Just one reading of history and one can understand the kind of blunders who were Gandhi and Nehru.
It was Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who was elected President of Congress in 1939 and his views were very clear – immediate independence of India, a dictatorship of 2 decades to correct all the wrongs the British did on India. But Gandhi played politics and forced Netaji to resign from Congress.
History is proof that India got independence because Indian Defence forces turned nationalist and not because of the stupid movements of Gandhi.
Gandhi played his politics yet again, in 1946 – Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was elected by Congress and not even a single Congress committee voted for Jawaharlal Nehru to be first Prime Minister (PM) of India. But Gandhi chose Nehru, his blue eyed boy.
12 out of 15 Congress committees nominated Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. The remaining three Congress committees did not nominate any body’s name. Obviously, the overwhelming majority was in favour of Sardar Patel READ HERE
Regarding Netaji Bose – Bose was ELECTED the President of All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress. In contrast Nehru was always NOMINATED – backed by Gandhi because of the monetary support to the Congress by Motilal Nehru.
Bose stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British. This meant a confrontation with Mohandas Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose’s presidency, splitting the Indian National Congress party. Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru. Bose appeared at the 1939 Congress meeting on a stretcher. He was elected president again over Gandhi’s preferred candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya. Due to the manoeuvrings of the Gandhi-led clique in the Congress Working Committee, Bose found himself forced to resign from the Congress presidency.
But for this India would have got independence prior to World War II i.e. 1939. On the outbreak of war, Bose advocated a campaign of mass civil disobedience to protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow’s decision to declare war on India’s behalf without consulting the Congress leadership.
Bose saw industrialization as the only route to making India strong and self-sufficient.
Bose’s achievement in integrating women and men from all the regions and religions of India in the Indian National Army.
Since a true nationalists Bose – Patel combination would have not budged to anything either internal or external would have made a formidable independent India.
Bose expressed admiration for the authoritarian methods (though not the racial ideologies) which he saw in Italy and Germany during the 1930’s, and thought they could be used in building an independent India. Nevertheless, Bose’s tenure as Congress Party President (1938–39) did not reflect any particular anti-democratic or authoritarian attributes.
Pandit Nehru once stated: “By education I am an Englishman, by views an internationalist, by culture a Muslim, and a Hindu only by accident of birth.” Not only did he say so, but also acted so. In an interview given to one of the leading international magazines, he emphasized: “I will be the last Englishman to rule India.”
The government under his control launched several large infrastructure projects, but the way in which those projects were implemented became the character of governance in the decades that followed.
He ignored bolstering the army and investing in defence materials. That result was in 1962 the country suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Chinese. At a time when we had lost 72,000 sq kms of land to Chinese, he quipped: “Not a blade of grass grows in Aksai Chin; loss of Indian territory to China is a loss too little.” In response, an MP thundered “Not a blade of hair grows on your bald head, so should it be cut?”
On October 26, 1947, Raja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to legally accede Jammu and Kashmir to India. It was the responsibility of leaders like Nehru to defend Kashmir and Hari Singh. Soon, an army contingent was dispatched to the region to deal with a tribal army opposing accession. The Tribal army was no match for the professional soldiers. But, then Nehru made the greatest mistake of his life. He asked the UN to intervene and solve the issue.
The UN enforced a ceasefire and ruled that the areas occupied by rivals would remain theirs. The Indian army hadn’t yet achieved its objective of driving out the intruders from occupied Kashmir. The ceasefire handed out a huge tract of land to the Pakistani tribal army and the Indian soldiers were herded back into their barracks.
Today this chunk of land is called Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). India has since continued to pay the price for this Nehruvian blunder.
With regards to Pakistan, Nehru and Patel’s disagreements were further accentuated. Gandhi himself was a key player against Patel in this drama. He went on an indefinite fast in protest against Patel withholding the payment of Rs 55 crore to Pakistan. Patel had judiciously deferred payment until the issue of Kashmir and its Hindu minorities was resolved to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. India was under no obligation to pay the entire sum all at once. However, Gandhi’s fastidiousness and his failing health compelled Patel to yield to his demands.
A majority of Indians do not know that but for Nehru, India would have been a permanent member of the UNSC, a legitimate nuclear power and a leading global power in the 1950s.
Former US president John F Kennedy offered India all the help to detonate a nuclear device much before China did it in 1964, assumes significance. According to Rasgotra, had Nehru accepted Kennedy’s offer, it “would have deterred China from launching its war of 1962 and even imparted a note of caution to (Pakistan’s) Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s plans for war in 1965”.
Rasgotra said, “Kennedy, who was an admirer of India’s democracy and held its leader Nehru in very high esteem, felt that democratic India, not Communist China, should be the first Asian country to conduct a nuclear test”. However, Nehru turned down Kennedy’s handwritten letter in which the offer was made. In fact, had India exploded the device in the early 1960s with American help, it would have easily become an original signatory to the NPT that legitimises nuclear weapons in the hands of those countries which went nuclear before 1968. And as a member of the NPT, we would have effortlessly entered the nuclear associations like the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Similarly, take the case of the permanent membership in the UNSC. In 1950, none other than the US wanted to see India joining the Security Council in the place of the nationalist China. After the Communist takeover of mainland China in 1949, the then Chinese president Chiang kai Shek had fled to the island of Taiwan. The Communist China was not recognised as a UN member and Chiang’s government was deemed to be representing the whole of China (this status continued till 1971 when following the normalisation of relations between the US and Communist China, thanks to the then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Beijing entered the UN and Taipei was pushed out). Chiang kai Shek was also agreeable to this proposition.
