THE MEN BEHIND THE IDOLS

Indians have no dearth of gods .we have 330 million of them accumulated over 5000 years  and a few hundreds who got inducted recently . But the interesting fact is that once they cross the threshold of divinity , these erstwhile human beings  loss  all their human attributes and become objects of unconditional worship .If  anyone dared to dissect their life on a humanly scale he is subjected to inquisition ,labelled heretic and ex communicated . This remains the standard  procedure to silence those out of pitch voices who tries to examine the authenticity of fables woven around ancient figures or those surrounding  post modern gods like Gandhi and Nehru.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the evolution of Krishna cult centered around lord Krishna , it would be interesting to find that the Krishna we worship today is derived from three stories .one centered around an ancient king named Krishna from 1000 BCE , a folk hero named vasudeva from 200 BCE   and a vedic god named vishnu . If we look at Lord Krishna as a man , the most striking feature would be his mastery of realpolitik which was  instrumental in turning a family feud into  a war of epic proportions . This shrewdness and manipulation tactics of his, made him the favorite of bards who retold the legendary puru war a million times , With the absorption of the vasudeva cult centered around Mathura he became a folk hero and ultimately the god with him being identified as vedic vishnu . once this man attained godliness his imperfections were brushed aside or polished to be made compatible with the new stature . Hence his is thirst for power was renamed karma and his follies became dharma .  Even with all these reinventions over the years he shows human vulnerabilities through out the epic  the dilemmas he faced at the face of total annihilation in front of a magadhan army led by jarasandha , his brilliant military tactics throughout the Mahabharata war which in all cases sacrificed ethics for victory and most importantly as a political mastermind who won the war without even fighting.

This phenomenon of bestowing divinity to men still continues , post independence it was  Mahatma Gandhi’s turn . Gandhi is portrayed today on a scale which is nothing short of what  lord krishna enjoys , A human being with all the godly features who always took the right decisions , even it meant calling off mass agitations just when they were to bear fruits . But if we remove the veil we could find a whole new person to whom we can all relate to .we could easily relate to a man who was a staunch supporter of the empire (the system) , slowly discovering himself to become its greatest nemesis ,  But we rarely get to see that part of him in popular narrations. But why bestow godliness to every one ? Divinity was a weapon employed during medieval times when rationality was a taboo and banned , but today the times have changed we respect imperfections . The current hue and cry over Pandit Nehru could be seen as the final step of him attaining divinity . . The Nehruvian historians and the congress party must accept Pandit Nehru for who he was and not as what they think of him , His not so appreciable record in the economic front and the biased  foreign policy cannot be whitewashed . Even with these  he will be remembered as the man who built India brick by brick .

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1975

emergency to me like most  born in the late 1980s is a dark period in our history , something which came down to us through vivid narrations , , It was Mrs Gandhi’s attempt at being the “Indian Empress” by imposing her will on a country of over half a billion. The excesses of the period are a topic of discussion even today , literature abound with detailS , whether it be “Midnights Children” or the movie “Hazaroon khwaishein aisi” . Ironically rarely does these discussions proceed to the question of – why emergency was imposed? , we don’t know much about Mr jayaprakash narayan before 1970s ,and  to the few who knew him the details are sketchy , still he is one of the revered saints of our time.

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The JP movement from a constitutional point of view was equally unlawful  as the emergency was and to an equally violent . The movement taken out against a democratically elected government is undemocratic right from its conception, and to this if we add the geographical limitation of the movement it looses its pan India appeal.. After the 1971 war Indira Gandhi had started showing signs of despotism , but mere signs  cannot be taken an excuse to ask for her resignation before the end of her term . The elections were due in 1976 but  Mr JP intensified his agitation in 1974 itself , Like a normal politician  he could have waited for the democratic process to  bring about change , but what he did was unwarranted . With his support base he tried to stall the functioning of the government and oust Mrs Gandhi through undemocratic means , which ultimately led to the events of 1975 .

I am in no way supporting Mrs Gandhi for what she did or the doings of her “princeling” , Emergency was and will remain a blot on our democracy , but painting JP in white and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in black is not fair . It is hard to digest the story of the socialist leader who retired from politics for serving the society suddenly donning the role of a messiah of the masses . He too had political ambitions , may be he regretted his initial decision to retire, during the final days  .comparing the JP movement to Gandhiji’s civil disobedience movement is stupidity . While Mrs Gandhi was thrust into power by the people on a huge majority , the British were not . Even at the Zenith of the movement against her Mrs Gandhi was still an all India force  , while JP was not.  this was latter proved by the dissipation of the janatha government at the same speed with which it came to power.

while discussing emergency we take JP for granted , but his intentions still remain a mystery . but solely blaming Indira Gandhi  for 1975 is not kind on the legacy of a leader of her stature.

NEHRU’S INDIA

nehru’s experiment of what came to be india , is much debated these days , especially for the huge bureaucracy and the associated corruption it has given rise to ,with some of those commentators   terming it a total failure . as another independence day approaches , it is time for a bit of introspection of what we as have become.

at the time of independence there were two antagonistic views of how india must move forward. the gandhian and nehruvian path.the first to me , a third generation free indian is a bit insane. gandhi was in favor of grama swaraj , an utopia were villages were self sufficient and the nation was nothing but a federation of these villages. in a world were nationalism is worn on sleeves such a federation would have broken up years ago , with a weak center we didn’t even stood a chance . that is were nehrus india out shined . though much of the government of india act of 1935 was blindly copied , it did give us a sense of unity , particularly in those formative years. today it has become the backbone of modern india .

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as the fizzling out of the arab spring showed us changes should always be assimilated with time , hence nehru’s decision to adopt  the colonial system was the best decision  made at the time . he planned to slowly adapt it to the indian climate. but his grand visions for a better india was destroyed by none other than his own daughter. being the politician she is , she adapted the system for her benefit imprinting into the indian psyche the bureaucracy that we have. if we look back it is more than clear that since 1970s no real change have taken place as far as our system goes and the later governments following indiras path nehruvianism was abandoned.

it is indira who should be blamed for what we have today and not nehru rather he must be admired for his work of uniting us into a country that is slowly emerging on the world stage.