Friday, 29 July 2016

Nehru's 97 Major Blunders

JUNE 2018
Nehru's 97 Major Blunders

HIGHLIGHTS: Now comprises
(1) 122 Major Blunders, that is, 25 more Major Blunders.
(2) About twice the matter, and twice the number of words (1,35,000).
(3) Exhaustive citations and complete bibliography.

"Nehru's 97 Major Blunders"
Revised & Enlarged, but Abridged Version of the Above
Published by
Pustak Mahal

But for a series of major blunders by Nehru across the spectrum--it would not be an exaggeration to say that he blundered comprehensively--India would have been on a rapidly ascending path to becoming a shining, prosperous, first-world country by the end of his term, and would surely have become so by early 1980s—provided, of course, Nehru’s dynasty had not followed him to power. Sadly, Nehru era laid the foundations of India’s poverty and misery, condemning it to be forever a developing, third-rate, third-world country. By chronicling those blunders, THIS BOOK HIGHLIGHTS THE FACTS BEHIND THE FACADE.

Blunders is used in this book as a general term to also include failures, neglect, wrong policies, bad decisions, despicable or disgraceful acts, usurping undeserved posts, etc.

It is not the intention of this book to be critical of Nehru, but historical facts, that have often been distorted or glossed over or suppressed must be known widely, lest the mistakes be repeated, and so that India has a brighter future.
Study the past, if you would divine the future.
— Confucius

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
—George Santayana

"Taking all facts into consideration, it seemed to me that Jawaharlal should be the new President [of Congress in 1946—and hence Prime Minister]… I acted according to my best judgement but the way things have shaped since then has made me to realise that this was perhaps the greatest blunder of my political life..."
—Abul Kalam Azad, ‘India Wins Freedom’

"My second mistake was that when I decided not to stand myself, I did not support Sardar Patel. We differed on many issues but I am convinced that if he had succeeded me as Congress President he would have seen that the Cabinet Mission Plan was successfully implemented. He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal which gave Mr. Jinnah an opportunity of sabotaging the Plan. I can never forgive myself when I think that if I had not committed these mistakes, perhaps the history of the last ten years would have been different..."
—Abul Kalam Azad, ‘India Wins Freedom’

"I am afraid Nehru is responsible for the prolongation of the [J&K] problem through his willingness to compromise at every stage. Had Vallabhbhai [Patel] been the man to handle the Kashmir question, he would have settled it long ago. At least, he would never have settled with a partial control of Jammu & Kashmir. He would have occupied the whole of the State and would never have allowed it to be elevated to international importance."
—NV Gadgil, a Minister in the Nehru Cabinet

"Sardar [Patel] was aware of the influence which Lord Mountbatten exercised over both Pandit Nehru and Gandhiji; often that influence was decisive... Sardar had made up his mind that Hyderabad [Princely State] must fit into his policy regarding the Indian states... I know how deeply anguished he used to feel at his helplessness in settling the problem with his accustomed swiftness... the decision about the Police Action in Hyderabad in which case Sardar [Patel] described the dissent of Rajaji and Pandit Nehru as ‘the wailing of two widows as to how their departed husband [meaning Gandhiji] would have reacted to the decision involving such a departure from non-violence.’"
—V Shankar in ‘My Reminiscences of Sardar Patel’

"I hope I am not seeing ghosts and phantoms, but I see the murder of Tibet recoiling on India."
—Dr Rajendra Prasad

"I [Sardar Patel] have been eating my heart out because I have not been able to make him [Nehru] see the dangers ahead. China wants to establish its hegemony over South-East Asia. We cannot shut our eyes to this because imperialism is appearing in a new garb...He is being misled by his courtiers. I have grave apprehensions about the future."
—Sardar Patel on Tibet and China

"This great doctrine [‘Panchsheel’ signed by Nehru] was born in sin, because it was enunciated to put the seal of our approval upon the destruction of an ancient nation [Tibet] which was associated with us spiritually and culturally... It was a nation which wanted to live its own life and it sought to have been allowed to live its own life..."
—Acharya Kriplani

"I have been betrayed by a friend. I am sorry for Tibet."
(Naive people keep getting betrayed!)

