Jawahar nehru-and-socialism

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May be more freedom could have prevailed without the 'socialistic pattern' ideas of Nehruji.

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Jawahar nehru-and-socialism

  1. 1. Jawa Nehru_SOCIALISM Based on a book by Sanjeev Sabhlok
  2. 2. Dedicated most importantly,to your freedom to think and to be. 2
  3. 3. This is a book about changing India. About setting us free.This is a book about restoring our values and our nationalcharacter. A book about making India a great place to bringup our children. More a pamphlet than a book, this is aconversation between one Indian and another, an attempt todiscuss what we have lost by letting socialists trample on ourcountry’s ancient genius and moral character for 60 years;and to explore what it will take to bring back India to theright path – of freedom – and then take it to a tryst with truegreatness. Sanjeev Sabhlok Melbourne, Australia Read now _ this review or extract 3
  4. 4. Nehru’s socialist legacy-1As Nehru was the single most powerful source ofsocialism in India since the 1930s, with hisemotionally charged glorification of its allegedsuccesses and relentless implementation of itsprinciples, to him must go the credit of being theMessiah of Indian Socialism. Nehruinfluenced an entire epoch, one that is stillunder way. 4
  5. 5. Nehru’s socialist legacy-2All things that have happened in India under socialist designsince independence are Nehruvian, therefore Nehru is themost apt symbol of India’s first 60 years since independence.Nehru influenced an entire epoch, one that is still under way.In his Presidential Address at the 1936 Lukhnow Congress,he reiterated his ‘faith’ in socialism, remarking, ‘socialism isthus for me not merely an economic doctrine which I favour;it is a vital creed which I hold with all my head and heart’. 5
  6. 6. Established unworkable Systems We can clearly trace India’s failures ingovernance to Nehru. Nehru is the source;others merely followed what heestablished. It will be clearly shown thatthe systems Nehru designed for us wereunworkable and could never havedelivered their intended outcomes. 6
  7. 7. Nehru made the government so important andso large in our lives that it has now become our(modern) God. So how could a common man –argue in favour of its getting demoted tobecoming our servant? Nehru’s legacyundoubtedly lives on long after his death. Hissocialist way of thought flourishes today asnever before, weak-kneed Indian liberalizationnotwithstanding. And so, wherever Nehruhimself did not create socialist policies, hissuccessors stepped in and made hispolicies ‘sharper’. 7
  8. 8. Nehru’s socialist Frankenstein, which now stood large onIndia’s murky horizon, grew unchecked and ran amuck,stomping over everybody after Nehru’s death in 1964.Indeed, this monster gained a truly fierce bite with hisdaughter Indira Gandhi’s ascension to India’s‘throne’ in 1966. Claiming Nehru’s socialist legacy, sheembarked on a frontal assault on freedom. Property rightswere diluted even further. She dismantled large privateorganizations by nationalizing almost everything in sightincluding banks and cloth manufacturing mills. 8
  9. 9. We must classify Nehru’s followers as his socialistgodchildren. They include not only his daughterand his grandchildren but also his politicalcontemporaries (except for the Swatantra Party)and his political successors like the BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP), Congress (I) and, ofcourse, communists of various shades; allNehruvians, every single one of them. We canhear the echoes of Nehru’s voice in all theirconversations and actions. They talk of self-sufficiency, of the mixed economy. 9
  10. 10. Seventeen years of Nehru leadershipBut we must pause to ask: what could possiblyhave gone so wrong that despite Nehru’srelentless efforts and leadership, India continuedto perform miserably on many fronts fordecades, and has now gained global notorietyas one of the world’s most corrupt nations? For,were not most of our systems and practices putin place during Nehru’s time? He had nearly 17years to kick-start India’s march towardsfreedom and prosperity. He did not bring about asystem of freedom with accountability. 10
  11. 11. At a fundamental level, let us think about India’sfreedom. We need to break free of Nehru in orderto restore our freedoms. To become free. To beunleashed. Not because we dislike Nehru in anyway. Freedom in the abstract may not soundimportant enough, or even relevant, as we spendour daily energies fuming over the chronicproblems of misgovernance, corruption, povertyand a seemingly excessive population. But it is thisfreedom that we need more than anything elsetoday in India. 11
  12. 12. Freedom is the missing ingredient that will deliverthe final blows of death to poverty and corruption,and create an unprecedented equality of opportunityin India. To acquire an understanding of this missingingredient in our policy we must first find outwhere we stand in relation to freedom today, andhaving done that, determine where we should gonext. And each time we analyse the facts wediscover that Nehru deliberately and consciouslyblocked our freedom. 12
