Ramachandra Guha’s claim in The shock absorbers (July 25) that one can criticise Gandhi and Nehru without inviting any serious reaction is valid. They seem too distant to affect the fortunes of current politicians and too nationalistic to serve any vote-banks. Historians need to be circumspect and not think of the right to criticise as exclusive. If they exclude the personal and focus on the forgotten but laudable utterances of leading figures, the criticism will be more enlightening even for staunch followers. Most leaders Guha mentions were nationalists who were swayed by the compulsions of real-politik.
Making negative remarks about leaders like Gandhi and Nehru is not appropriate. Rather than scrutinising the negative parts of their efforts, people should realise that there would not have been an independent India without the sacrifices made by Gandhi, Nehru and other leaders.
Farewell, Mr President
President Kalam’s farewell address to Parliament touched on a classic vision of a futuristic India. Resting on the achievements of the last 60 years is no solace as millions suffer from inequalities in opportunities and backwardness. We need to address these issues with a sense of urgency and competence. Kalam has coined a good title: ‘Vision for the nation emanates from Parliament’. Let’s reflect on this.
Pratibha Patil becoming the first-ever woman President of India is a matter of jubilation and the victory for all Indian women. But it is regrettable fact is that a genius like APJ Abdul Kalam, has been shown the door.