We all know him as Jawaharlal Nehru- the first Prime Minister of free India. Among children he is popularly known as ‘Chacha’ Nehru and Children’s day in India is celebrated in memory of his birthday- 14th November. We always take his name with pride and believe that he is one of those personalities who contributed immensely for India to attain its Independence. We even consider him as one of the greatest Indians who ever lived. But, there is a gap between reality and rhetoric. In Jawaharlal Nehru’s case it’s not a gap, it’s a chasm. There are clouds over who distorted our history but, it is true that our history is distorted. We are a part of an agenda. Who we think as a great man actually is often considered guilty of committing multiple mistakes which has the cost our nation dearly. We all have read in our textbooks that our first Prime Minister had love for the country, was very well educated, loved children the most etc. Why aren’t his actions and decisions considered in our text books? Three horrendous mistakes by Jawaharlal Nehru are mentioned below-
Appointment of V.K Krishna Menon and the debacle of 1962-
Jawaharlal Nehru was the ‘Vitto’ after India attained Independence. After Gandhi’s assassination, nobody could challenge his power. He made a horrendous blunder by appointing V.K Krishna Menon as Defense Minister in 1957. A diplomat and ‘Angrez’ by upbringing and nature, he had no idea how to run a ministry but his friendship with Nehru got him the post. The result- He stopped arms production in India. He retired majority of soldiers claiming that Pakistan and China won’t attack us so we don’t need an army. Nehru stayed mum. Eventually, India lost the Sino-Indian war of 1962 miserably. Our handful of soldiers fought with unprecedented bravery but, the foolishness of the decision by Nehru cost us the annexure of ‘Aksai Chin’ or the ‘Kailash Mansarovar’ to the Chinese.
The resignation ploy-
A Kashmiri Pandit by claim, Nehru always expressed disgust and pain when it came to the cow slaughter scenario in India. When British ruled us, they wanted cow meat, but they had gone and still it wasn’t eliminated from the country. A massive uproar in the Parliament meant that in a day’s time the law to eradicate cow slaughter from India would come to effect. Only 7 Parliamentarians were in opposition and the voting result was decided. But, before the voting could commence, Nehru announced that he will resign if the bill was passed. Most of the MP’s withdrew their stance and the bill was called off. Nobody knows why Nehru did so, perhaps we will never know now.
The Kashmir problem-
Raja Hari Singh had previously opted to keep his kingdom an independent one and decided not to be a part of India or Pakistan. But, Pakistan had other plans. They sent tribal forces armed with weapons into the borders of Jammu and Kashmir destroying village after village. This madness had to stop or the brutal tribal army would soon overthrow Srinagar.
To avoid a massive loss to Pakistan, on 26th October 1947, Raja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession which made the region a part of India. India now had a responsibility to defend its newly joined region. The Indian army was sent immediately. The domination of Indian armed forces was such that the tribal forces couldn’t stand their ground for even a day. But, then Nehru made the greatest mistake of his life. He asked the UNO to intervene and peacefully solve the issue. The UNO ordered ceasefire which meant that the war had to stop and the land occupied by either rivals will remain theirs. Indian army hadn’t achieved its objective of eliminating all intruders from Kashmir. The ceasefire meant that the Pakistani tribal army got a huge chunk of Kashmir where the Indian army hadn’t attacked yet. Today this chunk of land is called Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (P.O.K). India faces too many problems due to Kashmir which legally is Indian Territory according to the Instrument of Accession. UNO later declared Kashmir as ‘disputed land’ making it impossible for our troops to overthrow it. Many generations before have asked and many more to come will keep questioning such a horrendous decision by Jawaharlal Nehru.