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The Change Of A Nation's Narrative

India is rising under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the country has finally chosen a non-biased leadership at the helm of affairs in the country after a very long wait

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Since Independence, we have seen our country argue with tolerance, the very core issues that have administered our humongous diversity. We have been extremely busy trying to be socialists in our policies while finding an administrative authority on a lingual basis. This approach practically means that there has neither been any effort to develop a collective identity for the country nor a reason for the citizens to see each other as workers or benefactors for and of the same nation state. There is no hiding the fact that, from an academic perspective, India was deprived of material, men or money after Independence. We were a bankrupt and economically torn state which went from measuring a total of 23 per cent of the world trade, when the British had just arrived in India, to less than 4 per cent after Independence. Even today, the most powerful nation (the USA) in the world has only a 24.3 per cent share of the global trade. So, it was evident that colonial Raj had dispossessed India of all its riches and had decreed our people only through divide and rule, which had, in turn, left us all in a state of turmoil and upheaval not only when the British Raj existed, but also after its demise.

Under Nehru’s Congress rule, we were the moral voice in even the most developed of nations. However, Congress did not have the integrity to work within India with an inclusive policy. We failed to cement sustainable international ties despite the internationalist push Nehru gave India. Under his leadership, we, as a nation state, found it tough to unite under any one pennant. No one understood what India stood for after independence. The ideas for a modern independent India were many - from Gandhi’s Swaraj to Bose’s military rule, from Nehru’s Secular India to RSS in the centre. It was the well-known people’s revolution of Andhra Pradesh, where the fast-to-death of Potti Siramulu led to the division of Andhra Pradesh by the PMO and also the formation of the State Reorganisation Committee.

After the Andhra case, everyone knew that the country was on the brink of becoming redistributed on the basis of language. The fact is that the Congress party, back then and even in the 21st century, failed to develop a collective identity for our nation so that a citizen of Jammu and Kashmir could relate to a person from Tamil Nadu, or a Gujarati to a Bengali or Manipuri. They failed miserably at running their socialist systems efficiently. Everyone in Lutyen’s Delhi circles knew what a waste the investments in government run PSUs were. Neither could Patel’s capitalistic free-market ideas be tested, nor could Gandhi’s Swaraj be created with extensive investments into rural development of the country. The reason - our so-called Prime Minister was too busy cosying up to the Soviets. Even if it was his decision to make a socialist India, it was also very much his moral obligation to see this vision to a meaningful end. And such actions required a non-biased personality with dedication towards the Nation and not towards his personal legacy. It was his policies that led the Indian private sector to start paying almost 93.5 per cent tax from the 1970’s. This modification was meant to cover up the losses of the PSUs.

And here is where the problem of meritocracy vs inheritance of the dynasty through a hereditary process comes in. We must go back in time to precisely understand what happened. What were the hard hitting arguments of our freedom struggle that the Congress did not propagate immediately after Independence? Nehru’s experiment misfired. Gandhi had warned him about it. There was apparent dissent from Gandhi when the role of Congress Party after Independence was discussed, in the near possibility that the British left the country. He was of the stern belief that the Congress party should not only refrain from any politics in the future but also go down with the legacy of the group of individuals who brought Azadi/Swatantra for Bharat. He wanted new ideas and political groups to come up and participate. He had pursued to create an India where, after 1400 years, there could be peace and where free-thought would empower citizens, a country where we could argue with pen and speech and without a sword. And for that, there was a requirement of a plebiscite for new political thought to come and debate and argue it out with logical speech and dialogue. But what Gandhi also understood was that with or without him or Nehru; the Congress Party executives and leadership, as well as the local level grassroots Congress cadres, were very much conditioned for just one clear objective, and that was to negotiate Swatantra with the British.

