Taliban by their incursions and killings through suicide bombing like 9/11 in USA and 26/11 in Bombay have encouraged RSS followers, Israelis and some Christian Countries to give befitting reply. But for peace of the world and peace in their own country tact, patience and action are required as and when necessary. So far as India is concerned because of Indian farmers, skilled and unskilled labourers and since last two decades Indian technocrats and managers being in limelight particularly in USA, it is imperative that Indians shun fundamentalism of Hindutava. India must remain secular and India’s image should be that of biggest democracy in the world.

December 22, 2009 Posted by | Corruption, India, Indian History, Muslims, Pakistan, Pakistan's Origin, Creation and Turmoil, Political Commentary, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, Sikhism, Terrorism, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shashi Tharoor’s Contribution to India’s Unity

       Shashi Tharoor’s version of India and its unity in Diversity under all circumstances, pressures from inside and outside is commendable. It is a vision of which every Indian is proud and values. It is a vision which makes Shashi Tharoor, a Keralite, a great Indian. Though USSR disintegrated, but India, though remained under Nehru’s Soviet model of socialism for almost 20 years, has not and shall never disintegrate. Despite some neglects and omissions Shashi Tharoor’s concluding remarks about India’s invincible unity are reproduced below:-

 “There is remarkable resilience about the Indian state (which has proved the foreign analysts wrong) one that is sustained by an intangible sense of nationhood and shared destiny. India is a country held together in Nehru’s evocative image, by strong but invisible threads that bind Indians to a common destiny. Indians are comfortable with multiple identities and multiple loyalties, all coming together in allegiance to a larger idea of India, an India that safeguards the common space available to each identity, an India that remains safe for diversity, taken for granted by most Indians. It is this quality that will prevent the disintegration so widely predicted for my country.”

 In a multi lingual, multi ethenic and a multi cultural country some problems are bound to arise particularly in the East India which had been neglected for thousand of years by Muslim rulers of India and British rulers of India for almost 200 years ignored the problem of East except trying to safeguard the Northern and Eastern boundary by virtue of Young Husband expeditions Mac Mahon Line, that, too, when China was a very weak country whose territories of Korea and Manchuria were conquered and occupied by a small country like Japan and eastern ports like Macao and Hongkong by European imperialists. India got a bad legacy in East but has been trying to solve the problems of East India, since 1947. There have been linguistic problem in many parts of India which were solved by State Reorganization Commission. Punjab problem was also solved. Now there is problem of Telergana, which too, will be solved. Problems will continue to be there, as indicated above, and explained by Shashi Tharoor because of “remarkable resilience” all problems will be solved and India will ever and ever remain united.

 India is a country of which all Indians are proud of and feel so and are sure of its unity in diversity whether they are Keralite’s like Shashi Tharoor or Kashmiri’s like Sheikh Abdullah, or from any other Indian state or Union territory from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist majority respectively) in north to Kanyakumari in South and from Nagaland and Arunachal in East to Goa and Maharashtra in West. All the inhabitants of various states and Union Territories at home they are known as Kashmiris, Punjabis, Marathas, Gujaratis, Assamese, Bengalis, Orias, Telegus, Tamils, Kannadas or Keralites, but when they go abroad they say with pride and they are known as Indians whether they go to America, Europe, Russia, China or Japan. This is the most significant aspect and proof of India’s Unity in Diversity.

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Muslims, Political Commentary, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, Shashi Tharoor, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shashi Tharoor on Indira Gandhi

As a realist, Shashi Tharoor seems to be having more criticism than praise for Indira Gandhi, particularly because for virtually no reason she imposed state of Emergency in 1971 for the first time in India since independence. Ordinarily if an ordinary and unknown judge of Allahabad had ‘convicted’ her on technical ground for electoral malpractice. She could ordinarily appeal against this Judgement in the higher Court, even, if need be in Supreme Court and waited for final order of the higher or highest court. But it was not to be, Indira Gandhi was impatient, hungry for power even by undemocratic means as has been quoted by Guha in the following passage: which proves glaring undemocratic feeling and action by Congress under Indira Gandhi.

