Gandhi, Nehru And All That


THE  MAIN GROUSE OF THE REGIME that came to power in India over three years ago –ending (temporarily?) the dynasty rule to which democracy was reduced– was that  the new  rulers did exactly what the British rulers did — distort history.

And now in power, they have allegedly set out to do the same.

“Did you see the UP Quiz Book on history? Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first Prime Minister) is not even mentioned and Gandhji is grudgingly referred to in passing but Hindutva heroes get to hit the roof. What a tragedy that religion, a great divider of people and even nations, is getting the blessing of the Government. The secular fabric we have built over decades is being torn asunder”, a friend who hates the ‘rightist’ regime now in power, mailed to me.

As a victim of the Emergency which Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi had imposed, I oppose Congress and the Islamic fundamentalism it nurtured for its vote-bank politics.

So I am branded a communal rightist.

India has no Indians but Tamils or Gujaratis, Marwaris or Marathis (my very first post on Aug.13, 2016, ’In Search of Indians – in India’)  everyone belongs to some community, not to India. Similarly everyone who has some opinions is labeled – socialist, secular, nationalist, liberal or some such.

To think rationally without dogma is out of fashion.

The friend has seen my anti-Congress posts and the ‘Pappu jokes’ I forwarded just as jokes without seriously attributing them to Rahul Gandhi who acquired that nickname due to his quirky statements.

But he has not seen my strong objection to a post, with a picture of Rahul and a girl, accusing him of raping her. He also is unaware that I oppose the Sangh Pariwar (RSS  family) fringe elements whose ‘support’ would eventually bring down Narendra Modi’s government.

One sees only what one likes, through the coloured glasses of one’s choice.

So I posted my opposition to a blackout of Nehru in history books. “You can disagree with Nehru and even hate his deliberate bid for rule by his dynasty – but you cannot ignore him or deny his role in our history,” I replied.

This brought forth a retort from another friend, inclined towards the pariwar, saying that  “non-mention” would solve the problem. Not mention Nehru? No, she replied, not mention the UP blackout. If you don’t  write about the blackout,few would know of it.

She did not object to Nehru’s blacking out, but wanted the news blacked out!  

Public Relations officers usually tell their bosses not to contradict negative news unless absolutely necessary as the contradiction may be read even by people unaware of the news, while those aware may miss that. But can she gag Google, internet, history?

Another reader  angrily retorted” :What secular fabric? Who made it? Was it voted on democratically? Did it just mean  tolerating destruction of temples and defacement of idols, imposition of alien culture, to be called communal if you oppose fundamentalism?

“Does it mean meekly accepting what British thrust upon us as someone was in a hurry to become PM and several generations being brought up  reading  his books and deifying him without being critical about  his mistakes?”

“The RSS has not demeaned him. It accepted his role in independent India. It is only they who say ‘not a dog‘ except one family did anything for bringing Independence eand so only that family can rule India,” another shot back.

The leaders are totally sane, maintain propriety – and let the fringe go on a rampage.

“Why not let Nehru and Indira be sent to oblivion by being written about?   Gandhi was killed NOT by Godse but  by these who made him a story, a fable, a deity whose memory is ritualized and values forgotten. The same will happen to Nehru and Indira. By a bid to black them out you revive them,” I replied.

Wellington Hospital in Delhi was renamed Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital during the Janata Party rule, after the staunchest opponent of the Congress. Lohia’s own Socialist Party created a ‘Mahatma Gandhi Slaughter House’ (post on Feb.1, 2091) by joining hands with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh elections and lost.

Few in Delhi knew who Wellington was but still called it Wellington Hospital. Now someone will ask “Who is Lohia?” Already people call it ‘RML Hospital.’














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B. Someswar Rao

60 years of journalism, from the age of 16, and two books later, life has so much more to offer, there is no looking back. Not yet. Unstoppable after 70 is a simple expression of my thoughts, my triumphs, my failures and everything that makes this journey incredible. My books: - A TOWN CALLED PENURY- the changing culture of Indian journalism - JOURNALISM - Ethics, Codes, Laws Working on: - 'THE OUTHOUSE ON THE FIRST FLOOR - Coming of (Old)Age in India'

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