Thursday, March 02, 2006

Of Calamities and Misinformation

If I were asked to name the two biggest natural disasters ever to hit Indian shores, I would have no hesitation in naming the horrendously overhyped and much lied about duo of J Nehru and MK Gandhi. Whether evaluated from an economic, foreign-relations or human perspective, these two did all in their power to cripple the country and leave it in a total shambles by the time they were through.

Let’s just look a bit objectively at the oh-so-great Mr. N then for starters. Power hungry as he was, his first act was to ensure, with able assistance and ultimate guidance from Mr. G that the Congress’ decision of appointing Patel as PM was shot down and he was to lead the nation. This decision of course, led to Jinnah asking for Pakistan, since his only condition was that Nehru not be made PM. A secular Jinnah, when rebuffed by Gandhi on this demand immediately turned to hardline religiosity and ultimately this led to the infamous rioting that left thousands dead and the populations of two nations scarred.

This however was just the precursor to what Nehru truly aimed to accomplish. Jinnah was perhaps the wisest man of that time and I base this opinion purely on the fact that hindsight shows how right he was to demand that Nehru not be made PM. Just after Independence, with Pakistan mounting an attack on Kashmir, the then-ruler of the independent State rushed to Delhi and signed an accession treaty with India. As part of the country, perhaps I am not being too demanding when I state that India’s duty was now to retaliate to uphold sovereignty – a suggestion that Patel (Home Minster) made.

Yet Nehru in his infinite wisdom chose to rush to the UN with this issue rather than use force. The result? A total fiasco with India rejecting the UN’s decision, an International Border that is non-existent and much-debated, a ‘Line-of-Control’ that is farcical and ill-defined at best and of course, the wonderful gift of terrorism that shows no signs of ceasing.

But Nehru was an all-rounder, to be sure. India was a newly freed nation and this of course afforded him with ample elbow-room to wreak all the havoc that his mind dreamed up. Economically, he imposed on the country a model more incompetent and ridiculous than any could have imagined. A similar model was tried and immediately rejected by China, but Nehru of course knew better.

So, we had regulations that ensured that there was no private sector at all, we had a monolithic public sector that apart from boosting the employment figures provided little productivity and ensured that incompetence, corruption and red tape became inextricable parts of our industry and culture. The growth rates under Nehru was not just laughable, but contemptible and the economy hurtled quickly towards the crisis that would envelop it in the 1970s.

Foreign affairs though, was the field for which Nehru reserved his best. He started this little baby called the Non-Alignment Movement. Fantastic as it may sound, this joke not just survived its ill-conceived inception, but lasts to date!!! This despite the Cold War itself having been over for well over a decade. Oh well, since we can’t blame the last bit on Nehru, I will just leave that as a pointer to how ridiculous the concept was in itself.

NAM of course meant that the member nations of this organisation aligned with neither the United States nor the USSR. It’s perhaps the easiest fact to point out that none of the NAM countries achieved anything significant in terms of growth during the Cold War era. India of course, was to play an even bigger clown under the expert guidance of the highly esteemed Mr. Nehru.

While a leading light of NAM and one of the founder nations, India was quite obviously cosying up to the USSR. This of course was hardly invisible to the USA who quite nicely formed an alliance with Pakistan. (It took massive efforts to shrug off the effects of this phase and Indian relations with the USA did not improve till ABV's reign... Even now of course, the astoundingly stupid Left and their cronies are creating a ruckus, but then again, they'd do that anyway.) Yet India was never really assured of overt Russian support anyway, since we were, ostensibly at least, a part of NAM and therefore could hardly afford to support one of the Big Two on any public forum!

Yet Nehru’s biggest showpiece, his grandest moment and the culmination of all his efforts on these different fronts was the confrontation with China. Much is made in history texts in Indian schools of the fact that the Chinese were the aggressors in this conflict. This of course, is a vicious campaign of misinformation used by the Congress to sweep under the carpet all the horrendous mistakes that Nehru made in the lead-up to the conflict.

