He was an advocate of individual freedom and yet was committed to bringing about economic equality. He was never afraid of a compromise with anybody, but he never compromised with anyone out of fear. His policy towards Pakistan and China was a symbol of this unique blend. It had generosity as well as firmness. It is unfortunate that this generosity was mistaken for weakness, while some people looked upon his firmness as obstinacy.” Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then a Rajya Sabha member, said these words while paying tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru.
In today’s era of ‘blame it on Nehru’, this above quote mentioned in the very last chapter of ‘Who is Bharat Mata?’ compiled and edited by Purushottam Agrawal holds even greater significance. This book certainly deserves to be part of libraries all across the institutions and also respective State Legislatures and Councils.
As a reader, one gets a rare opportunity to enter into the mind of Nehru and reason out some of the important decisions he took while being at the helm of nation’s fate.
A prolific reader himself, Nehru left no stone unturned to pen down his views of various subjects pertaining to national importance as well as under the domain of social responsibility.
Agrawal here has done a wonderful job by compiling all this in one single book and highlighting certain aspects in bold with the intention of grabbing attention, which certainly proves to be a worthy exercise.
One such paragraph reads: In a democracy, we have to know how to win and also how to lose with grace. Those who win should not allow this to go to their heads; those who lose should not feel dejected.
The above statement made by Nehru several decades back, holds much relevance today when you look at the magnanimous rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and absolute downfall of age-old Congress Party.
As a reader, one comes across many such references in this book, which makes it a collector’s copy, to understand the past while scripting the future.
Book: Who is Bharat Mata? Writings by and on Jawaharlal Nehru
Author: Purushottam Agrawal
Publisher: Speaking Tiger
Pages: 474; Price: Rs 599