"It is completely impracticable for the Chinese Government to think of anything in the nature of invasion of India. Therefore I rule it out..."
—Arun Shourie quoting Nehru in ‘Are we deceiving ourselves again?’

"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable."
—Sun Tzu

"I can tell this House that at no time since our independence, and of course before it, were our defence forces in better condition, in finer fettle...than they are today. I am not boasting about them or comparing them with any other country’s, but I am quite confident that our defence forces are well capable of looking after our country."
—Nehru’s statement in the Parliament before India-China War

"I hope I am not leaving you as cannon fodder for the Chinese. God bless you all."
—India’s army chief KS Thimayya in his farewell speech in 1961

"Things went so wrong [in India-China War] that had they not happened it would have been difficult to believe them."
—S Gopal, Nehru's official biographer

"We were getting out of touch with reality in the modern world and we were living in an artificial atmosphere of our creation..."

"We feel India has been ill-repaid for her diplomatic friendliness toward Peking... Difficult to say the Chinese have deliberately deceived us... We may have deceived ourselves..."

"I am convinced that the only key to the solution of the world’s problems and of India’s problems lies in socialism... If the future is full of hope it is largely because of Soviet Russia and what it has done, and I am convinced that, if some world catastrophe does not intervene, this new civilisation will spread to other lands and put an end to the wars and conflicts which capitalism feeds... Socialism is thus for me not merely an economic doctrine which I favour; it is a vital creed which I hold with all my head and heart..."
—Nehru in his presidential address at the Lucknow Congress, 1936

"Mr Jawaharlal Nehru returned from Cambridge with notions of how an all-governing interventionist state can force people into happiness and prosperity through socialism... He sticks to this bias in spite of the demonstration of world experience against it... I hate the present folly and arrogance as much as I hated the foreign arrogance of those [British] days."

"He [Nehru] had no idea of economics. He talked of Socialism, but he did not know how to define it. He talked of social justice, but I told him he could have this only when there was an increase in production. He did not grasp that. So you need a leader who understands economic issues and will invigorate your economy.
—Chester Bowles, the then US Ambassador to India

"While I usually came back from meeting Gandhiji elated and inspired but always a bit sceptical, and from talks with Jawaharlal [Nehru] fired with emotional zeal but often confused and unconvinced, meetings with Vallabhbhai [Patel] were a joy from which I returned with renewed confidence in the future of our country. I have often thought that if fate had decreed that he, instead of Jawaharlal, would be younger of the two, India would have followed a very different path and would be in better economic shape than it is today."
— JRD Tata

"Nehru’s inability to rise above his deep-rooted Marxist equation of Western capitalism with imperialism, and his almost paranoid, partly aristocratic, distrust of free enterprise in its most successful form as ‘vulgar’, cost India dearly in retarding its overall development for the remaining years of his rule, as well as for the even longer reign of his more narrowly doctrinaire daughter."
—Stanley Wolpert, ‘Nehru: A Tryst with Destiny’

"Nehru rooted India’s foreign policy in abstract ideas rather than a strategic conception of national interests. He disdained alliances, pacts, and treaties, seeing them as part of the old rules of realpolitik, and was uninterested in military matters...Nehru tended to put hope above calculation. When he was warned that Communist China would probably seek to annex Tibet, for example, he doubted it, arguing that it would be foolish and impractical adventure. And even after Beijing did annex Tibet in 1951, Nehru would not reassess the nature of Chinese interests along India’s northern border…"
—Fareed Zakaria, ‘The Post-American World'

“You know, I never go to Nehru to seek advice or guidance. I take a decision and just present it to him as a fait accompli. Nehru’s mind is too complex to wrestle with the intricacies of a problem. Those who go to him for advice rarely get a lead—and that only serves to delay matters... Nehru does not understand economics, and is lead by the nose by ‘professors’ and ‘experts’ who pander to his whims and fancies... We should have absorbed Kashmir for good and all... I do not know where we are going. The country needs a man like Patel.”
—Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Nehru’s close friend and confidant