The great statesman that he was, he deliberately redrew the maps and asked the Indian forces to proceed further and further, assuming that the Chinese troops that would inevitably be returning to their outposts would not care to fight and take back what was theirs, as the land in that region was hardly fertile (Wonder why he wanted it then, but then I’m not as smart or as much a visionary as he was).

Nehru then repeatedly ignored Chinese pleas to withdraw and the result of course was the war itself. This is where Nehru’s other achievements came into play. Where the maps and the records showed bridges and roads that the exchequer had paid millions for, there were in reality none present! And Nehru being the tactical genius and the geography master that he was, asked the Indian soldiers to march into combat in the Himalayas, wearing no more than a sleeveless sweater. Perhaps his assumption was that the firing would keep them warm. Who knows? Perhaps he was right. We’ll never know the soldiers’ perspective of course as they were all massacred on the battlefield…

As an illustration of the truth of all this, consider that China, having marched well into the disputed territory and being in a fantastic position, unchallenged and facing pressure from nobody, unilaterally declared a ceasefire as well as a withdrawal of troops and returned vast portions of the disputed territory to India. This is after the fact that their initial offer for a ceasefire in September (all they asked in return was that India agree to negotiate on the issues that Nehru had so far ignored), was rejected by Nehru even before he read it!!! This of course sparked off the combat in October and November that claimed over a thousand soldiers.

Nehru showed his tremendous respect for the fallen men with his stunning statement regarding how ‘not a blade of grass grows there’, to illustrate that the loss was not anything he considered major. And this man is considered our greatest leader? The maestro of foreign relations? The only foreign relationship he was good at was the philandering with Lady M.

In true Nehruvian style of course, there was a report written on the War and the reasons for the loss. There was also a Committee instituted later that was asked to see if the report could be released to the Indian public. That of course, has not happened and possibly never will… To do so, would destroy in one blow all the myths that the Congress has worked so hard at spreading, about the most vile person ever to occupy any nation’s top office.

To those that may contest the facts I present regarding the China War, please visit this link. It may enlighten you…and trust me, it makes for a depressing read, particularly if you are a Congress-loving person who believes in that web of lies and deception about Nehru…

Someday I’ll write on Gandhi’s other failings, but perhaps the biggest of them all, was that he shoved this man down our throats… It’s enough to make a grown man cry to hear people praise those two bastards.


StupendousMan said...

nothing like an angry post like this to wake one up in the morning. heh heh.
but on a more serious note, the post is quite insightful, despite the acridity. as far as border disputes go, i think it was china here that did all the map-drawing, discrediting the tibet border (McMahon line). While it appears that Nehru did succumb to ill-advised military tactics, with befuddled concepts of non-alignment and the Panscheel, agression was definitely the doing of China, and not India. Nehru's fault lay in not responding quickly, and for believing that a gentle grumble would convince china to back down.
as far as the economic policies go, i don't think, personally, that he was out of line. economic policies are framed as per existing conditions. and conditions in 1947 and the years immediately after it warranted the creation of what you refer to as an incompetent an ridiculous model. yes, compared to the growth rates we have today, the progress we made then does seem quite absurd. but is that a fair comparison in itself? policies are meant to live and die its utility. the fault here wasn't nehru's. it was of the successive governments that did not try to quickly get out of the protectionist policies intended only to empower the nation. instead, political parties, and not just the congress, revelled in the babu-dom that was created. when reservations for the minorities were reccomended, Dr. Ambedkar specified its life. that we still have reservations today isn't ambedkar's fault or short-sightedness, is it?
NAM. as a new nation state, theoretically, we could not afford to choose a side in a polarized world. practically, we did lean one side. as for those who did side with the US, they are now regular whores for the US govt, with the latter using its air strips, and pretty much all else.
it is indeed surprising that jinnah, as one of the wisest men in his times, should make the issue of prime-ministership culminate in the traumas of partition. petty, i would think.
all said, i think this is a good post, and i hope that you will continue this set of articles, and probably touch upon other political figures who've pretty much raped the integrity and cultural fabric of the country, read fundamentalist leaders as exeplified as poster-boys for winning elections - narendra modi....


