By Ram Puniyani
As BJP releases its manifesto, what strikes one is absence of any mention of what their previous promises achieved, as same promises are being repeated with a stronger dose of ultra-nationalism. In public speeches, its’ leaders are attributing the failures of their Government to Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. While speaking in one of the public meetings the Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, criticizing Narendra Modi said, “He has an obsession with our family. He says Nehru did this, Indira Gandhi did this, but Modiji what did you do, you must say what you did in five years?” In addition even in the matters of failure of their diplomacy and policy in relation to other countries, blame is squarely put on Nehru in some or the other way.
In the aftermath of Pulwama, Balakot strike, the UN condemned the act of terror and there was a move to put international sanctions against Jaish-E-Mohammad Chief Masood Azar. China blocked the move. In response, Rahul Gandhi went in to critique Modi for his failure to take matters with China so that they could support the sanctions against this Pakistan based terrorist organization. Retaliating to this simple criticism, the BJP spokespersons Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr Ravishakar Prasad, asserted that it is due to Nehru that China is in United Nations Security Council. Prasad tweeted, “China wouldn’t be in UNSC had your great-grandfather, not ‘gifted’ it to them at India’s cost,” and that India’s first Prime Minister had offered the United Nations Security Council seat to China. He quoted Shashi Tharoor’s book, ‘Nehru: The Invention of India’. This was a distorted presentation of what Tharoor has argued in the book.
This is one of the methods of the BJP and affiliates; to distort the facts of history, even the recent one to make their political point. One knows how they have distorted the medieval history to demonize today’s Muslims; one knows how they have twisted history of early India to show that Aryans were the original natives of this land. Now one sees even the contemporary history; hardly that of last few decades stands mauled in their hands. It is not out of ignorance, it is out of deliberate designs that they indulge in these distortions. We know that when United Nations was formed at the end of Second World War, five big nations of the World, United States, Britain, Russia, France and China were to be the permanent members of the Security Council of the UN, endowed with Veto power. China was that time ruled by Chiang Kai Shek and was called Republic of China (RoC). With success of revolution of Mao Tse Tung, Chiang Kai Shek escaped to Taiwan and continued to call his regime as RoC. Meanwhile, Communist Party established People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the mainland with all the population, barring the one in Taiwan occupied by Chian Kai Shek.
Shashi Tharoor in a series of tweets clarified the real chronology of the events. He pointed out due to change of regime in China Nehru called on the other Permanent Members to admit Communist China (PRC) to the UN and give it the Permanent seat held by Taiwan. US understood the objection to RoC but were unwilling to admit the Communist PRC. In this context, it was suggested that India take over the Chinese permanent seat. Nehru felt this was wrong & would compound one injustice to China with another. He said the RoC seat should be given to PRC & India should one day get a permanent seat in its own right. As per Tharoor, and as facts bear out India could not have occupied this seat as it would require an amendment to UN Charter and the US would not permit any such modification.
It was much larger that Communist China was accorded the permanent membership, replacing Chaing Kai Shek regime. The main issue for Nehru was to see that communist China becomes part of the World body. Also, he knew of the diverse interests of the United States on one hand and USSR on the other. Nehru was no one to offer the seat to PRC.
The latest on the scene of such distortions is Mr Modi is saying that India’s partition took place due to Congress. This is most preposterous lie in many decades. It not only shows the lack of knowledge of the dynamics of the partition tragedy of India on the part of Modi, it also shows how Modi associates are sharpening their biases to suit their world view. The tragedy of India’s partition was mainly due to the British policy of divide and rule, well assisted by Savarkar’s ‘Two-Nation theory, which regarded that there are two nations in India, the Muslim nation and Hindu nation. This got its mirror image support from the ideology of Muslim League who regarded that the Muslim elite have been a Muslim nation from last many centuries.
The malicious propaganda against Nehru-Congress may strike a cord with few unsuspecting elements but even a cursory glance at the contemporary history will tell us the massive all-round progress achieved during last several decades. It may be in the field of education, science, technology, health, laying the foundations of modern industries or modern irrigation, Nehru’s leadership was a major point in transformation of India from a predominantly agricultural economy to the present industrial and Information technology era. All the IITs, AIIMS, CSIR, BARC and series of public sector industries are a testimony of the vision for the builder of modern India, Jawaharlal Nehru, who not only succeeded in locating our place in the global chessboard but also saw that modernization in various fields is the key to uplift of the country from the abysmal condition in which British had left us after their plunder project drained us of our valuable resources and riches. Since BJP knows Nehru is the axis of modern democratic India, as opposed to their agenda of sectarianism they are out to criticize him by distorting the facts.