New Delhi, Dec 28: India’s grand old political party-the Indian National Congress seems to be biting nails over its own candid admission of failure of the towering leadership of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru and incumbent President Sonia Gandhi.
The expose made by the ‘Congress Darshan’- the official mouthpiece of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) - has put the party leadership in a most embarrassing situation. It can neither reject nor accept the ‘truth’ exposed by the anonymous author in his article that found its place in this magazine.
The article in question by an anonymous writer has put the Editor of the Magazine Sanjay Nirupam in a fix. The article came at a time when the party was facing the threats of extinction from the political map of the country. The celebrations of 131st foundation day of the party were marred by this bitter truth exposed by the party mouthpiece.
The Mumbai unit of the party sent shockwaves down the party loyalists by publishing an exhaustive article accusing the first Prime Minister, architect of Modern India Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru of failure in handling Kashmir and Tibet issues and dealing with China. The article said that had Nehru listened to the advice of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel the possible goof up on these matters could have been averted. But Nehru did not listen and complicated the matters for the posterity.
The party had saved itself from commenting on leadership’s failures and getting embroiled in any controversy. But with this article published in the December issue of ‘Congress Darshan’ (Hindi) the cat has come out of the bag. Ironically, this article is a tribute piece to mark Sardar Patel’s death anniversary on December 15!
It has been historical fact that Mahatma Gandhi had special liking for Nehru and made him the Prime Minister ignoring the massive support in favour of Sardar Patel. But for a couple of PCCs in 1947, almost all have voted in favour of Sardar Patel as future Prime Minsiter. But Gandhi in view of Nehru’s leftist leaning feared that ‘Jawaharlal outside the cabinet would be more dangerous than inside’ and prevailed upon the Sardar to back out in favour of Nehru.
However, Patel was given the post of deputy PM and Home Minister in the first cabinet but the relations between the two were far from being smooth and both had threatened to resign time and again, the article stated.
The article further said that if Nehru had embraced Patel’s foresight, many problems in the international affairs would not have been arisen at all. This article also underlined the fact that country has been celebrating Patel’s birth anniversary (October 31st) as National Unity Day since 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi started this move to project Patel as the true national hero.
The article pointed out that Nehru was in charge of foreign affairs and kept Kashmir with him citing that it was an international issue. Patel, being deputy PM would occasionally attend the cabinet meetings. Today's problems wouldn't have arisen had Patel's foresight in the Kashmir issue been considered then,” wrote the anonymous writer.
The article also highlighted to other failures of Nehru in dealing with international issues like China, Tibet and Nepal because he ignored Patel's views. The author cited a letter that Patel wrote in 1950 to caution Nehru against China's policy towards Tibet and where “Patel described China as unfaithful, and a future enemy of India…”
“Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been heard then (by Nehru), the problems of Kashmir, China, Tibet and Nepal wouldn't have existed now. Patel opposed Nehru's move of taking the Kashmir issue to the UNO,” stated the article, adding, “Nehru did not agree with Patel's views on Nepal.”
The writer also suggested that Nehru made yet another error regarding the liberation of Goa. Patel had suggested it be done in 1950, but because Nehru disagreed, the liberation movement took place a decade later.
“Nehru was very upset when Patel suggested at a prolonged cabinet meeting in 1950 that the Indian armed forces would finish the task (of freeing Goans from the Portuguese) in just two hours. Goa wouldn't have had to wait till 1961 for freedom had Patel's suggestion been accepted then,” added the article.
The article (appearing on pages 18 to 23) also recounted other clashes between the two Congress heavyweights, who differed on matters from economic policy to Hindu-Muslim unity.
Nirupam’s denial: MRCC Chief Sanjay Nirupam, who had deserted Shiv Sena to join the Congress, happens to be the Chief Editor of ‘Congress Darshan’. Nirupam was earlier Editor of Shiv Sena Hindi mouthpiece “Dopahar ka Saamnaa”. Besides Nirupam, Sandesh Kondvilkar, Bhushan Patil, Chitrasen Singh and Nizammuddin Raeen are members of the editorial board of the magazine.
Nirupam said he was not aware of the contents of the article as he was not involved in the daily working of the magazine. It was the responsibility of someone else. He said that he did not subscribe to the views expressed in the article but was not aware who the writer was, though he hastened to add that corrective measures would be taken soon.
Sonia Gandhi too was targeted in yet another article in the same issue of ‘Congress Darpan’. Though the issue of Sonia’s foreign origin has been taboo for the party for obvious reasons, the article in this magazine described her early life in great details including her ambition to become an airhostess, as well as an allegation that her father was a member of fascist forces that lost to the Russians in the World War. It is ironical that the Congress always took pride in calling the right-wingers and the BJP fascist forces.
Another article described how Sonia quickly rose to the position of party president. “Sonia Gandhi registered as a primary member of the Congress in 1997 and became the party’s president in 62 days. She also made an unsuccessful attempt to make a government,” the article stated.
Here are some of the excerpts translated from original Hindi article:-
These are excerpts from the tribute piece on Sardar Patel, translated from the Hindi edition of the Congress Darshan (December 2015):