Friday, November 16, 2007

Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru - By Kumar

It was the late 50's and a young boy in a small town caught a fancy for a box camera, having seen his classmate use one. He pestered his father until, one day, the senior man took him to a camera shop. The
shopkeeper displayed his wares; the father looked at each one before flinching at the asking price.

To cut a long story short, both father and son walked out of that shop without the buy, hugging the new camera
he wanted.

In the strange way that kids sometime understand adult compulsions, the boy did not feel so bad about not having the camera.

But the hurt in his father's eyes would haunt the boy for the rest of his life.

It is fashionable today to criticise Jawaharlal Nehru, but in many ways he was like the little boy's father. His love of his country was unquestioned; he wanted the best for his people, but had so little by way of resources.

Nehru was dealing with a newborn country that had
been denuded of all wealth by its own selfish, scheming and utterly degenerate kings and nawabs in concert with a criminal entity supported by the British crown known as the East India Company.

Why did we not take up the American way at independence? Because this was not America, where immigrants from England and other places in Europe came to settle; this was our own land which we did not own. In a way, we were left like the native Americans, the "Red Indians". Ask them what the American Way did to them.

Wait, the boy's story has more. He grew up, in the normal way kids all over did, and was soon on the threshold of college. He found he was weak in chemistry; his father, who was trained in the subject, sat down with him, and tutored him everyday until the young man was
confident enough.

Sure enough, that boy made it into IIT, and into Mechanical Engineering, too: a "hot" branch in those days. His father's pride, as he introduced his son to his other fiends and associates, made the boy realise his dad was there for him when it mattered the most.

Nehru did not live to see the economic superpower his country was turning into. But you are there to witness it; spend a few moments in thought about the Father of the IITs. November 14th is his birthday.

Jawaharlal Nehru is in real danger of being forgotten. You, of all people, should never, ever, let that happen.