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  #1  
Old November 10th, 2013, 10:39 PM
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Post Out of my mind: Legacy Wars

I have found that Meghnad Sardesai is quite interesting to read.

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Out of my mind: Legacy Wars

Meghnad Desai : Sun Nov 03 2013, 02:33 hrs

Was Thomas Jefferson a pioneer of freedom or a hypocritical slave owner? Was Winston Churchill a war hero or a racist? The Americans and British debate such matters all the time. Indians are shy of debating even their recent history. The Congress, having nothing to show on the economic or governance front, is nervous that its last strong card its monopoly of Indian history is being challenged by Narendra Modi, who recently claimed Sardar Patel as his icon.

The Congress believes it made India's history all by itself the Independence movement led by Gandhi-Nehru and the Nehru-Gandhi years in government. Suddenly, Congress leaders are falling over each other praising Patel. But alas, their knowledge of their own history is fragile since the memory of Patel has been erased from books written by their house historians. Patel is now hailed as 'secular and liberal', and an enemy of the RSS. For those who were alive then, history is very different.

The Congress had, from 1885 onwards, a predominantly Hindu membership. This was inevitable because the Hindu elite had taken advantage of British education and joined new professions. Muslims lagged behind. Gandhiji tried to forge a united Hindu-Muslim struggle for Khilafat. When he abandoned it after Chauri-Chaura, he alienated Muslims.

The Congress never regained the support of the Muslims. The Motilal Nehru Report spurned Jinnah's request for seat sharing because the Hindu Mahasabha was against it. The Congress promised a coalition with the Muslim League in UP after the 1937 elections. When it got absolute majority, Nehru reneged on the promise. In the 1946 Constituent Assembly polls, the Congress did not win a single Muslim seat, despite the fact that Maulana Azad was its president.

The leadership of the party was largely Hindu. Nehru was isolated as a rare secular liberal leader who had the backing of a few 'nationalist' Muslims and socialists. And he was Gandhiji's choice for PM. The other leaders Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Purushottamdas Tandon were staunch Hindu traditionalists. Mountbatten first convinced Patel about why Partition made sense. Patel got Nehru to go along. Patel was much more staunchly anti-Pakistan than Nehru. They quarrelled about protecting Muslims in India, who were being attacked by refugees arriving from Pakistan. The Hindu traditionalist wing of the Congress wanted the RSS to merge with the Congress but Nehru was against this. The Nehru-Patel quarrel nearly split the government. They asked Gandhiji to intervene, but he was assassinated on the very day he was going to reconcile them.

This shook Patel. He was blamed for the lapse of security which led to Godse getting close to Gandhiji. The government remained tense. Nehru was Prime Minister, but did not dominate the party. Tandon, Kripalani, Patel and Prasad were more powerful. It was only after Patel's death in December 1950 that Nehru had Tandon removed from the post of president.

During the Fifties, Nehru neutralised JP, who then gave up politics. The Communist party decided to support him on the basis that Nehru led the progressive forces within the Congress and that the reactionary forces had to be countered. Who were these reactionary forces? They were the Hindu traditionalists. Patel, deemed their leader, was now gone. Prasad, Tandon and Rajaji were marginalised. Only Nehru remained as the sole Congress leader. And Gandhiji.

Once he was dominant, Nehru cracked the whip for secularism. Prasad wanted to inaugurate the restored Somnath temple but Nehru did not agree as it violated the code of secularism. It was K M Munshi who took the lead to promote Hindu revival with his movement to restore Somnath. Hindu revival thus became a Gujarati project. Patel may have been downgraded in Delhi, but he remained a Gujarati icon.

Indira Gandhi split the Congress in 1969. It was Gujarat which took the lead against her in 1974 with the Navanirman movement. Morarji Desai, ejected from the Congress by Indira, returned as the leader of the Janata Party to defeat her. It is this old Congress-Janata tradition which claims Patel as its icon. It is too late for the Congress to reclaim him.

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Old November 11th, 2013, 03:42 AM
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Re: Out of my mind: Legacy Wars

Quote:
Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
I have found that Meghnad Sardesai is quite interesting to read.
The original link says, the author is Meghnad Desai.

Interesting does not automatically mean correct. With no formal sources cited...I find it unbelievable that Mountbatten convinced Patel, who in turn convinced Nehru for partition. I'd be inclined to think that Mountbatten who leased lady Mountbatten to serve Nehru (Nehru's so called "romance" with Edwina is well documented), got Nehru in a bind to accept partition, who in turn prevailed upon Patel against his wishes to peacefully allow two nations to emerge. Gandhi being like Dhritrashtra could find no flaw in Nehru.
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Last edited by dhurandhar; November 11th, 2013 at 03:44 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 03:51 AM
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Re: Out of my mind: Legacy Wars

Actually gandu ji went on a fast on that issue having FAILED to convince Nehru to let JINNAH be the first PM of united india. Dunno if edwina's screw had anything to do with it or the fact that mountbatten was a homo it was allegedly a trio.. nehru,mb, and edwina.. but then that is a known fact.
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1937, bjp, congress, indian politics, khilafat, legacy, meghnad sardesai, mountbatten, narendra modi, purushottamdas tandon, rajendra prasad, sardar patel, sardesai, thomas jefferson, uttar pradesh, winston churchill


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