Get Rid of the Ghost of Nehru

What is this curious fashion of naming everything from state buildings to airports to universities after members of the Nehru-Gandhi family that is followed in India? This kind of mind-numbing hero-worship and brainwashing of citizens in favour of “Great Leaders” is not found in any democracy in the world. However, it certainly is found in the tin-pot communist dictatorships of North Korea, Cuba, China and erstwhile USSR.

From where did this tradition of hero-worshipping two-bit politicians come to India? Who introduced it here? What purpose does it serve? I recently read an interesting article in “Dainik Jagaran” newspaper about this, which I have translated in English. Here goes:

Why Everything in India is Named after Nehru

By S. Shankar

A few days ago, a newly constructed public building in Delhi got its official name. The name chosen for it was “Nehru Bhavan.” If we consider only the city of Delhi, the number of buildings, roads, crossings, stations, bus terminals, academies, universities, colleges, stadiums, conference halls, parks, gardens, festivals and schemes named after Jawahar Lal Nehru would easily cross the one hundred mark.

If we take the whole of India, this figure would not be less than a thousand. If we add to this collection buildings, roads and schemes named after Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, then it would be almost an impossible task to compile a full list of such structures.

What is this strange model of hero worship that is being followed in the country? Whatever it is, it certainly does not belong to India. Before the arrival of the Mughals, even painting the portraits of kings was an unheard-of activity in this land. The ancient Indians did not bother to even record the names of the painters who created the world-famous paintings of Ajanta and Konark or of the rulers who commissioned them. This is because the Indian tradition has always considered this kind of personal glory or hero worship as something worthless and demeaning.

The practice of erecting statues of national leaders at public crossings and naming public buildings after them was introduced in India by the British. Does it mean that this mad rush to name structures and spaces in India after national leaders is essentially a European phenomenon? Not really. Even in the Europe or US, you will be hard pressed to find more than three or four buildings carrying the name of their national leaders. Only the national capital of US carries the name of George Washington, that’s all. Similarly, in Europe the buildings named after its great leaders such as Churchill, Napoleon, Peter, Bismark or Garibaldi can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The tradition of naming things after Nehru that is found in India has nothing to do with European traditions or a genuine national pride in our leaders. It can only be compared to a similar naming tradition found in communist countries. In the latter, not only buildings, memorials and roads, but also the names of children are inspired by Lenin, Stalin and Mao. This fad of naming everything after the “Great Leader” Nehru and his descendants that is continuing in India is essentially a communist tradition. One of the reasons for this is that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, was greatly inspired by communism.

This tradition of ‘Nehruism’ has now developed strong roots in our education and national thought process. Naming everything after Nehru and his family shows the same kind of slavery that was a general rule in communist dictatorships. This rule in communist countries was not limited to naming alone. This kind of mental slavery extended to all aspects of a citizen’s life.

This obnoxious tradition of hero worship began in India with the rule of Nehru and continued under his tutelage. This poison ivy of Marxist “progressivism” did not grow on its own. In fact, deliberate efforts were made to nurture it and strangle the age-old Indian tradition of the rulers and leaders avoiding all kinds of self-promotion and personal glory.

It was in Nehru’s time that various immoral means such as censorship, misuse of political power as well as rewards and punishments were used to actively banish all criticism of the erstwhile Soviet Union from the national discourse. It was only through the support and connivance of Nehru establishment that Soviet-style “progressivism” could take the Indian intellectual class into its clutches.

The extent to which this intellectual superstition spread in India can be seen by flipping through Nehru’s writings, speeches and parliamentary debates as well as the resolutions of the Congress and communist parties and the output of the Indian professors and writers who were connected with the so-called “cultural institutes” sponsored by communist countries. When we review this odious literature, it becomes clear to us that the Marxist superstitions which have directed our foreign policy, economic policy, education and cultural policies since independence still enjoy a lot of influence in India.

Naming everything after Nehru proves nothing but our slavery, stubbornness and lack of self-esteem. The first 10 to 15 years of independent India were a period of the construction of our fledgling republic. The traditions that were created or discarded during that time turned into rock-solid examples to be followed in later decades by Indian institutions, rulers and leaders. Just like India’s economic development and foreign policy advancements became possible only after we got rid of the baggage of Nehruism, similarly in the education and intellectual space too we cannot progress toward original thought until we have well and truly buried the ghost of Nehru.

In Indian administrative system, the practice of setting up committees for various purposes derives from British traditions. But in reality, appointing four favourite nominees in every committee, asking them to write whatever the government feels like and then present their report to the public as some kind of serious document to hoodwink the citizens is nothing but a tradition derived from Soviet Russia. This disease has spread so much in India that even the followers of Ram Manohar Lohia are also indulging in this practice. If Indians do not become alert now to this dangerous phenomenon, they may also suffer the same fate as that of Soviet Russia.

Let us get rid of this nonsense of naming everything after members of the Nehru-Gandhi family and reclaim our self-respect as proud citizens of an ancient land who are the inheritors of the greatest and oldest civilisation of the world which never crossed its natural borders to loot and plunder homes of other people (unlike many self-proclaimed “great civilisations” out there).

