Pt. Nehru laid foundations of modern democracy: Baghel

A s a grateful nation pays homage to its first Prime Minister and arguably the most beloved of them all it is for all of us to look beyond a token commemoration and rediscover for ourselves what has been lost in the cacophony of shrill rhetoric. A reassertion of all those values and ideas that true leadership could and had delivered. For us to pick up this courage and speak truth in the face of an
intimidating power, we need to tap into these repositories of our collective courage and strength, that is our freedom movement when under these giant leaders we all picked courage to speak the truth in the face of colonial oppression and hegemony.
So when we join to commemorate the 55th death anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, we need to recollect this proud heritage of leadership, and the giant personality who had dwarfed all such forces who functioned as comprador to the colonial powers. Born into aristocracy, bestowed with, lineage, wealth, education and position he goes on to redefine and to choose for himself each
of these. His lineage was of the great intellectual and moral traditions of our national movement and the liberal and radical thinkers across the world, his wealth was handed over to the movement and returned in multiples as affection of the people, his education was his own Discovery of India which he earned through his long travels across his country and the trials and tribulations afflicted on him by the colonial forces and his position as a trustee of the collective faith and conscience of the people.
What do we need to reassert, the great freedom fighter, the unparalleled leader and Prime Minister who laid the foundations of a modern democracy, the statesman who emerged as a beacon of hope not only for global poor and exploited but also the geo-strategists whenever they failed to establish peace, or last but not the least the author who wrote letters to his daughter which could
compensate for his absence, bestseller books and was chosen the first president of the Sahitya Academy.
A freedom fighter who was in jail for more than 9 yrs, was the president of the Indian National Congress at the age of 40 when it passed the ‘Poorna Swaraj’ resolution, was again president in Faizpur when Congress adopted the problems of peasants as the central political challenge. We feel that 2018 was a Faizpur moment in Chhattisgarh when the Congress took up ‘Narwa, Garva, Ghurva and
Bari’, as its political concern. He was chosen successor of Gandhi way back in 1941 before any musing on government and premiership had begun and Rajaji whom he had replaced as the successor said on his death “eleven years younger than me, eleven times more important of the nation and eleven hundred times more beloved of the nation. Today we have this entire legacy questioned not by
history but by propaganda and we must fight back with the sanctity of pure communication as our weapon.
A leader and Prime Minister who had constitutionalism in his blood, who moves the bill of rights in the Nehru report in 1930 session, as well as the objective resolution of the constituent assembly. A democrat who called the session of Rajya Sabha during the Chinese conflict in 1962, a federalist who religiously kept writing his fortnightly letters to the Chief Ministers without expecting a reply for any, someone who oversaw the rearrangement of the entire provincial system by linguistic formation of states. An institution builder, whose vision saw a devastated post colonial economy invest in space and atomic science, institutions of eminence like the IITs and the IIMs, the harbingers of our IT revolution, Sahitya Academy, industrialization through public sectors in form of the Bhilai and Rourkela Steel Plants or the BHEL which formed the “commanding heights” of economy. Bhakra and Hirakud laid the ground for the green revolution a decade later. And above all a humanist, who moved the first amendment to protect land reforms and abolish ‘Zamindari’, someone with the moral authority to jump into a murderous mob with a baton and the mob disappears. Today when we see a land aquisition policy of forcible appropriation or the withering away of public sector for the benefit of crony capitalists, testified by the crisis in BSNL and ONGC, or the destruction of institutes of higher learning and even the abuse of scientific temper in Science Congress, we know that it is time to revisit Nehru. When we decided to return the unused land in Lohandiguda held by the state against the spirit of the 1st amendment, we tried to reaffirm our faith in it. How much ever we deny but the planning commission had served as the arbitrator of federal interests and a watchdog of resource exploitation and overuse. At a time when institutions like the judiciary, election commission, RBI and other constitutional bodies are wilting under the pressure of polarized polity and corporate might, I cannot overemphasize the importance of Nehru.
An internationalist at heart, he came up with the idea of non-alignment and thereby the fraternity of the poor. The messenger of peace in Korea, Suez and Indonesia. When Eisenhower came upfront to request and persuade Nehru to not think of retiring, for the world needed him. Reduced to a position when unwelcome hugs are defining diplomacy. The author had imbibed everything that the general consciousness of his civilization had to offer, who knew that the middle path and abjuring of extremes lay at the heart of our civilizational wisdom. who understands that a nation is formed by its people who share a common destiny, and this is what he reiterated when he said in his independence speech that “…we made a tryst with destiny, and the time has come that we redeem our pledge..”. We as a people, nation and state need to revisit this colossus of our heritage and his courage would rub upon us, so that we may reclaim truth as our ally in our fight against the tyranny of falsehood.

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