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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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.

DISCOVERY OF NEHRU

Discovery of India was there on my flipkart wishlist for a long time.i had till last month never though myself ready to read it , as i started reading , the book quickly got hold of me . internship came as a boon as i could be in it 24*7 even in the clinic. there are many view points at looking at Nehru , but over the years the minority views were suppressed and he was made a divinity like Gandhi. so for a guy in his mid twenties this book opened up Nehru more as a human being than the god that he is perceived to be.

the book is aptly titled a classic that it is , for its narration. opening at the Indus valley it passes smoothly through Vedas , Mauryas , Guptas and the sultans to reach 1944. for someone who calls himself an atheist his knowledge of Indian philosophy and advaita comes out as a revelation.for me the book really starts with the advent of British , to have the first hand narration of the freedom movement. the stubbornness of Indian national congress over partition is barely emphasized these days , Nehru vehemently opposed the idea and could rarely meet eye to eye with Jinnah. the decision taken not to support the Nazis and japan during the second world war is praiseworthy . Nehru was totally against the tactics of Indian national army and Subhash Chandra boss to side with Japanese as he believed that such an alliance would just change the imperial government at Delhi.

the book presents the constant turmoil both inside and outside , that compelled him to look at things at a new angle , from the past . so at Ahmadnagar fort he slowly unravels . the author may come out a bit too western for an average Indian for his constant references to Greek , roman and European literature , but his understanding of the Indian problems were equally deep. though a prophet of industrialization , he was of the view that india could prosper only with villages as autonomous units. the foreign policy doctrine and the non aligned movement were evident in his writing.he looked up to the African and Asian countries for guidance especially china , which he considered as the eternal friend of ours. hence it was not surprising to imagine his initial reactions in 1962.

the book opens itself in bits and as it reaches the final pages you would feel your heart heavy with pride . Mr Nehru i feel privileged to know you in person.