Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect
Later this month , Jawaharlal Nehru’s 47th death anniversary will be observed with the usual solemnity at Shanti Vana in Delhi. Most people in India have some measure of respect for the nation’s first Prime Minister- Jawaharlal Nehru. Some or even many of his policies and ideological orientation seem flawed by today’s understanding but very few will deny him his place as one of the founders of modern India and by any yardstick a statesman and the one who cemented our still surviving democracy.
Looking at the political churn that all our immediate neighbors seem to be going through , it seems but natural to be grateful for the fact that he lived for 17 years after independence and was the stabilizing influence in a feudal society that was hardly conversant with the niceties of Westminster style parliamentary democracy.
During his long innings in parliament , he chose to contest from Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh which hasn’t been as lucky as Amethi and Rae Bareli in in the people it has sent to parliament in the post Nehru era. But History has played a cruel joke on Jawaharlal Nehru — a bandana-wearing mafia don who is accused of murder has taken his place. Everything about Atiq Ahmad is quietly sinister, down to the curl of his mustache. But his fawning followers compare him with the first Prime Minister of India.
Uttar Pradesh has come a long way in its journey in democracy. The Congress Party of Panditji is a distant number four or so in the stakes for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections which are on now. What is sad or baleful about th the whole matter is not the decline of the Congress Party but the brand of “peoples’ representatives” that have now taken the place of the late Prime Minister.
The bigger joke on Nehru is not who represents Phulpur in parliament but what kind of person does and the state of the polity in Uttar Pradesh mired as it is between Bahu balis like Atiq or obscurantists like Yogi Adityanath , who don religious garb and practice a kind of politics that was abhorrent to the progressive , forward thinking and secular minded Nehru. Besides, today it finds itself caught in a vicious web of caste politics.
Nehru garnered support from all sections of society and irrespective of ideological affinities was respected by most as a statesman and a humanist.. Today the voting pattern is determined by caste equations: the Yadavs back the Samajwadi Party; the Brahmins support the Bharatiya Janata Party; and the Dalits go along with the Bahujan Samaj Party. And it is not that these parties are any more ideologically pure either.
The Samajwadi party has lost its socialist mooring, the BSP is all things to all people as it realizes that the Bahujan vote alone is not sufficient in electoral politics and the BJP is supposedly open if necessary , to prop a SP led government , to keep the Congress out of any share in the power game. Along the way , the egalitarian society that Nehru dreamed off has fragmented as society fragments along caste lines , propped up by his own Congress led government. Nehru is passe and his ideology obsolete – and no where is it more evident than his parliamentary constituency of Phulpur.
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