  13. 13. Little do Nehru’s godchildren realize that freedom, withequality of opportunity which includes the elimination ofpoverty and provision of school education, is the finesthuman face, being both just and justly compassionate.Only societies that are underpinned by freedom and henceby justice have the capacity, through wealth generation, ofdisplaying compassion and providing everyone with equalopportunity. All the socialism in the world cannot bringabout even the most basic outcomes – of justice, ofeducation for all, and of the elimination of poverty. 13
  14. 14. This new India, which is resplendent, clean,beautiful, healthy, wealthy and innovative,sits right below our nose, waiting to be uncoveredby our minds and hands,by getting rid of the chaff of socialism andremoving barriers to our freedom.The magic wand of freedom will unveil a trulyShining India like Aladdin’s lamp unveiled the cavecontaining unimaginable treasures. 14
  15. 15. For India to aspire to much higher growth rates, toeradicate poverty and corruption, and to preserveits environment, we now have to internalize therequirements of freedom which call for individual• responsibility and• accountability.• India has not yet, as a nation, understood what it means to be free. Let us start with a bird’s- eye view of freedom in Indian life. 15
  16. 16. Recent economic growth has helped to reducepoverty and has made a few people very rich, butall this has not translated into a significantimprovement in the quality of life of the vastmajority of Indians, who continue to be illiterateand poor. That is primarily because our governanceis still driven by socialist and other antiquatedprinciples. 16
  17. 17. England had a head-start in freedom whichwould take many countries a long time to catch upwith. Apart from Raja Ram Mohan Roy, othercontributors to the political discourse onfreedom in nineteenth century India includedDadabhai Naoroji (1825– 1917), Mahadeo GovindRanade (1842–1901), Gopal Krishna Gokhale(1866–1915) and Pherozeshah Mehta (1845–1915). 17
  18. 18. A competing theory to the theory of freedom hadarisen in the dying years of feudalism – the theoryof socialism (or communism). Both liberalism andsocialism agreed that kings were no longerneeded. But on what would come next, theydiffered completely. These radically opposedWestern world views, one founded on freedom,the other on equality, had begun a battle for theminds and hearts of people. 18
  19. 19. While socialism overpowered parts of Europe by thelate nineteenth century, England and USA remainedthe bastions of freedom and kept trying to improvetheir political and democratic institutions ofgovernance.The greatest advances in freedom therefore tookplace only in the West, not in India. The Indianintelligentsia remained focused on its challenge ofindependence. 19
  20. 20. A few Indians did raise broader issues in relation tofreedom, such as Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941)and M K Gandhi (1869–1948). However, that wasincidental to the focus on self-rule and opposingracism.This great mental energy led to the most awe-inspiring independence movement the world hasever seen. It was an exemplary movement – farahead of its times in its principle-based standards ofpolitical protest. 20
  21. 21. In addition, the British were gently taught a veryimportant lesson in freedom by Gandhi. Hisexposition of the equality among peoples and ofnon-violent protest were significant contributionsto the freedom of mankind as a whole.Through humane and dignified protest hedemonstrated that all humans were equally worthyof regard. This was of course helped by allegianceof the British to their rule of law. 21
  22. 22. His methods also reminded the people of Britainthat they should not lower their own principles ofliberty by diminishing the liberty of others. As aresult of Gandhi’s actions the age of racialdiscrimination officially came to an end in manyparts of the world. Oppressed peoples of the past,such as the blacks of the USA and South Africa,acknowledge the contributions of Gandhi. 22
  23. 23. Gandhi brought about afundamental shift in the world’slandscape of freedom.Gandhi was a influential proponentof individual liberty (and thus,indirectly, of classical liberalism) inIndia in the first half of thetwentieth century. 23
  24. 24. Gandhi opposed the collectivist and centralizedapproaches of communism not on intellectualgrounds but because of his ‘intuitive’ grasp over theconcepts of accountability and justice. Quotationsfrom Gandhi in the table below tell us about hisliberal credentials.‘Government that is ideal governs the least. It is noself-government that leaves nothing for the peopleto do’ 24
  25. 25. ‘I look upon an increase of the power of the Statewith the greatest fear because, although whileapparently doing good by minimising exploitation, itdoes the greatest harm to mankind by destroyingindividuality which lies at the root of all progress’‘Submission to a state wholly or largely unjust is animmoral barter for liberty. Civil resistance is a mostpowerful expression of a soul’s anguish andan eloquent protest against the continuance of anevil state’ 25
  26. 26. ‘The means to me are just as important asthe goal, and in a sense more important inthat we have some control over them,whereas we have none over the goal if welose control over the means’‘I hope to demonstrate that real Swaraj willcome not by the acquisition of authority bya few but by the acquisition of the capacityby all to resist authority when abused. Inother words, Swaraj is to be attained byeducating the masses to a sense of theircapacity to regulate and control authority’ 26