“Poor countries are poor because those who have power make choices that create poverty.” Such countries develop “extractive” institutions that “keep poor countries poor”.
—Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson in ‘Why Nations Fail’
(Nehru laid the foundations of ‘Extractive Institutions’)

Malcolm Muggeridge, after seeing Nehru shortly before his death, characterized him as “a man of echoes and mimicry, the last viceroy rather than the first leader of a liberated India”,  and regretted that Nehru was much too British in his approach to have been able to bring about significant or radical changes in India.
— Sankar Ghose in ‘Jawaharlal Nehru, a Biography’

I am the last Englishman to rule India!

"…in my likes and dislikes I was perhaps more an Englishman than an Indian. I looked upon the world from an Englishman’s standpoint."

"He [Nehru] is a friend of the English people. Indeed, he is more English than Indian in his thought and make-up. He is often more at home with Englishmen than with his own countrymen."
—Mahatma Gandhi

Jawahar wants Englishmen to go but Angreziat to stay. I want Angreziat to go but Englishmen to remain as our friends.
—Mahatma Gandhi

"...several ministers who used to squat on the floor and eat off brass plates or plantain leaves in their homes were now trying to ape Western ways. They contended that Nehru considered only Westernised people modern..."
—Durga Das, ‘India from Curzon to Nehru & After’

"Nehru was completely out of touch with the Indian life even of his time, except with the life of the self-segregating Anglicised set of upper India who lived in the so-called Civil Lines."
—Nirad Chaudhuri, ‘Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, Part-II’

(Nirad further said that Nehru had little understanding of the actual India life or culture or of Hinduism; and was a snob, contemptuous of those who spoke English with an Indian accent.) 

My Other Book
(NOT a substitute for the book above.)
"Foundations of Misery :
The Nehruvian Era

Click here for KindleDigital Edition Below :
Foundations of Misery goes into the details of the background, history and particulars of the Integration of the Indian StatesKashmir: BCE to 1950sTibet: Erasing a NationHimalayan Misadventure (India-China War); The Sinhala & the Tamils (On Sri-Lankan Tamil Problem); India’s Self-Inflicted PovertySocialism, Babudom & CorruptionBeing Foreign to Foreign Policy (Disastrous Policies on External Affairs); Ill-informed Internal PoliciesMental & Cultural SlaveryDistortion of History & Cultural HeritageDynacracy (Dynastic Democracy), and so on.

The book attempts to unravel the mystery and the truth in-depth on why India remains a poor, pathetic, third-rate, third-world country. How's it that India got so left behind? What was it that India did, or did not do, after independence, that everything is so abysmal and pathetic. Why an overwhelming majority of millions of Indians continue to be condemned to a life of unmitigated misery. 

What are the foundations of this misery?

And why all this unmitigated misery despite the overwhelming advantage of India as a nation with first-rate people,  plentiful natural resources, grand civilisational heritage, rich culture and languages, unmatched ethical and spiritual traditions, and relatively much better position in all fields—infrastructure, trained manpower, bureaucracy, army—at the time of independence compared to many east-Asian nations who have since overtaken us. 

Why did India fail to leverage such rich assets of a gifted country?

Incidents, information and revelations that would shock common readers and would make them exclaim: 'Oh God, was this so? I didn't know!' Not that the facts or revelations are new, only they are not commonly known.

There are significant differences between my this book and my other book 'Nehru's 97 Major Blunders'. Each serves a different purpose, and one is NOT a substitute, or a summary, for the other. 'Nehru's 97 Major Blunders' has a much wider coverage on blunders, but does not go into the details and history like this book does.

For other books by the Author, and for their details, and “from where to procure”, please check:

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Rajnikant Puranik
July 29, 2016
Updated: June 2018

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