Thursday, December 8, 2022

Gandhi and Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru is regarded as Mahatma Gandhi’s acolyte but they stood for two different Indias. Gandhi stood for India of spinning wheel, self-sacrifice, and non-violence; Nehru for India of secularism, socialism, and modernization through Public Sector Units and Soviet style five year plans. 

Gandhi was a fabian saint and a Westernized utopian; Nehru was a pukka sahib and a Westernized Maharaja. Gandhi derived his high moral stature by conducting morally and physically demanding experiments on himself, on his vision of truth, and even on his wife and children (whose lives were wrecked). He conducted politically and culturally demanding experiments on his countrymen (mainly the Hindus). Nehru was a strong supporter of Gandhi’s personal and political experiments but he never felt the need to conduct his own experiments, on himself or on others, since he was convinced that he was morally and intellectually perfect, and that he was destined to rule and modernize Indian society through his policies of fabian socialism and secularism.

Gandhi was not bound by family ties; he saw the entire country as his large family; Nehru became a nepotist and he ended up founding a dynasty which continues to be very powerful till this day. Both Gandhi and Nehru were heavily Westernized; they had a simplistic knowledge of Ancient Indian history, theology, philosophy, and culture—that is why Gandhi developed the belief that non-violence was Hinduism’s core principle, while Nehru became a secular fundamentalist.

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