Terming the Delhi election results as a reassertion and victory of democracy – the foundations of which were laid by Jawaharlal Nehru – senior Congress leader, Karan Singh called India’s first PM as the ‘father of the Indian state’. Singh was speaking at a symposium on Nehru and Today’s India, organized by the University of Cambridge.
The Rajya Sabha MP said that as a Congressman, he felt dejected with the Delhi outcome, but as an Indian he was delighted.
Singh said, "You saw a young man in muffler made stand still all the might of the largest political party and organization in India, triumphantly sweeping across the city like they have hopped on an 'ashwamedh rath'." The way a comparatively new party was able to take on the whole might of BJP, its organisation and charisma of Modi and wipe it out, Singh argued, made one 'proud as an Indian'. "We may have lost it, that's a different matter...if you ask me as a Congress man I feel dejected but as an Indian I am delighted because they have proven the vibrancy and power of our democracy." Linking this to Nehru, he said the former PM had advocated the right of franchise decades back but AAP proved democracy is still vibrant."
The event had been organized to mark Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary. Cambridge university’s vice chancellor, Leszek Borysiewicz called him one of the ‘most eminent and iconic alumni of the University’ – and said it was time to address world challenges through an Indian lens.
On a panel to discuss economy and development, former Planning Commission member Arun Maira and other panelists looked back at the Planning Commission as a creation of Nehru. Maira emphasised the similarities of Niti Ayog with the commission and called it a cosmetic makeover. Issues like Nehru’s image, internationalism, founding and building India, religion and democracy were also discussed. Other speakers included Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, and former minister Salman Khurshid and Jairam Ramesh, historian Romila Thapar.