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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
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Kings & Pawns

Nehru's delusion that Pakistan couldn't survive, the power-mad Congress' impatience with Gandhi, Jinnah's ambition--thus was born a bloody script

Kings & Pawns
Kings & Pawns
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

LOOKING back 50 years, the haste and self-delusion of Congress and Muslim League leaders that contributed to the bloodiest religious cleansing in history emerges with distributing clarity. They found it convenient to believe that communal discord would fade once the political objectives for fanning it were achieved. They were so blinded by the desire to inherit power that they overlooked the transformatory aims of the freedom movement. Gandhi was keen to wage a final struggle and discuss Partition after the British quit, but was isolated. The records show the last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, dominating discussions and persuading leaders to retain the apparatus of colonial administration with close links with Britain.

More was at stake than the smoother ride to power preferred by Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and other Congress leaders. With the focus on securing centralised control, Gandhi's vision of decentralised polity, village-based economy and non-elitist education became peripheral. The Westminster style of democracy was perpetuated, as was the...

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