India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is known as the architect of modern India. His contributions have often been underestimated. Pramod Tiwari, senior Congress leader, in a conversation with IANS shared his opinion on Nehrus contributions.
Q: How did Pandit Nehru contribute to modern India?
A: The foundation stone of development and the concept of modern India was laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He worked to provide electricity and arranged irrigation for agriculture by setting up dams. He set up steel plants at a time when even needles were bought from foreign countries.
Pandit Nehru had a scientific temper and established the Atomic Energy Commission. He prepared the Five-Year Plans.
Nehru also played a major role in the Non-Aligned Movement.
Q: What has been his contribution to the economy which is going uphill today?
A: The condition of India’s economy after centuries of slavery was very bad.
Nehru was inclined towards a mixed economy. He did not want absolute control of the capitalists over India’s market and development after British rule, which is also why the Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) came into existence. A mixed economy was the need of the hour at that time.
Q: What is Pandit Nehru’s contribution in the fields of education and foreign policy?
A: He laid the foundation of institutions like IIT, IIM and AIIMS. Today’s agriculture industry is Nehru’s gift. He maintained good relations with other countries and kept India’s interest paramount.
Q: There has been talk of Nehru’s unsuccessful leadership during the 1962 China War. How do you see this?
A: One should look into their actions before criticising Nehru. India is one of the five largest strategic powers today. Under Narendra Modi’s leadership, China has occupied thousands of kilometres of land in Ladakh.
Modi claims that the Chinese army did not reach the area but a lie bigger than this does not exist. No one is able to steer away from Nehru’s direction.
Q: Why do BJP leaders keep denying Nehru’s contribution?
A: BJP is a false party. Its leaders go to the extent of denying India’s independence in 1947 by enthusiastically claiming that India gained freedom after 2014.
All that the party is selling today, is a part of Nehru’s contribution. All the existing institutions were created by him.
Q: Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that if Sardar Patel had been the first Prime Minister instead of Nehru, then perhaps there would not have been so many problems today.
A: Sardar Patel and Pandit Nehru were a great team and coordinated well. When Nehru became the Prime Minister, Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister and they worked together for the country’s development.
It happened, Nehru was elected and accepted by the people for the post. Shah’s comments on this are useless.