Jawaharlal Nehru, a visionary leader who dreamt of a great India, has seen his legacy diminished by the current leader of his own party, reducing him to the level of a local religious figure. This ironic situation reflects a lack of grace within the party’s leadership. Nehru’s deification was driven by Congress’ vote politics, creating an aura around him with socialist principles, big dams, state-controlled economy, and secularism. However, his reputation suffered significant blows due to his mishandling of the Kashmir issue and strained relationships with key colleagues like Sardar Patel.
Nehru’s actions regarding Kashmir revealed a questionable approach. Instead of condemning Pakistan for its aggression and demanding the return of the forcibly occupied territories, Nehru corresponded with the Pakistani Prime Minister in a guilt-ridden manner, advocating for a plebiscite under international auspices. His strained relationship with Patel and his opposition to the reconstruction of the Somnath temple further exemplified his divisive approach. Nehru’s economic vision and ideologies like Panchsheel and non-alignment failed to deliver the desired results, ultimately hindering India’s progress.
Nehru’s legacy has suffered as his party’s current leader diminishes his significance, highlighting a lack of grace in the party’s leadership. Nehru’s mishandling of the Kashmir issue, strained relationships with key colleagues, and failure to achieve economic progress have tarnished his reputation. The nation’s progress was eventually realized through the efforts of leaders like Sardar Patel and P.V. Narasimha Rao, who worked to undo the economic damage caused by Nehru’s policies and to steer India towards a brighter future.