The first Prime Minister of India, also known as ‘Chacha Nehru’ for his fondness for children, laid foundation of a real democratic republic named India. Among the first ones to sail the country through tough times, Jawaharlal Nehru had been at the helm in many important incidents recorded in the Indian history. Despite his coming up with various constructive ideas, which were implemented to benefit the nation, some inexcusable acts were also committed by him, which still broil anger in the hearts of many.
Although, Jawaharlal Nehru wasn’t directly responsible for carrying out linguistic divisions in the country, it all happened under his rule. Right after giving in to the demands of Potti Sreeramulu, who sat on a hunger strike demanding separate Telugu speaking state, many others including Shiv Sena and Telnagana supporters emerged from nowhere. Had he dealt with them with a strict hand, many of the linguistic division demands wouldn’t have arrived at all.
Aksai Chin formed a part of princely state of Kashmir under Maharaja Hari Singh. However, right after that, China came charging into the territory without India knowing for years. China had by then captured around 45,000 square kilometers of area, which it hasn’t resigned as yet. When confronted in the Parliament by the opposition, Nehru spoke the words – “Not a single blade of grass grows there.” Had he been a bit more vigilant back then, many issues with China wouldn’t have dragged so far.
The whole confusion around accession of the princely state of Kashmir right after partition in 1947 is well known to all Indians. During the time of partition, Britishers had prepared a treaty of accession where princely states had the right to join the dominion of their choice (India or Pakistan). However, right after partition tribals attacked Kashmir, which was ruled by Raja Hari Singh at that time. In retaliation, Indian troops chased the enemy to Muzzafarabad. When India could have used the treaty of accession to fight on behalf of Kashmir, Nehru has openly promised in the UN that only referendum will decide, with whom Kashmiris wants to side.
Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah wanted to carry out compete Islamisation of Kashmir. He openly acted as the Prime Minister of the state. The National Conference flag was hoisted as the flag of a separate nation. However, his separatist ideas couldn’t work so long as Sardar Patel was alive. So, he took Nehru for a ride and got Article 370 incorporated in the Constitution. These lent Shiekh’s idea of separatism more strength and provided the state of J & K with special status. Only after this, major problems related to Kashmir evolved and are yet to be solved.
It’s a well known fact that Nehru was a Socialist at heart. His over reliance on Socialistic economic policies led India to the brink of economic crisis in 1960s. The worst was his beliefs that public sector should always be dominated by the government and exports are necessary evils called a doomsday for India in those times. Due to this mindset of the first Prime Minister of the country, India could not grow more than 3.5% to 4% (Hindu rate of growth) during his time and a lot late too. Even agriculture sector remained highly constrained.
Both Jinnah and Nehru shared extreme proximity with Lady Mountbatten. One such incident, which brought lots of shame to the country, was when he was clicked on camera late at night standing against the door of Lord Mountbatten’s house in London. Edwina Mountbatten is seen opening the door with Nehru standing outside in the late hours at night. Although, both defined their relation as platonic, these incidents suggested otherwise.
Many policies followed by Nehru have been termed as militarily unwise by senior Army officers of the time. His ordering of establishment of check posts all along the McMohan Line, moving border patrols towards Tibet was considered foolish, even though Nehru named the move as ‘Forward Policy’. Nehru always believed that the Chinese didn’t have mettle enough to stand up to India as it received backing from both the US and the USSR, but this clearly an understatement.