Nehru's Ideas Will Never Cease to Be Relevant: Ansari

New Delhi
Nehru's Ideas Will Never Cease to Be Relevant: Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari today said there is no apprehension that ideas of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru will cease to be relevant.

"There is no apprehension that ideas of Nehru will cease to be relevant. Yes, life is full of twists and turns and debates are always welcome. But at the end of the debates, Nehru will come out even a greater personality than his iconic figure," Ansari said here today.

The Vice President was speaking after releasing the book Nehru-Gazing at Tomorrow penned by veteran Congress leader and former Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj.

Ansari said Bharadwaj has in the "very compact but loaded with ideas monograph", reproduced on purpose Nehru's historic 1929 Lahore speech, which "spelt out with remarkable clarity the totality of ideas of how he visualised India to be".

"In 1929, India was not a free country but he had the foresight to look beyond the horizon and spell out what he would like independent India to look like," Ansari said.

Commending Bharadwaj for his book, which has sections on social justice, parliamentary democracy, working of the Indian Constitution as well as science and technology, Ansri said, "Today we hold each one of these ideas close to us because each of them have helped us reach where we are and the direction we should be taking."

Recalling her father-in-law, Uma Shankar Dixit, who was close to both Gandhi and Nehru, Bharadwaj said, "Uma Shankar Diskhit writes about Gandhian socialist. To me a Gandhian socialist is a sandwich between the extreme socialist and extreme leftist.To me to be a secular socialist is Gandhian philosophy."

Commenting that Nehru as a humanist and secular democrat, Bharadwaj said, "People who criticise Nehru should introspect. His cabinet comprised 10 ministers selected by Gandhi and represented all shades of opinion including Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, minister of industry , Sardar Baldev Singh, B R Ambedkar, all kinds of people of all religions."

Bharadwaj, was the law minister three times has also written a chapter on "We the People" where Nehru cautions people about disruption and divisive forces that were on work.

"All his life, Nehru promoted secular Inida and gave preference to all kinds of people who are socially backward and disadvantaged," Bharadwaj said.

"Now our courts have interpreted our democracy. The latest judgement of the court is that secularism is the foundation of Indian democracy... And any person who harms the secular fabric of this country, he does not deserve to be the ruler of this country and any discriminatory treatment on any ground is prohibited," he said.

"We should continue to live together as Indians, brothers and sisters and get inspiration from our leaders. Electoral defeats does not mean that Indian democracy has become weak. It calls for introspection (as to) why this change has been given by people of India," he said.

Harish Khare, a former media adviser to the Prime Minister, said Nehru had been under attack since January 1948.

"Since January 1948 Nehru has been under attack. And it is no surprise that this great democrat and his ideas are once again under attack this time by new reactionaries and new communalists."

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