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Nehru And The Gandhis

Ramachandra Guha in the Hindustan Times:

the present president of the Congress has followed the example of Indira and Rajiv rather than Nehru. Thus, she was the chief guest at the inauguration of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad in March 2008 — as well as the chief guest at the inauguration of the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai in June 2009. Would Sonia Gandhi have acted differently had she known Jawaharlal Nehru’s views in this regard? One does not know. What we can say, with some certainty, is that she is unaware of the existence of Nehru’s letter to Prabhavati where his views on the matter were so clearly and firmly stated. For, while the Congress president has visited Patna several times, each time she would have stayed well clear of the home of a man she knew only as her mother-in-law’s most dogged political opponent.

At last count, some 400 government initiatives, institutions, projects and programmes were named after either Nehru, Indira or Rajiv. ...

Jawaharlal Nehru would surely have been appalled by this use (or misuse) of public money for furthering ancestor worship. His rectitude and propriety stands in striking contrast to the behaviour of later members of his family. But it stands in contrast to the attitude of most other Indians too. For instance, one of India’s best-known scientists actually attended the inauguration of a circle named after himself in Bangalore.

Read on at the Hindustan Times

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