“During 1972 elections congress won in 13 states including Bihar MP and Maharashtra. However in West Bengal Congress used all undemocratic means to come to power “mixture of terror intimidation and fraud. Gangs of hooligans stuffed ballot boxes with the police idly looking on. There was mass scale rigging in Calcutta—goondas paid by the congress told voters assembled outside polling stations that they might as well go home, since they had already cast all the registered votes” (Quoted by Guha from eye witness account)

Shashi Tharoor, too, thinks of Indira Gandhi, skilled in acquisition of “power by all means, fair and foul. She could not bear or stomach defeat,” in Shashi Tharoor’s own words.

“Mrs. Gandhi was skilled at the acquisition and maintenance of power, but hopeless at the wielding of it for larger purposes. She had no real vision or program beyond the expedient campaign; “remove poverty” was a mantra without a method.

In a very brief account of Operation Blue Star and with no mention at all of Rajiv Gandhi’s indirect collusion with massacre of Sikhs for four days since he was sworn in as PM, and not ad-hoc PM like Gulzari Lal Nanda, immediately after Indira’s assassination, Rajiv Gandhi did not call the Army nor instruct the senior congressmen to stop the onslaught on Sikhs. About Indira Gandhi, Tharoor says “Mrs Indira Gandhi never understood the extent to which so many Sikhs saw ‘Blue Star’ as a betrayal” in the horror of anti-Sikh riots that followed it, which saw whole families burned alive for the Sin of sharing the religion of her assassins.

On Mrs Gandhi’s encouragement and reported financing of Bhinderan-wale

Tharoor writes:

As the murders mounted, Mrs Gandhi had little choice but to destroy the monster( Bhinderan-wale) she herself spawned and finally violated a basic tenet of Indian state by sending armed troops into a place of worship, the historic Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out the terrorists holed up there………. But her real fault lay in having created the problem in the first place and in letting it mount to the point where destructive force of ‘Operation Blue Star seemed the only solution.’

The assault on Golden Temple alienated many Sikhs like eminent writer and journalist, Khushwant Singh whose patriotism was unquestionable. However Indira Gandhi’s assassination was unfortunate though it was a reaction to attack on Golden Temple, the most sacred Gurdwara worshiped by the Sikhs all over the world. Though she had been advised or warned by her own intelligence to remove her Sikh body guards as they feared that as Dyer who ordered Jallianwala Bagh massacre was killed by Udham Singh, something like that may happen to her. But Indira Gandhi did not accept their advice. Had she accepted this advice many feel that she might not have been assassinated and thousands of more Sikhs might not have lost their lives in the first week of November 1984.

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, Shashi Tharoor, Terrorism, World History | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shashi Tharoor on Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru who was PM of Interim Government of British India under Lord Mountbatten become, logically, the first PM of Independent India on 15th August 1947. In this connection, Tharoor’s comments on British policy and also Nehru’s historic speech are worthy of praise and are reproduce below:

 “If the structures of British rule tended toward the creation of a united India for the convenience of the rulers, its animating spirit was aimed at fostering division to achieve the same ends. This seeming paradox (but in fact entirely logical construct) of imperial policy culminated in the tragic Partition of India upon independence—so that August 15, 1947, was a birth that was also an abortion.”

 “But despite the mourning in many nationalist hearts at the amputation that came with freedom, despite the refusal of Mahatma Gandhi to celebrate an independence he saw primarily as a betrayal, despite the flames of communal hatred and rioting that lit the midnight sky as the new country was born, there was reason for pride, and hope. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, put it in words that still stir the soul:

 “Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

 After 15th August 1947 address to the nation, Jawaharlal Nehru’s long career as PM extending to 17 years was not cent per cent praise worthy. There were many short comings. Shashi Tharoor has written so much on Nehru which is, significant, requires equally detailed comments. Being son of Moti Lal Nehru and educated in England, like Mahatma Gandhi, 29 year old Jawaharlal Nehru became in 1918 the youngest member of congress working Committee. Soon Gandhi chose him as his protégé. During independence movement Nehru spent 18 years in British jail. Thus in 1946 Jawaharlal “became Gandhi’s nominee” for Prime Ministership in interim Government of India. Being Mahatma Gandhi’s heir no leader of equal statue in Congress opposed him.

