First things first, so that the reader can focus on other things. Nehru was NOT A DYNAST. As long as he was alive, his daughter – Indira – was not given the ticket for Lok Sabha elections, nor was she made a Rajya Sabha MP. Indira was a megalomaniac who was created by the Congress party after the death of Shastriji. Also, Nehru can’t be blamed for the genetic accident of being an ancestor to Rahul Gandhi.
So, now, moving ahead, on to the real issues; I strongly feel that India would have been far far worse if Nehru was not there to lead us in the initial years of independence.
Nehru was a visionary who steered the constituent assembly, roped in Ambedkar (who was his rival, by the way), was the spirit behind our splendid constitution. Nehru established parlimentary practices that still help us overcome differences and maintain a semblance of order. Nehru built the initial infrastructure. He ensured Federal and States had a working synergy, which is now recedin by the way. Not only his visions, he was a good executive; he executed mammoth projects on which India stood, projects like Bhilai Steel Plant, Bhakra, Hirakud, Chandigarh City, HMT, IITs, Agriculture Insititutes and many many more…
Far from what the RSS acolytes believe, Nehru loved ancient Indian traditions and adopted them in India’s constitution, be it the Ashok Stambha, or Satyamev Jayate Motto, or the names of India’s major projects and navy vessels.
He was wise enough to adopt the name ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ for our tract of land; Jinnah thought he would select ‘Hindustan’. The name ‘India’ is derived from Sind River, i.e. Indus river; and hence Pakistan had a better claim to this name. Nehru’s adoption of the name ‘India’ for Hindustan today gives us the legitimacy to claim a five thousand year heritage of the Sindh Ghaati Sabhyata.
Even the much vaunted success of Sardar Patel was due to their team-work; their differences were less and they were a good team. Patel is on record of having said that he is a loyal follower of Nehru. The issue has been so hogwashed that all successes of post-partition integration of India have been pinned on Patel, while all mistakes have been pinned on Nehru. The fact is that their successes as well as failures were common.
His differences with Subhash Bose are blown out of proportion, while we all know that Subhash respected him and even named a Regiment of the INA after him as Nehru Regiment.
Any person who does work, or tries to establish new benchmarks or systems can make mistakes. Judging him by his Kashmiri blunder just displays lack of understanding. Today, when Modi is trying to change the status-quo and refuses to abide by the routine, he is bound to make mistakes. Would it then be alright to judge him only by his mistakes? or by the things he delivered?
Nehru took everyone along and in my opinion he was the prime reason that differentiated our twin Pakistan from us in the initial days. Pakistan did not have Nehru, we had, and so we are better.