In fact, Anton Harder, whose PhD thesis in London School of Economics was on “Sino-Indian relations from 1949-1962,” has revealed the then Indian ambassador to the US Vijaylaxmi Pandit’s letter to her brother Nehru. She wrote: “One matter that is being cooked up in the State Department should be known to you. This is the unseating of China as a permanent member in the Security Council and of India being put in her place. I have just seen Reuters’ report of your answer to the same question. Last week I had interviews with (John Foster) Dulles and (Philip) Jessup, reports of which I have sent to (Girija Shankar) Bajpai (the then foreign secretary). Both brought up this question and Dulles seemed particularly anxious that a move in this direction should be started. Last night I heard from Marquis Childs, an influential columnist of Washington, that Dulles (US secretary of state) has asked him on behalf of the State Department to build up public opinion along these lines”.
Nehru’s response within the week was unequivocal: “In your letter you mention that the State Department is trying to unseat China as a permanent member of the Security Council and to put India in her place. So far as we are concerned, we are not going to countenance it. That would be bad from every point of view. It would be a clear affront to China and it would mean some kind of a break between us and China. I suppose the State Department would not like that, but we have no intention of following that course. We shall go on pressing for China’s admission in the UN and the Security Council. “
In other words, rather than India’s case, Nehru, in his zeal for “Asian unity”, went out of way to espouse the cause of China’s entry in to the United Nations. So much so that he rejected in 1955 a similar offer, this time from the Soviet Union. Soviet premier Nikolai Bulganin had suggested to Nehru that Moscow would propose India as the sixth permanent member of the Security Council, and thus not at the cost of China. But as Sarvepalli Gopal in his biography of Nehru (1979) has mentioned, “He (Nehru) rejected the Soviet offer to propose India as the sixth permanent member of the Security Council and insisted that priority be given to China’s admission”.
In fact, Nehru has been quoted to have said: “Perhaps Bulganin knows that some people in the US have suggested that India should replace China in the Security Council. This is to create trouble between us and China. We are, of course, wholly opposed to it. Further, we are opposed to pushing ourselves forward to occupy certain positions because that may itself create difficulties and India might itself become a subject to controversy. If India is to be admitted to the Security Council, it raises the question of the revision of the Charter of the UN. We feel that this should not be done till the question of China’s admission and possibly of others is first solved. I feel that we should first concentrate on getting China admitted.”
Just imagine what Nehru did for China and how China has responded to Indian gestures — border war in 1962 and now diplomatic war to prevent India getting in the NSG!
That brings me now to another point: India’s deserved position as a great power in the Indo-Pacific region.
It may be noted here that given India’s civilisational links in Southeast Asia and its moral and material contributions towards the decolonisation movements in the region including China and Korea, countries like the Philippines and Malaysia had openly suggested in the 1950s that New Delhi should play the leadership role in the region. Following the Baguio (in the Philippines) Conference in 1949, which was attended by India, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Ceylon, Carlos Romulo, the trusted lieutenant of the Pilipino President Quirino, who was in charge of organising the Conference, had said in New York that “I want India to realise that the proposed (Pacific) Union is only a continuation of the Asian Conference and nothing more. The Philippines was taking up where India had left off and the Asian Union, according to Romulo, was supposed to work under the Indian leadership, for ‘India was the strongest and most enlightened nation of Asia today’.”
Many Southeast Asian countries thought that Indian influence, in combination with Japan and Australia, would prove reassuring to small and vulnerable states, especially when the western powers, particularly Great Britain, had indicated their withdrawal from the region. They perceived India as an alternative to the entanglements with major powers, such as the traditional Cold War powers of Russia and the US or the resurgent powers of China and Japan. This is because, India, unlike other powers, had not sought a military base in the region; nor had it attempted ideological or physical invasions of the region. In addition, Southeast Asian countries did not have any outstanding territorial disputes with India as opposed to those over the Spratly Islands with China.
But all this did not impress Nehru.
And it so happened during the subsequent years when the Cold War was intensified, India lost the war with China and India inched towards the Soviet bloc, these very countries — Asean nations, Australia, Japan, and the US — started seeing India negatively.
India was to become founding member of ASEAN, but Nehru refused.
Coco islands in Andamans were gifted to Burma by Nehru and now the Chinese have made military installations there
In 1952, Nehru completely gifted the Kabaw valley (part of Manipur) to Burma. Now, the the Kabaw Valley is the site of a large training camp for the terrorists based in Myanmar.
Nehru didnt liberate Goa from the Portuguese in 1947 and only under RSS pressure, did it in 1961.
The worst folly of Nehru was letting China capture Tibet, inspite of Sardar Patel’s warnings – This is a detailed subject since the whole China-Pak Axis, nuclearisation of Pakistan and India’s neighbourhood problems are linked to this foolishness of Nehru to not stop occupation of Tibet by China,
Then, Indira Gandhi did a Nehru on India. Indira gifted Kachatheevu, an island 17 km from Rameswaram, to Sri Lanka. Now, all Indian fishermen caught by Sri Lanka are from near Kachatheevu
India has got the worst since independence – But Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were the biggest blunders India ever faced.