 Nehru’s first test of competence as PM was his inaction and failure to delete the line, added while accepting Instrument of Accession of Kashmir to India, mischievously by Mountbatten (possibly on the instructions from British Government). Nehru as PM of a Sovereign Country should have deleted this clause. Second blunder of Nehru on Kashmir was, that, too, under Mountbatten pressure or influence, to agree to cease fire when whole of Kashmir could be captured by Indian Army in just a fortnight more – Mountbatten had met Jinnaha in Lahore and had consented without consulting PM or Indian cabinet to refer Kashmir question to UN and thereafter to hold plebiscite. Had there been strong and determined PM like Sardar Patel, so much bungling on Kashmir would not have been there. Infact there would have been no Kashmir Problem at all, which has cost India lives of thousands of valiant soldiers and also lives of innocent Kashmiri citizens besides thousands of crores of rupees.

 Nehru’s other significant failure related to 1962 War by China when Nehru left for Sri Lanka saying I have ordered my Army to “throw Chinese out”. Defeat at the hands of China was so shocking that in a couple of years Nehru died in 1964. Unfortunately though Shashi Tharoor has written so much on Pandit Nehru in his book he has failed to comment on the vital issue of Kashmir and Nehru’s failure one after another to assert India’s views against British Governor General of India, Mountbatten.

 About Nehru’s all embracing nationalism and secularism Tharoor says: “Under Nehru, the Congress remained more a nationalist movement than a political party, embracing every ideological tendency, every religion, class or caste interest within it.” That is why so long as Nehru was PM despite his shortcomings, congress continued to be the only, virtually unchallenged, political party.

 Nehru’s socialist pattern of economics led to what is called ‘Inspector Raj’, whether the inspector is if Police, of Rationing Deptt, of Income tax. Though there was no ministerial corruption but state central of Industry led to increase in corruption and poverty. There were no avenues for the young educated aspirants. Shashi Tharoor rightly remarks “State directed industry simply did not have the absorptive capacity to soak up rural surplus labour.”

 Accordingly the best act of Narsimha Rao with Dr Man Mohan Sigh as Finance Minister was to abandon Nehru socialism and allow so called capitalism which led to rise in private industry, trade and all round improved India’s economy. It opened avenues of employment for poor villagers as well as educated and highly educated youngmen who had suffered under Nehru’s Socialism. Nehru’s socialism combined worst features of capitalism and socialism, so it was bound to be abandoned.

 It is surprising that Shashi Tharoor has neglected many political leaders. For instance there is no mention of Sardar Patel who was Minister of States, consolidated and unified India by incorporating 500 or so Princely States. Sardar Patel ordered the British C – in – C of India, who was reluctant, to send Indian Army to Kashmir when invaders from Pakistan had reached outskirts of Srinagar. There is only one small para on Lal Bahadur Shastri, who won a war against Pakistan and died of Heart Failure in Tashkent. There is no mention of other prominent leaders like Dr Rajendra Parsad, first President of India, Jaiparkash Narain, a selfless Gandhian. Even there is no mention of Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was Prime Minister of India and longest serving. Member Parliament, Shashi Tharoor has written a lot about Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi even mentioned about Rajiv Gandhi and Deve Gowda. These neglects and omissions as outlined above are noteworthy in such an important book on INDIA.

