Nehru being the first Prime Minister of India has had more negative impact than positive on Indians, or atleast the Hindus of Bharat.
The aforementioned statement is not based on my emotions or feelings but has factual backing. His ideologies, his decisions, maximum of them were contradictory and against the ideas and culture of this land.
Let’s look at some of his deeds which forced me to term his ‘Prime Ministership’ as a ‘Tradegy’ for Bharat:
1.Nehru decided against joining Cambridge because apparently, ‘it was becoming too full of Indians’:
Nehru had so much contempt for "Indians" that he wrote to his father on 15th July, 1910 (Source- Selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru) that he wanted to switch from Cambridge to Oxford because, "Cambridge is becoming too full of Indians".
2.Nehru opposed restoration of Somnath Temple because it would lead to Hindu Revivalism:
After India’s Independence and the accession of Junagarh State into Indian Union, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Union Home Minister, pledged that Somnath will be reconstructed and restored to its original glory. When Patel broached this subject with Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi endorsed the plan but said that the contribution for the reconstruction of the temple should come from the public. Patel accepted this advice.
With the demise of Patel, the task of the restoration of the temple was ably led by K M Munshi, a cabinet minister in then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s government. Munshi wrote , “I was clear in my mind that the temple of Somnath was not just an ancient monument; it lived in the heart of the whole nation and its reconstruction was a national pledge.”
However, Nehru never liked the idea of restoring this ancient monument, and “more than once criticised” Munshi for working for its reconstruction. Munshi was referred to in the Cabinet as someone “connected with Somnath”.
In the early months of 1951, just few weeks before the temple inauguration, the matter came to a head. At the end of a Cabinet meeting, Nehru called Munshi and said, “I don’t like your trying to restore Somnath. It is Hindu revivalism.”
Nehru had revealed his cards. He was haunted by the spectre of ‘Hindu revivalism’. Restoring an ancient monument, a place of immense veneration, which had been repeatedly obliterated, was according to Nehru an act of Hindu revivalism.
3.Nehru found Taj Mahal as one of the most beautiful things in the world. However, he was repelled by some South Indian temples, he found them ‘oppressive’:
In a speech in March 1959, PM Jawaharlal Nehru had said that while the the Taj Mahal was one of the most beautiful things ever built, but he was repelled by some South Indian temples, and found them oppressive. Speaking at the Lalit Kala Akademi’s seminar on Architecture, Nehru had described his contrasting feelings between the two different pieces of architecture.
“Architecture today can hardly be thought of, well, broadly speaking, in terms of the Taj Mahal,” he had said. “The Taj Mahal is, of course, one of the most beautiful things anywhere and it is a delight to the eye and to the spirit to see it. It represented, as all architecture represents to a large extent, the age in which it grew,” he said in the speech.
Nehru wasn’t nearly as charitable about the temples of south India. “Mr. Humayun Kabir referred to the great temples of the South and the Taj Mahal,” he began, referring to India’s Culture Minister Humanyun Kabir who’d spoken before him. “Well, they are beautiful. Some of the temples of the South, however, repel me in spite of their beauty. I just can’t stand them. Why? I do not know. I cannot explain that, but they are oppressive, they suppress my spirit. They do not allow me to rise, they keep me down. The dark corridors—I like the sun and air and not dark corridors,” he said. (Source- "Inaugural Address by Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister." In Seminar on Architecture, edited by Achyut Kanvinde, 5-9. New Delhi: Lalit Kala Akademi, 1959.).
4.Nehru’s reportedly insensitive and whimsical remark with respect to the loss of Aksai Chin to China:
About the loss of Aksai Chin, Nehru is reported to have said in Parliament “not a single blade of grass grows there.” Mahavir Tyagi, a senior Congress leader, pointed to his bald head and said: “Nothing grows here … should it be given away to somebody else?”
5.Favoured Socialism instead of free-market Capitalism:
Traditionally, India was always a free-market economy, built on trade and private enterprise.
However, Nehru famously said that ‘profit is a dirty word’. Nehru followed the Soviet model of economic policies where the state ran businesses such as industries to hotels. Taxes were high to ensure that regular citizens had minimal wealth and were dependent on the state. The spirit of entrepreneurship was discouraged.
These policies widened the income inequality and facilitated crony capitalism. They were also responsible for poisoning the minds of regular Indians to think entrepreneurs were immoral. It also caused the vilification of wealth and success. Despite economic liberalization, this mindset that prevails to this day.
6.Nehru Rejected Offer to Make Nepal Province of India:
Late President Pranab Mukherjee in his autobiography 'The Presidential Years' revealed that the first Prime Minister of India Pdt. Jawaharlal Nehru had rejected Nepal King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah's offer to make the Himalayan country a province of India. The incident has come to light through reports on the book 'The Presidential Years'. In chapter 11 titled 'My Prime Ministers: Different Styles, Different Temperaments', Mukherjee wrote about his views on the prime ministers and presidents of the country and their respective style of functioning. "Every PM has his or her own style of functioning. Lal Bahadur Shastri took positions that were very different from that of Nehru. There can be divergent perceptions among PMs, even if they happen to come from the same party, on issues such as foreign policy, security and internal administration," he wrote. According to him, PM Nehru was very diplomatic in dealing with Nepal as "After the Rana rule was replaced by the monarchy in Nepal, he wished for democracy to take root. Interestingly, Nepal's king, Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah, had suggested to Nehru that Nepal be made a province of India. But Nehru rejected the offer on the grounds that Nepal was an independent nation and must remain so".
7.Rejected Balochistan’s offer to join India:
Nehru also rejected an offer from the “King” or Khan of Kalat, Mir Ahmadyar Khan for Balochistan to accede to India. Once again Nehru did not comprehend the strategic importance of Balochistan which continues to face severe human rights violations under Pakistan.
The number of blunders committed by the reincarnation of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, Mr. Nehru cannot be summarised and compressed in one single article (maybe it’s time for me to write a book).
The whole idea behind this article is to establish the fact that India was immediately struck by another ‘Tradegy’, named ‘Nehru’, post Independence.
Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru
The Sunday Guardian