  27. 27. Nehru, who was far more aware of the history ofliberalism than Gandhi seems to have been, hadsurprisingly little faith in an individual’sability to think for himself and to take personalresponsibility. He did not ask us to undertake self-reflection and to choose ethically at each step. Hebelieved, instead, that the government shouldmake our choices for us. In his model, all decision-making powers were to be concentrated in thegovernment. 27
  28. 28. History will soon prove that Communism, instead ofbeing the final flowering of human civilisation, was atemporary aberration of the human mind, a briefnightmare to be soon forgotten. Communism, as itgrew up in Russia and is growing up in China now,represented the darkness of the soul andimprisonment of the mind, colossal violence andinjustice. Whoever thinks of the future of the humanrace in these terms is condemning man to eternalperdition. _ Jayaprakash Narayan 28
  29. 29. Tagore’s poem is truly embarrassing, for socialists. Each ofTagore’s lines resists socialism. Tagore doesn’t sing poeticallyabout how our government will do things for us when webecome free. He doesn’t sing praises to public sectorundertakings; doesn’t sing praises to equality; doesn’t aspirefor commanding heights of the economy; doesn’t aspire forplanning. 29
  30. 30. Tagore is asking for each individual to achieve this‘heaven of freedom’. Tagore’s poem points to anenabling role for government, not an organizationthat closely monitors our religion, caste and tribe,and bakes our bread. Nehru never reminded us ofthis embarrassing poem. If he had a modernshredder, he would have shredded it. And so the mostimportant task of all for independent India, namely,of creating mechanisms to defend our freedom, wasignored. 30
  31. 31. The good thing about Nehruvian socialism is thatbeing a less extreme form of socialism than Russiancommunism, it has probably inoculated us.Once India fully recovers from its socialist fever andits head clears up, it should remain free of equalityand socialism forever, unlike Russia which may yetrevert to communism once again. 31
  32. 32. 32
  33. 33. When we talk of equality, it is for the eradicationof poverty. Just a brief comment first – povertycannot be eliminated unless we foster conditionswhich create great wealth and great inequality.We need sufficient numbers of extremely richpeople whom we can tap into, both as taxpayersand high calibre experts, to help us banishpoverty. The two reasons often used bygovernments to intervene in markets, namely thequest for perfect competition and equality, arevery bad reasons. Criminals and fools flourishunder the guise of these two excuses. 33
  34. 34. Some poverty will remain even upon changing fromNehruvian socialism to comprehensive capitalism.Some people will remain who are not in thephysical or mental position to compete in themarketplace and support themselves and theirchildren. More capable people, should step intosupport these unfortunate fellow citizens to thepoint when they are empowered to stand on theirown feet and resume normal activity in themarketplace. 34
  35. 35. It is in the nature of free societies that as a result ofcompetitive efforts in the marketplace, somemiddleclass and even rich families will regress intogrim poverty even while those who were poorearlier begin to flourish and become rich. Whilewell-off families are expected to insure themselvesagainst poverty, once a family does become poor, itwill tend to lose the capacity to further insure itself,particularly its children. 35
  36. 36. We must create uniform prohibitions on certainactions, minimum standards of accountability insocial matters, but most important of all, equality ofopportunity through elimination of poverty andprovision of school education for all children.Enforcing equal opportunity and taking actionagainst discrimination will also help. Such policieswill yield a far superior outcome to the unjust andanti-freedom strategies found in our Constitution. 36
  37. 37. The formula for ensuring equality of opportunity in asociety is therefore: • Expect everyone in the society to produce the greatest possible wealth they can through free markets. • Transfer a sum directly to those who failed to rise above the poverty line despite their best efforts, through an objective and non- discretionary process that will bring their incomes above the poverty line. 37
  38. 38. As free people we are required to balance the forcesof our physical and emotional energy in ourinteractions with others to make sure that no oneelse is made worse off by our actions (or inaction).Nothing requires us to go out of the way to helpothers. We may, of course, choose to do so, butthat is not an obligation on us. 38
  39. 39. All freedom calls for is that we must not ever makeothers worse off – for that would diminish their life,even if by a tiny amount.This accountability exists whether it is enforced bya nominated third party or not. 39
  40. 40. Think clearly about self-discipline, moralresponsibility, enlightened self-interest, evenenlightened selfishness. There is a pointwhere the philosophy of freedom mergesseamlessly with the highest spiritualphilosophies of mankind. However, ethicalliberalism is a philosophy of action and doesnot tolerate corruption and decadence. 40

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