December 16, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion, Shashi Tharoor, World, World History | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shashi Tharoor on Mahatma Gandhi

Attenborough’s picture on Gandhi was awarded 8 Oscars. Other film producers protested or regretted, As Gandhi was not awarded Nobel Peace Prize, though his follower in USA or self proclaimed Gandhians like Martin Luther king jr. and Adolf Perez Esquivel became Nobel laureates Seven Oscars to Film on Gandhi was perhaps to equate Gandhi with Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Shashi Tharoor in the opening pare on Gandhi writes: “Mahatma Gandhi was the kind of person it is more convenient to forget. The principles he stood for and the way in which he asserted are easier to admire than to follow. While he was alive, it was impossible to ignore. Once he had gone he was impossible to imitate” In Gandhi’s own day non violence could have done nothing for Jews of Hitler’s Germany.

In next few pages Shashi Tharoor clarifies Gandhi’s philosophy of non violence, “Satyagrah (literally holding on to truth) and adds there is no denying Gandhi’s greatness. While the world was disintegrating into fascism, violence and war, Gandhi taught the virtues of truth, non-violence and peace. He destroyed the credibility of colonialism…. Yet Gandhi’s truth was essentially his own….. Gandhi’s “triumph” did not change the world forever. It is, sadly, matter of doubt whether he triumphed.”

India after independence “paid lip service to much of its Gandhian patrimony while striking out in directions of which Gandhi could not have approved. Neither the Government nor the people understand and follow truth and non-violence. There are injustices, corruption every where in every sphere of government form Panchayats, Tehsils, Districts, States and Central Government. Persons like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Paswan and many others have flourished in corruption. Though there are cases against them but nothing has happened and nothing is likely to happen. Lalu and Paswan have been Ministers in Central Government and Koda has been Chief Minister. There is public holiday on Gandhi Jayanti and visit to Gandhi’s smadhi. That is all that is left of Gandhi and Gandhian philosophy of truth and non-violence.

 However, many Hindus considered Mahatma Gandhi as pro Muslim as he had compelled the Government of India to pay to Pakistan Rs 500 crores of undivided India’s assets when that country was at war with India in Kashmir. Gandhi was unfortunately assassinated by a Hindu fanatic Nathu Ram Godse who, after trial was hanged. . This alarmed not only whole of India but the rest of world as Gandhi was considered apostle of non violence and peace. He was a religious Hindu but moderate who as leader of Independence Movement of India inspired all Indians of all religion and all castes and professions. It is unique in history that a leader like Gandhi led independence movement against most powerful colonial Power. British for four decades without any break despite Gandhi’s shortcomings, which every human being has, pointed rightly by Shashi Tharoor, Gandhi was great. His non-violent movement for independence inspired many leaders of British and other European colonies that brought end to colonialism all over the world and the British Empire in whish “Sun never Set” And in America coloured leaders like Martin Luther King jr fought in non violent way and won equality with whites. It is because of this movement, inspired by Gandhi, that today Obama, a coloured citizen of USA, is President.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Shashi Tharoor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Appreciation and comments on Shashi Tharoor’s Book INDIA: From Midnight to The Millennium and Beyond

There is absolutely no doubt that Shashi Tharoor, besides being a great diplomat of UN and now almost Foreign Minister of India, is an excellent thinker and great writer of India. His ideas about Indian nationalism, Unity in Diversity and the detailed expression of these two fundamental issues is matchless. It is apt to reproduce in detail Tharoor’s views on these two aspects as under:

Indian nationalism is “not based on any of the conventional indices of national identity. Not language, since India’s Constitution recognizes eighteen official languages, and there are thirty-five that are spoken by more than a million people each. Not ethnicity, since the “Indian” accommodates a diversity of racial types in which many Indians have more in common with foreigners than with other Indians—Indian Punjabis and Bengalis, for instance, have more in common with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, respectively, than with other Indians. Not religion, since India is a secular pluralist state that is home to every religion known to mankind, with the possible exception of Shintoism. Not geography, since the natural geography of the subcontinent – the mountains and the sea–was hacked by the Partition of 1947. And not even territory, since, by law, anyone with one grandparent born in pre-Partition India – outside the territorial boundaries of today’s state—is eligible for citizenship. Indian nationalism has therefore always been the nationalism of an idea. It is, as I have tried to demonstrate in this book, the idea of an ever-ever land emerging from an ancient civilization, united by a shared history, sustained by pluralist democracy.

