Patel as Prime Minister:Kashmir would have gone to Pakistan

Prime minister’s is an important constitutional post. The Prime Minister’s speech delivered after the President’s address unfortunately does not behove him and his office. As far as President’s address is concerned, it is a routine exercise in which he only reads out government’s policies. Moreover, a little sledging and interruption is part and partial of parliamentary proceedings. Perhaps, Modi-ji is the first prime minister, who resorted to unceasing attack on the opposition, whereas the opposite of it should be the case. The ghost of Nehru still haunts them; he is still a thorn in their flesh. Although Mahatma Gandhi has been owned by the BJP, he is still look down by RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha. As a matter of fact they should draw a line for themselves if they long to command people’s respect. Besides, the prime minister in his speech pointed out three mistakes of Nehru: partition, Kashmir and corruption. I don’t have any objection in criticizing Nehru, but for me it is inappropriate to make erroneous claims.

As far as the issue of partition was concerned the views of both Nehru and Sardar Patel were one and the same. A false narrative is being constructed that they were having differencesr on partition, whereas the condition laid down by Jinnah to avoid partition was unacceptable to them. Jinnah wanted equal representation of Hindus and Muslims in the assembly. I challenge the prime minister to accept in public that equal representation in the assembly was a better option than the partition. In my view under the circumstances whatever Nehru and Patel did was a rational decision and in the interest of Hindus. Instead of maligning our leaders, we should admit that they chose the best option available at the time of the partition. Furthermore, in case of united India, today the Muslim population would have exceeded 40 crores mark. Now one may ask when you are not able to deal with 15 percent Muslims, how would you have dealt with 40 crore of them?

India should be thankful to Nehru for Kashmir

The PM’s remark about Kashmir was either due to his ignorance or he intended to score a brownie point against the Congress. India and Pakistan came into existence under the India Independent Act, 1947. Out of more than 500 princely states three states – Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir – did not accede to India. The issue got tangled because Hindus were in majority in Hyderabad and Junagarh rulers, Nizam and Nawab, were Muslims; exactly opposite was the case in Kashmir, Muslims were in majority and the King, Maharaja Hari Singh, was a Hindu. The matter got complicated when the Nizam of Hyderabad expressed his desire to remain independent and Nawab of Junagarh intended to accede with Pakistan. In this backdrop Sardar Patel told Mountbatten to talk to Maharaja Hari Singh to make up his mind. Mountbatten asked Patel should he talk to Pakistan in this regard. Patel said he had no objection. Now the assertion that Patel as prime minister would have kept whole Kashmir with India is untrue.

Being a Kashmir Pandit, Jawaharlal Nehru had special liking for the place. Sheikh Abdullah, the undisputed leader of the people, was unwilling to join an Islamic country. He had immense faith in Gandhi and Nehru. The accession of the state to Pakistan was prevented largely due to the perseverance of Nehru and conviction of Sheikh Abdullah, the Maharaja would not have done anything. Under Jinnah’s supervision Pakistan sent its troops to Kashmir, which almost were knocking at the doors of the Maharaja. Then he sought India’s help. Jawaharlal Nehru replied that you are a sovereign, defend yourself. Then Hari Singh, on certain preconditions, quickly acceded to India on 26 October 1947. The Indian Army came into action and halted Pakistani’s advance. The line on which Pakistani army was halted became Line of Control (LoC), which is still there. The BJP should thank Nehru for preventing Jammu, Hindus majority area, from going to Pakistan. Now only one option to work out a solution for the Kashmir problem is to talk between India and Pakistan. During Musharraf’s visit to India a document was finalized in his meeting with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The RSS amended that document four times. In the end Advani-ji with the help of RSS jettisoned that agreement. Today, the burden of whatever happening in Kashmir lies on the shoulders of the RSS.

Prime Minister passed a comment on Renuka Chowdhury’s laughter. On this, Venkaiah Naidu, undermining the dignity of his post, asked Renuka-ji to visit a doctor if she had any ailment. You have chosen an inappropriate person as Vice-President. When Venkaiah Naidu was making his intervention, Modi-ji, stopped him, saying “Chairman Sir, let Renukaji say what she wishes to say. For the first time after the Ramayana serial, we are encountering such a laugh.” Such kind of remark by the prime minister against an opposition woman MP is not appropriate.

Nehru is not responsible for corruption

Nothing could be more ridiculous than blaming Nehru for rampant corruption that besets the country. In Nehru’s era corruption was at a low. It took root during Indira Gandhi’s regime. But you won’t go against Indira ji, because she was instrumental in breaking Pakistan. Nehru was dead against corruption. There is an example which makes the thing straight. A person, whose son later become a senor Congress leader, inadvertently got Congress ticket from a parliamentary constituency in Madhya Pradesh in 1952. When Nehru went to campaign for him, Congress workers expressed their dismay over giving ticket to a corrupt man against whom an inquiry was underway. Nehru got stunned. He publically asked people to vote against that person. This was Nehru’s level. The most important contribution of Nehru was granting every citizen right to vote. He was opposed and asked to grant voting rights only to income tax payers and land owners. But Nehru did not buzz, and due to those rights a person like me speaks out against the government.

Solution to Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid: BJP played spoilsport

When the structure of the Babri Masjid was intact and Chandrasekhar ji was the prime minister, he made an earnest effort to resolve the dispute. He convened a meeting of Hindus and Muslims, with Bhairo Singh Shekhawat from the BJP and Sharad Pawar from the Congress as observers. Both the parties agreed to a settlement, Muslims agreed to withdraw their claim from the disputed cite and construct a mosque on an alternative with additional assurance that no future dispute of this nature will be raked up. That agreement did not see the light of the day because Chandrashekhar ji’s government fell. Then P.V. Narasimha Rao became prime minister, and the RSS and the BJP in order to push their agenda escalated the matter. In fact they purposely kept the issue alive and six months later the mosque was demolished. That was an absolutely vandalism. It was like stabbing Muslims in the chest. This is not the way to run the country. Sadly, even today this perennial problem continues to take the centre stage. The matter is in the Supreme Court. Now, the court will decide where Lord Ram was born! Hindus and Muslims live together in six lakh villages across the country including those in Ayodhya. The issue should be settled with mutual understanding and consent. It is not a holy place for Muslims like Mecca and Medina. But yes, they want that whatever settlement is made that should be respectful, not to hurt any community.

You came to power winning a majority of 282 seats. It is impossible to alter the Constitution with 282 seats in four years, but you can gradually improve the errors that have crept into our system. Nehru’s biggest contribution is that our democracy is safe. Take a look at Pakistan. In the first eleven years of its existence, seven prime ministers were changed. In 1958, Army Chief General Ayub Khan took the rein in his own hands, saying they are not capable enough to run the government, and he took over in 1958. Since then, the army has been ruling the country in some form or another. Nehru kept the country absolutely safe of any such adventurism. He kept the Army in its barracks; there was no question of any interference from them in civilian government. After Nehru, government changed many hands, which is what happens in democracy. Democracy is India’s biggest ornament. You want to transform it. Tell us what are your plans?

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Tasaduq Nakash

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