Tag Archives: Indira Gandhi

Diwali and the verdict that gave final rest to the pernicious two-nation theory

Rajiv Lochan

After thousands of years Ram’s trip back home from his victory in Sri Lanka would be celebrated in the town of Ayodhya on the banks of the river Sarayu. Diwali, the festival of lights, which is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India, finally comes home to Ayodhya. It is the day when Ram is said to have reached home, along with his wife Sita and his brother Laxman and his trusted bhakt Hanuman, after his victory against Ravan.

This became possible because of the Ayodhya verdict which also laid to rest the Two-Nation Theory which had been brought to life in recent years. The TnT and its supporters were made irrelevant once again in India by the court verdict. The TnT people, the supporters of the Two Nation Theory, had the option of going to Pakistan. Their desire to promote a Muslim Nation in India was quashed.

The Two Nation-Theory was responsible for the creation of Pakistan. Leaders like Jinnah, Salman Taseer, Indira Gandhi and other seculars, while practising secularism in their own life, firmly believed that there was no way in which the people of the Islamic faith could receive any justice in India. Under the benign gaze of the Indian National Congress, the advocates of the Two Nation Theory had been nurtured carefully with the objective of creating a Muslim vote bank for the Congress.

Modi’s victory in 2014 gave a lie to the Muslim vote bank theory. The decision by judges Gogoi, Bobde, Chandrachud, Abdul Nazeer, and Ashok Bhushan gave a final rest to this pernicious Two-Nation Theory.

Rajiv Lochan, the author, is a renowned scholar, author and historian

JRD Tata on Nehru, Patel, JP & Indira

Newsroom24x7 Network

JRD Tata (29 July 1904 – 29 November 1993) was a renowned Indian aviator, entrepreneur, and chairman of Tata Group. We reproduce an edited video based on his television interview by Rajiv Mehrotra telecast by Doordarshan in 1978-79.

The fact that we are a conglomeration of such different kinds of people, who have inherited over the centuries or even the millennia, a certain common sense that makes them resist to pressures, makes them revolt when they have to, and makes them disagree when there is no other way – JRD Tata

Just leadership is not enough

JRD said in his interview more than 40 years ago:

“If one has to be a leader in a difficult environment as the Indian one – such a mixed one – there must be total devotion.

Sometime just devotion is not enough.

Jayprakash Narayan was a case in point. He was totally motivated and a totally devoted man of high intelligence, who was so good a human being that he was always prepared to consider the views of others, including his opponents. He could have been a great leader after Jawaharlal.

Of course a great leader of his caliber, we needed and got at that time, was (Sardar) Vallabh Bhai.

I often say to myself, suppose Vallabh Bhai had been the young man and Nehru had been the older man, Vallabh Bhai obviously would have become the Prime Minister of India.

Certainly in the Economic Plan, there would have been a totally different situation than the one that existed….

Jawaharlal Nehru

He liked me… I loved him…admired him..but when you, on this kind of thing – Economics – of which he knew very little in my opinion, (and) certainly on Socialism and how Socialism could be established without the loss of economic freedom for the majority of the people.

I would go and see him…some time he would invite me even to have a meal..to see the giant Panda that he had. And then I would try and bring the conversation to Economics, Nationalisation, Bureaucracy, he was not only not interested but he wasn’t willing even to talk. He had invented a little trick….and there was a window not too far, the moment I began something, he would turn around and look out of the window…and I got the message.

Indira Gandhi

In the case of Mrs Gandhi, it was a slightly different way of doing it. When she began to lose interest in what you were saying, viz…..she would begin to pick up some of the letters and start opening envelopes and pulling out – practically hinting that look I have other things to do…”

Acknowledgement:

Footage courtesy: “In Conversation – J. R. D. Tata” by Rajiv Mehrotra.

Rajiv Mehrotra twice addressed plenary sessions at The World Economic Forum at Davos and was nominated a Global Leader for Tomorrow by them. He was a Judge of the Templeton Prize for Spirituality.

His films have won more than 170 international and forty national awards from the President of India.