 In 1996 the then prime minister, H.D.Deve Gowda, stood at the ramparts of Delhi’s, Red Fort to deliver Independence Day message to the Nation “What was unusual this time was that Deve Gowda, a southerner from the state of Karnataka, spoke to the country in a language of which he did not know a word. Tradition and politics required a speech in Hindi, so he gave one—the words having been written out for him in his native Kannada script, in which they, of course, made no sense.”

Such an episode is almost inconceivable elsewhere, but it represents the best of the oddities that help make India. Only in India could there be a country ruled by a man who does not understand its “national language”; only in India, for that matter.”

 There are some more very significant views of Shashi Tharoor on India’s Unity in Diversity, particularly about Sonia Gandhi whom many like Sharad Pawar considered a foreigner and not eligible for being the leader of Congress Party or Government as PM. As a congress Party has been in existence and leading the Indian Independence Movement for more than a hundred years. Here are some extracts from his book:

 India’s national identity has long been built on the slogan “unity in diversity.” The “Indian” comes in such varieties that a woman who is fair-skinned, sari-wearing and Italian-speaking, as Sonia is, is not more foreign to my grandmother in Kerala than one who is “wheatish-complexioned,” wears a salwar-kameez and speaks Punjabi. Our nation absorbs both these types of people; both are equally “foreign” to some of us, equally Indian to us all.

 Shashi Tharoor’s views on Unity in Diversity of India are superb. He has also written analytically on Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru Indira Gandhi even on Sanjay Gandhi. But there are other aspects on which some comments are called for particularly, his neglect of leaders like Dr Rajendra Parsad India’s first President who was first Bihari who topped in MA economics in Calcutta University with remarks of the Examiner “Examinee knows more than the examiner. There is also neglect of Dr Abdul Kalam Azad who though a Muslim was a dedicated follower if Gandhi till his last breath. Sardar Patel, Deputy PM who consolidated India by incorporation 500 Princely States and even Hyderabad by Pohri Action and Gandhian. Jaya Parkash Narain even to an extent of Lal Bahadur Shastri, glaring omissions of prominent leaders from opposition: E.M.S Nambodrepad, virtually founder of Communist Party in India and first Communist Chief Minister of Kerala and of an Indian State. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee who has been Prime Minister of India as well as longest serving Member of India’s Parliament. These omissions are noteworthy in a famous book on INDIA.

December 14, 2009 Posted by | Achievers, Biography, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neglect of Arunachal

Neglect by the Central Government including by the Prime Minister is obvious and glaring, not only critics of Centre but to common citizen of Arunachal. It is strange even unpardonable that centre’s neglect of Arunachal continues even after 47 years of Chinese war in 1962 and brief occupation by China, vacating Arunachal on its own teems. Arunachal’s geography and proximity to China demanded that Centre should have developed fully, as promised by PM in Rs 24,000 crore package for 3000 MW project, Highways, roads and even railway line upto Itanagar. But unfortunately nothing, or there was little and insignificant development though PM had promised and even assured the people of Arunachal of many projects for which even money was sanctioned or promised by no less a person than Prime Minister. All these projects have remained on paper so far.

I feel, though many in government, polities and elsewhere, many disagree, that Arunachal crises developed because India welcomed Dalai Lama and hundreds of Tibetans who left Tibet and crossed into Arunachal, not realizing that Tibet was, part of China and China would resent and even get annoyed by India welcoming Dalai Lamia and his followers. Accordingly, this was the basis of China crossing McMahon Line which was recognized by British from 1914 onwards till 1947 and remained so, and even today remains so. Since then Dalai Lama, with base in India, has been going from one country to another and directly or indirectly saying and propagating against so called Chinese occupation of Tibet, ignoring that Tibet, though Buddhist, as China was before Mao Tse Tung after Long March converted into communist China which USA by its intervention on behalf of Chiang Kai Shek could not prevent.

