This is an interminable cycle. Picking and charging the opposition. Who is it going to be this year, who did what, to what extent, his deficiencies, his appreciations? The deeper you dig the more you are trammelled and before you know it’s time to score a decision. Adjudicating someone based on prejudices is what has taken our government by its neck and while the other party tries to assoil itself off these accusations one discovers that the fight has already begun. This has been the case with two of our most renowned parties: Congress and BJP.
With BJP’s takeover to govern the country after a long lifetime and famine of the power, one would imagine what a leader such as Nehru would have done after coming out of a state of oblivion. It seems like experiencing a freedom like we did back in 1947. Here I would like to draw a comparison between two leaders, their visions, their challenges and their works namely Jawaharlal Nehru and Narendra Modi since with the ascent of Modi it seems to be an end to the tyranny of his opposition like we had that of the British empire leaving behind a nascent country.
Nehru was a learned man. The main quest of his life had always been the freedom and development of the country both on financial as well as social standards. It’s difficult to define the vision of a man who share it with millions because as trivial as it might seem it’s always the tip of an iceberg. Post freedom Nehru faced immense pressure. Pressure to build a country, to provide food and living to its population of lakhs. He wanted the country to step into a modernised “democratic socialism” state of affairs. He envisioned an egalitarian India and he believed it could only be put to progress by ending the demarcations that put the very existence of equality to question.
Now coming onto Modi I believe that he shares a common opinion to Nehru when it comes to development – Modernisation. Though most of his interests are also similar but he mostly envisions facilitating India in emerging as a superpower. Though he is absolved of the pressure of assisting a newly formed nation he still has a long way to go. He considers that the sole responsibility of developing a nation lies on the shoulders of its youth and what the youth needs is a little faith and motivation. He further plans to aid India in becoming the largest growing economy of the world by boosting the potential that lies encapsulated in its sectors. His motto “Sabke saath, Sab ka vikas” distinctly indicates laconically the intricate meaning behind his motives and plans for the country.
The main challenge that Nehru faced was uniting a newly formed country with so many varied cultures and ethical values. Though he had a lot of people with him to guide him through the process but being the first prime minister of a nation itself exerted immense pressure onto him. Britishers left the country in a state of total chaos and utter turmoil. Leaving behind a partition with so many people displacing and riots breaking out these tumultuous conditions were a real source of infliction. Not only was this challenged by his peers at different times also troublesome. On the matters of establishing a planning commission or Kashmir dispute, he was criticised many times. Not to mention the horrendous Indo-Sino war of 1962 which left him completely heart broken and deteriorated his health to such an extent that he lost his life in 1964 not being able to overcome the post-war trauma.
Coming onto the challenges of Modi, I believe the biggest challenge for him is to live up to the expectations of the masses that elected him based on his promises he did pre-election. It would not be wrong to mention that he gained this responsibility when the opposition was completely clobbered down leading to its debacle. This puts him in a lucrative position to establish himself as the knight the kingdom has been longing for. But this also accentuated the pressure because now he is exposed to a more observant eye of the opposition. Not only has this, unlike Nehru the pressure doubled on Modi because the population under consideration is 2 billion which means he has more mouths to feed. A country lagging behind due to scarcity of financial aid and facing intimate conflicts based on religion and social status along with the perils of the neighbouring countries like Pakistan and China really does put him under a lot of speculation and assessment.
Nehru’s works are not concealed from anyone. Other than contributing immensely to the freedom of the country, Nehru did some pretty good job as a prime minister too. He advocated his idea of democratic socialism through his work. He formulated a Planning Commission in 1951 to undertake the responsibility of his five-year plans aiming the development of the nation. He also emphasised on modernising the fields of industrial and agricultural production. He promoted scientific education and imparted growth prospects within the nation by setting up institutes for premiere education like IITs, IMs and AIIMS. Under his government, the Hindu Code Bills were passed which prohibited discrimination and provided gender equality to a male dominant country which we are still trying to achieve.
If we talk about Modi’s work it would be pretty easy to point out because he had been a minister of the modern India and its youth. His “Make in India” yojana is well acquainted with everyone. The zest with which he communicates with the rest of the nation is really applaudable. More of his works have been targeted in modernising the nation, spreading awareness programmes and restoring faith in the people of the country. Under his governance India is already set to reach its goal of emerging as superpower which can be exemplified by the fact that in his reign we have already set our path to achieve GDP growth from a mere 4.2% to 6.2% by the end of 2015.
With this I would only like to state that it is merely impossible to construe a comparison between two world class leaders because there are a lot of things that we are unaware of and that formulate a government and its policies. We can only measure what we have so let’s not be a part of the prejudice we so condemn.