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Congress leader Sajjan Kumar sentenced to life

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar (73) is the first big politician, convicted after 34 years of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her sikh bodyguards.

The anti-Sikh riots had left nearly 3,000 people dead.

Sajjan Kumar has been sentenced to life for “remainder of his natural life” by the Delhi High Court today (17 December 2018) .

On November 28, the Delhi High Court upheld the conviction of 70 of the 89 persons held guilty and awarded five-years in jail by a trial court in a separate case linked to anti-Sikh riots.

A trial court on November 20 had awarded death penalty to Yashpal Singh and ordered life imprisonment to another, Naresh Sherawat, for the killing of two persons during the anti-Sikh riots.

Emergency, graduate school and the Four Friends Quartet

Lalit Shastri

When emergency was imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975, we were a Four Friends Quartet in the graduate school¹ (Salam Khan, Jyotish Dubey and Gautam Mukherjee) – all of us burning deep inside with fire and the desire to set right all that was wrong in society and was pulling the country away from the path of rapid progress and growth.

Salam Khan

Going down memory lane, I recall how we used to discuss intensely the life and times of Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, “Che” Guevara, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong and our freedom fighters who had sacrificed their all for the cause of Indpendence. What troubled us the most was the harm that was being done to the nation by the unworthy successors of leaders who had fought for Independence and were determined to provide corruption free and transparent administration fully accountable to the public – this was the best recipe for rapid progress, growth and welfare of all.

The Forty-second Amendment of the Constitution of India that was enacted during the Emergency by the Congress government headed by Indira Gandhi is regarded as the most controversial constitutional amendment in Indian history as it attempted to reduce the power of the Supreme Court and High Courts to pronounce upon the constitutional validity of laws.

Jyotish Dubey

Imposition of Emergency coupled with the Forty-Second Constitution Amendment turned the federal structure of the Constitution into a mangled frame as more powers were transferred to the Central government in relation with the States and it came as a big blow for every citizen as in a single stroke the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the Constitution were subordinated to the directive Principles.

As college students we were always in the forefront protesting against the evil of Emergency. during an inter-college extempore speech competiition, when I picked my topic from a freshly shuffled paper slips that were kept in a glass jar, I was excited as I had the option to speak for or against the topic: “Positives of Emergency”. The chief guest on this occasion was Shashank Mukherjee -the then State State Home Secretary. He was a family friend and also my friend Gautam’s father.

I took the mike and started blasting Indira Gandhi without stop or break. First there was a big hush and the auditorium was immediately covered with a blanket of silence and the college principal was also on his feet chiding me to leave the mike. I was brought before the chief guest, who counseled me to leave the revolutionary path and focus on my future. He turned a blind eye to my defiance and just let me go.

Those were the black days of Emergency, when many persons, only known for their closeness to leaders who were the first to go behind bars under MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act), were also picked up and put into jails. While some MISA detenus rose to command the highest offices in the country,  the others have been given the same status as Freedom Fighters and in many States they are receiving pension for life.

Epilogue

So many years later, People still don’t seem ready for change…there is a famous saying: “People get the government they deserve”. I would add to this, people get the government, TV channels and anchors they deserve….and this adds to their never-ending plight. The problem is they are not ready to realize even though their next generation is against the wall and is being forced to suffer on account of their miserable outlook, distorted and myopic vision, misplaced priorities, vested interests, short-sighted selfish ends and their inherent slave mentality. We are going to remain a nation of robbers and the robbed for a long time to come.


¹Hamidia College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Mohammad Abdul Salam Khan, popularly known as Salam, and I, both of us joined the Centre of Historical Studies in JNU. Later he chucked the Central Services and joined The Economic Times in 1992 as its first In-house illustrator. Around the same time, I had joined The Hindu as Madhya Pradesh Correspondent. Prior to that I left a corporate job to conduct research and write a book on the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster.

Gautam Mukherjee, a debating genious during his graduation days became a musician/singer on leaving college.

Jyotish Dubey became a man of the private sector and his career graph depicted a constantly growing trajectory till he hanged his gloves to devote time to pressing engagements at home.