Now coming back to India’s neglect of Eastern States of India, particularly Arunachal Pradesh. Though Arunachal has become a democratic, like other states of India, state with its own Chief Minister elected duly by free elections, it continued to be neglected. To this day infrastructure has been delayed and its delay and neglect is appalling. Though history of Arunachal particularly since 1962 War demanded that this aspect of development should have been given top most priority. PM had announced construction of Highways linking fully Arunachal with rest of India, bids were duly called but when the bids were opened a few months ago these were rejected by “Ministry of Surface Transport”. It should not have rejected all the bids outright. Had this infrastructure Project started, it would have provided employment to thousands of people of Arunachal. But that was not to be.

Similarly had the 3000 MW project come into operation hundreds of villages would have got electricity besides development in other spheres like industry. And the people of Arunachal, specially in villages and small towns would have celebrated the occasion and congratulated their Chief Minister as well as Prime Minister of India.

Many projects which were to be financed out of Rs 24000 crores package have not been even initiated what to speak of their progress or even completion of one out of many. What upset the Chief Minister was the proposal of building a new secretariat at a meager cost of 128 crores. Its bid, too, was rejected by, Dept of North East Region at centre, saying this project would get only Rs 71.73 crores.

For the neglect of Arunachal and failure of the centre to fulfil the promised development if Arunachal in many fields out of package of Rs 24,000 crores upset the Chief Minister Dorjee Khander so much that he came to Delhi along with a delegation to meet PM. He submitted a letter full of resentment over non implementation of many promised Projects and requested the PM to personally intervene.

In 1914 British India recognized Mc Mahon Line as boundary between India and Tibet-China. It continued to be after India because Independent Republic in 1947. India also signed an agreement in 1954 with China recognizing Tibet region of China. However situation in Tibet changed dramatically and drastically when there was a large scale uprising in Tibet in 1954 itself. Consequently Dalai Lama and hundreds of his followers flee Tibet and sought refugee in India through Kalimpong.

However I fail to understand as to why Pranay Sharma in an article in outlook has written “China’s stand on Taiwang lies inextricably to its suspension of India’s intention on Tibet. Even the British as far back as in 1914, after Younghusband expelition, Tibet as in alienable part of China and Arunachal, simultaneously as inalienable part of India and so drew Mc Mahon Line as boundary between China and India. Neither the British before 1947 nor India after independence in August 47 had an eye on Tibet. India only wants China to recognize Arunachal including Taiwang as inalienable part of India.

However Taiwang remains bone of contention between China and India. Taiwang falls below the Mc Mohan Line towards India. Prior to Mao Tse Tung’s communist Government, no Chinese Government including that if Chiang Kaishek created problem of Taiwang. Taiwang is part of Arunachal and so part of India, upto 1980, even after 18 years of 1962, China never raised the problem of Taiwang claiming it to be part of Tibet and therefore of China. As from 1914 to 1980, during 66 years no Chinese government raised the question of Taiwang, either during British India or after India’s independence, it is clear that China is not that serious about acquiring Taiwang by force. If communist China was really and emotionally keen to have Taiwang, it would not have vocated Taiwang and gone back to Mc Mahon Line. Once again, it is to be reiterated that China is upset over Dalai Lama’s visits to various countries and utterances against China. It is better India, for permanent friendly relations with China puts some restraint, officially or unofficially on Dalai Lama. It is noteworthy that US President Barack Obama did not or avoided meeting Dalai Lama. Even has softened its stand on Tibet, despite rebellion in Lalisa by some Tibetians. Britain earlier regarded Chinese suzerainty and have recently recognize Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. There are good examples for India and thus India should try its best to have, as stated above, most cordial and friendly relations with its great neighbour China.

It is hoped that PM, his cabinet and bureaucracy at centre will rise to the occasion and PM will in consultation with Sonia Gandhi UPA Chairperson, will issue necessary instruction to all concerned at the centre to sanction/approve the projects of Arunachal as top priority.

 

December 1, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Politics, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment