Skip to main content

Everything made him thoughtful, all Indians inspired him, so he inspired all Indians

By Alexander K Luke*

Let us now praise a great man...
He was one of us, one amongst us, but he stood apart. Harrow and Cambridge taught him to love English but not England. There was another land, to which he was a stranger, which claimed him, he returned to it. For the next thirty years, ten in jail, he changed his attire and walked with Gandhi in his epic search for freedom and morality.
Nehru, our Prime Minister in those first dangerous years, respected by the good and great of the world, a thinker and a man excited by possibilities not yet real; he attracted many, big and small. Andre Malraux of France held intense conversations with him, to children he was Chacha Nehru, and he loved roses. Gandhi pointed to him as our leader, the issue was settled for Indians.
Everything made him thoughtful, all Indians inspired him, so he inspired all Indians. Lata's great song brought tears to his eyes, but she could sing it because of him. He made what was beautiful more beautiful. The films and songs of the fifties, dances and stories were in a real sense his.
Recall the last scene of "Mother India". Nargis, an old woman now, life's battles fought, one son lost but her face serene, alight with hope for future... The new canal water flows, Nehru's promise. Mehboob made the film, it was a syncretic time...
But Nehru was also a writer, not perhaps a great one but very near it. “The Discovery of India” is a fine book, well written with a craftsman's skill and discipline. He describes his wife's death. She is in a Swiss sanatorium. The year is 1936, Hitler raging, Churchill defiant, Stalin waiting. Great armies are on the move.
One sick woman in the midst, her husband a revolutionary fighting for India's freedom. To stay or to return? She dies, Nehru by her side, very moving. He must have cried, alone...
---
*1975 batch Gujarat cadre IAS official, who turned around several sick state PSUs; resigned from service in 2006

Comments

shailesh gandhi said…
A sensitively penned tribute to a man who greatly contributed to the idea of India
Deepak Pradhan said…
Very well expressed qualities of great human , also loved leader of millions . He was true visionary . Might have done some mistakes , felt now , but today after 75 years of independence ,we have vibrant democracy existing existing.
6th Sense said…
Excellent write up only a person like Alexander Luke can narrate such lucidly

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

WHO move can 'enable' India to detain citizens, restrict freedom, control media

Counterview Desk  In an an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with copies to concerned Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and MPs,  health rights network  People’s Alliance for Public Health (PAPH alias JanSwasthya Morcha), has urged that India should not be a signatory to the World Health Organization ( WHO) Pandemic Agreement and Amendments to the  International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005  to be adopted at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva from 27th May to 1st June, 2024.

'Enough evidence': Covid vaccines impacted women's reproductive health

By Deepika*  In 2024, the news outlets have suddenly started reporting about covid vaccine side effects in a very extensive manner. Sadly, the damage is already done.

Can scientists believe in God, yet explore nature 'abandoning' belief?

By Dr TV Sajeev*  In August 2023, India celebrated the successful soft-landing of Chandrayan on the south pole of the moon. That mission too led to some questioning about whether scientists could believe in God. The culture of temple visits and poojas before the launch of rockets with or without payload had been a mocking point for a long while. 

Growing stream of pollution infecting homes, bodies in US, Vietnam

By Erica Cirino*  Louisiana’s “River Parishes,” located along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, shoulder some of the worst industry impacts in the United States. As a result, this region has acquired a grim reputation as “ Cancer Alley .” 

'Uncertainty in Iran': Raisi brokered crucial Chabahar Port deal with India

By Pranjal Pandey*  Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President, and the country’s foreign minister were tragically found deceased on May 20, 2024, shortly after their helicopter crashed in foggy conditions. In response, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly appointed a relatively unknown vice president as the interim leader.

Informal, outdoor workers 'excluded': Govt of India's excessive heat policies

Counterview Desk  Top civil rights network, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), has demanded urgent government action to protect millions of outdoor workers from extreme heat and heatwaves, insisting declaration of heatwaves as climatic disaster.