After the freedom struggle, the party cadres were exhausted, and worst of all, satisfied with what they had achieved. Irrespective of how history judges Nehru, an average Indian will always understand that there was something drastically wrong with his methods. Mainly one can deduct, that it was his arrogance, that was the critical issue. The nation-state was in such a fragile shape. Within 200 years, the richest country in the world had become the poorest. But the most astonishing thing was that all Mr. Nehru cared about was conditioning the Congress party cadres with his internationalist perspectives. It was Sardar Patel, who did the real work within the country. Moreover, Nehru just could not deal with the criticism of his policies or vision. Everyone knows how harshly Nehru came down on people who scrutinised him about his foreign diplomacy, especially during the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956, when English-French joint forces invaded Egypt, and in response, the Soviets rolled their tanks into Budapest. The primary mediator between the two parties was Nehru. He failed in his mission miserably and lost face not only amongst his fanatic fanboys but also within the official circles of the Government, especially the Indian Foreign Service which was practically Nehru’s baby in independent India.

Jawaharlal Nehru, in his speech in September 7, 1946, a few days after taking over as vice chairman and a member for external affairs of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, said: “We propose, as far as possible, to keep away from the power politics of groups, aligned against one another, which have led in the past to two World Wars and which may again lead to disasters on an even vaster scale....”

What we can deduct from his so-called internationalist point of view is that India would always be conscientiously maintaining an uncomfortable and inflexible position which met both the Soviets and the West halfway. Though at the same time, Nehru readily wanted to negotiate between the two power blocks on topics India did not have much say on anyway. The country also lacked resources that were required to support either side - Hungary or Egypt. If one observes with a critical eye, one can successfully notice the two inclinations Nehru had adopted. What made matters worse was that the man hated any constructive criticism, especially over affairs that he managed himself. Such arrogance and attitude towards the administration and especially towards the citizenry of this country led to the foundations of a peculiar work ethic within the Indian Government as well as within the Congress Party.

As far as Himachal Pradesh is concerned, since the inception of the state, the Congress has been in power for more than 50 years. And the land of 'Dev Bhumi' has mutated into a state of land mafia, sand mafia, drug peddlers and nefarious mafia networks. This situation should be an eye opener - a grave reflection of the consequences of congress led government since the formation of the state. What does this administration represent? Another question is whether congress’ safari like attitude towards the management of the state even works anymore. Are we still only interested in selling apples or is there a need for a serious effort towards economic revival, with a conclusive vision?

The state-run educational institutions provide little value to the workforce. Educated Himachalis want to leave the state for a better future elsewhere - a propellant for the brain drain that already affects our country. We cannot expect to build Himachal merely on Tourism. The problem with our congress party is that they don’t have a vision beyond leaving 'pagdandis' for some trekkers to hike on. Beautiful State of Himachal Pradesh has tremendous scope for high-end-tourism. We must also note that there has hardly been any credible step taken by the government to bring in sustainable growth and innovation in the tourism industry. The state has even failed to formalise our street vendors, which could have spurred infrastructure development and economic growth. The actions of congress party reek of arrogance instead of the fragrance of the humility required to work egoless-ly for the common people of Himachal Pradesh.

There is a BJP in the rising under the leadership of Narendra Modi, and the country has finally chosen a non-biased leadership at the helm of affairs in the country after a very long wait. The man lets his actions speak for himself. We have conductively, voted a government into power that is ready to listen to its people and indulge in conversations that would empower them as well as the citizenry to build a ‘Better India’ a 'New India' that has its very own identity and does not run on the values provided by the west which the Congress has been mimicking for far too long. Recently the Congress in Himachal announced,Berozgari-Bhatta, instead, the government must make our young blood, ‘self reliant’. They don’t need freebies, what they need is -- ‘self reliance’ a chance to make their own living and ‘Lead a life with dignity and self-respect’. Congress' arrogance as an “Adhikari” in their pursuit to make ends meet through corrupt and short-lived solutions in the state of Himachal will now lead to their conducive demise from the state.

The dual personality of the Congress party is apparent not only in Nehru or Rahul Gandhi but also in the state leadership of Himachal Pradesh. The public should be very concerned. When Rahul Gandhi openly criticised demonetisation, his colleague, Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, declared that demonetisation was a good move by the PM. This example demonstrates not only the lack of collective vision and thinking within the Congress party, but also the lack of communication among its leadership.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Vimal Sana

The author is former Himachal Pradesh BJP executive member

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