Saturday, June 19, 2021
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Jawaharlal Nehru: The statesman

Former Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a liberal and open minded leader. Nehru was the pioneer of many institutions and he was in favour of India’s technological advancement. Science and technology were dear to him. On the other hand, he wrote freely and in a lucid manner. Today many people criticize him but not a single one of them can write Discovery of India. Forget about writing, they cannot even read it properly. He also prompted social concern for the marginalized and poor and respect for democratic values. Nehru’s administration established many Indian institutions of higher learning, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Indian Institutes of Technology, and the National Institutes of Technology.

I saw him from a distance of not more than a few feet. He dressed naturally and never preferred to wear designer clothes. Former President Dr Gyani Zail Singh too possessed similar characteristics and always dressed immaculately like Nehru. Friends, in order to develop India you need meritorious people who can work with dedication. I hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi realizes this and chooses persons of merit in his cabinet. The inclusion of leaders like Former Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and former Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu in the cabinet indicates that Modi has taken a right decision. I saw Suresh Prabhu while having a debate and the passion that he generates shows his knowledge of the subject. Modi may have to allocate minister of state berths to various leaders due to political compulsions but he must monitor their performance. Many times a good minister becomes bad if he follows his corrupt PA. Ministers must try to stay away from indulging in corrupt activities.

Ministers come and go but these PAs continue to hold on to their posts. A PA existed during the reign of one minister of Janta Party who wanted to drink beer in a hotel. Prohibition was imposed during that period on the sale of alcohol. With the assistance of my DLY driver I took him to a hotel which was far from the central area. We could consume beer there but it was served in a teapot and we had to drink it in a cup. Later, he introduced me to the minister.

I will praise my DLY driver, a Sikh old man, who brought me the drinks but he himself abstained from having it. People in the lower rung cadre are doing good work but those close to the powerful authorities are corrupt. However, all PAs are not greedy, for example PA of former Prime Minister Morarji Desai and veteran socialist leader George Fernandes. Don’t look into the shortcomings of previous leaders, work sincerely now and lead by example.

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