This is the land where mighty kings and emperors for thousands of years did not bother to get their portraits made or allowed their hagiographies to be composed by courtiers, in the belief that “future generations remembering our good deeds would be sufficient for us to make our mark in history.”

This reprehensible culture of flattery of the “Great Leader” that Nehru introduced and the army of fawning courtiers he recruited around him is an insult to Hindu traditions of royalty which emphasise the spirit of self-less service and lack of ego.  The ancient Hindu belief is: “You let your own deeds in life speak for themselves. You do not arrange for a gang of paid drum-beaters to compose songs to your own glory.”

Let us get rid of the ghost of Nehru and purge his Soviet-style traditions of hero-worship from our democracy. This practice is now being continued by two-bit Congress courtiers to subtly brainwash the Indian citizens and project the “Great Leader” as a colossus, so as to bask in his reflected glory and perpetuate their rule. It is time to put this practice to an end and send the drum-beaters home.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Get Rid of the Ghost of Nehru

  1. Some other buildings for your consideration:
    Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building is the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the United States Department of Justice
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a performing arts center located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C.
    John F. Kennedy International Airport
    John F. Kennedy Expressway, a major expressway in Chicago
    John F. Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s Launch Operations Center at Cape Canaveral
    The John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza in Dallas, Texas
    The John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge is a seven-lane, single-deck cantilever bridge that carries Interstate 65 across the Ohio River, connecting Louisville, Kentucky and Jeffersonville, Indiana.
    John F. Kennedy Causeway connecting Padre Island to the Texas mainland
    The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy
    School of Government at Harvard is known as the John F. Kennedy School of Government
    The rest of the list is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy#Memorials

  2. sanjaychoudhry

    Maya:

    You have to learn to distinguish between a country honouring its national heroes (like the US does) and a political party strategically using the naming technique to brainwash the citizens about the glory of its leaders in whose name it asks for votes.

    In the US, the Republicans do not resent or dislike the presidents of Democrats, and vice versa. America is a mercantile economy fuelled by rabid nationalism. Americans revere all their great leaders equally, regardless of which political party they belonged to. Who cares whether Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt or J.F. Kennedy were Democrats or Republicans? For Americans, they were all great American leaders. (It is a different matter that for Americans, the definition of a great leader is one who has protected and furthered interests of American people, morality or niceties be damned.)

    What is the situation in India? The strategy of Congress of naming roads, government schemes and public structures ONLY after the members of the Gandhi-Nehru family derives straight from the Little Red Book of communist USSR. It is nothing but a psychological tool for mind control of citizens. This is because the Congress party never names anything after Indian national leaders who had the misfortune of not being descended from Nehru.

    What happened to the memory of Sri Aurobindo, Savarkar, Sardar Patel, Subhash Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Khduiram Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Chandrashekhar Azad and others? Why have all these heroes been banished from our collective memory? How many buildings or institutions have been named after them, even though quite a few of them were as much a Congress member as Nehru or Indira Gandhi?

    The naming strategy being followed by Congress is not allowed to go outside the ambit of the Nehru-Gandhi family. It is nothing but Soviet-style brainwashing of the masses about the “Great Leader.” Congress has mastered the art of projecting pygmies of Gandhi-Nehru family as giants, while the real giants and leaders of our country who bled to their deaths in jails of the British Raj lie unsung. The real leaders of our freedom movement were Subhash Bose and Sardar Patel, with Nehru coming as a distant third. His larger than life profile today is essentially a manipulation of “committed” historians allied to Congress party.

    So you see, giving me a list of how many buildings are named after Kennedy in US does not prove a thing. I will be impressed if you give me a list of buildings named after Subhash Bose and Sardar Patel in India with the same alacrity as you gave me the list of public buildings named after JF Kennedy.

  3. Sootradhaar

    >>Let us get rid of this nonsense of naming everything after members of the Nehru-Gandhi family

    Pray tell us Sanjay babu as to how will the lesser Indian mortals aka the voters get rid of the bane Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is, if they keep on voting the same jacka**** back in power time-n-again and seems to have learned nothing from their (both voters’ n CON-gress’) past mistakes!

    As philosopher George Santayana rightly said: “Those who forget history…are condemned to repeat it!” and ultimately in life u get what u deserve! Ain’t it so?

    BTW, good post…enjoyed reading it, and have added your blog to my daily RSS feeds!

  4. sanjaychoudhry

    Sootradhaar:

    I am going to write a post about why BJP did not do as well as it should have in these elections. This happened because: (i) Muslims voted as one block against the BJP, and (ii) geographical illiteracy of Hindus and their ignorance about happenings in other parts of the country.

    According to a survey quoted in Economist (http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12776904), about 54 percent of the voters in Rajasthan had never heard of Mumbai terrorist incidents of last fortnight and only one percent of thsoe who had heard about them were bothered about them. The problem does not lie with BJP. It lies with the Hindus as a whole who are unable to rise to the occassion. They are inert like a mountain due to their political blindness, lack of awareness about other parts of India, inability to take an overall view of where things are heading and excessive obsession with petty day-to-day life. More on this in my post.

  5. suresh

    oh friend u are doing best job i am with everyone who is against the dynastic rule of nehru gandhi family

  6. Kumar

    A noted journo has already petitioned the EC about this… check out http://asuryaprakash.com

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