Darth Midnightmare said...

@SM: Sorry, but you're wrong there.

1. Please read that article I have given the link to. It is unambigous and states clearly exactly what transpired during that period that led up to the War. Another source of information for me of course, was a great-uncle who was later to become Cabinet Secretary in the 1970s. He too was quite clear that the blame lay squarely at Nehru's doors.

2. About NAM, the entire concept was a blunder. If you're going to be non-aligned stay that way. Nehru was clearly committed to leaning towards Russia. Stupid attempts at not being overt just ruined any chances you had of getting support from anyone! As for being "whores of the US", well, let's put it simply, I'm not saying he should have sold out or been anybody's poodle. But as things stood, the decision made was the worst possible. Simple fact: None of the NAM countries grew at all.

3. The economic model was all Nehru. It's even called the 'Nehru-Mahalnobis Model'. It was not the implementation that stank but the model itself. It was so centred on heavy industry! It was a Russian modeal and Nehru tried implementing it in a drastically different environment. It was doomed from the silly outset and there was no intention to EVERY open the economy. I been through entire books on this.

Bottomline: My post makes difficult reading for anyone who is brainwashed by the lies and deception that start at school level. But unless we wake up to the truth now, the myth that Nehru was a 'great' or even 'mildly competent' leader will never be exposed. I too had a tough time accepting that the philandering assh*le was so callous in the China affair. It was a chilling thought. But here's my challenge:

Prove me wrong! On any single point about that China affair or any other for that matter. Cite any document you like, apart from the stupid school text book.

PS: I intend to look into that matter of reservations etc. in the post on Gandhi. And you're a bit off even on that one. Authentic Ambedkar bios say that he did not want reservation at all!!!!!!

Darth Midnightmare said...

Oh and before I forget. Even the belief that he was fond of children was a lie. Accounts of Nehru's life show clearly that he did not like children. This story was just meant to make him popular and Nov 14 happens to be just another big farce pulled by the Congress.

As for MA Jinnah, he too is far too maligned! His demand was simple. If anyone other than Nehru is to be PM, he was fine with it. But if Nehru was to be PM, he would have nothing of it and wanted Pakistan. Like I said in the post, he was so right in his assessment that having Nehru as PM would be an unmitigated disaster. If only that stupid Gandhi had slapped down the power-hungry bastard in Nehru and allowed the rightfully elected Patel to become PM, none of this would ever have transpired...*sigh*...

Saddest part is: Most people will still not accept this. Childhood is such an impressionable time...

StupendousMan said...

i did read the link, and did do my own lil reading up as well. i mean, classes are boring enough to prompt me to take up this research. will gladly post my references, but i guess cross-checking the veracity of our comments is hardly the point. my reading does tell me though that china had always had problems with tibet being an independent state, and therefore did not want to recognize the boundaries as per the mcmachon line between india and tibet and thus began wandering beyond that border. before i go on, i'd also like to make on observation as regards to your bottomline. i think its fair to discuss this post, cos blogs are meant for that. to label it as 'difficult reading for those brainwashed by lies' is, well, kind of unfair to a reader. but thats my personal opinion.
i don't contest Nehru's bungling up of the entire China matter. The NAM countries came together for a collective voice. that none of the NAM members have progressed is contestable.
ambedkar set out an implementation programme for reservations, and its withdrawal. i am pretty sure that he did not support reservations, but saw it as a necessity for a period of time. now as for the military report that the rediff special talks about, i sure as hell was surprised, and it definitely wanted to make me read more. having said that, i am also quite skeptical about the numerous conspiracy theory type documents that float around.
economic model - widely divided opinions exist here too. i remember reading it atleast twice in the sunday morning debate in the ToI. all four commentators were extremely well-read themselves in the Nehru Model, and i tend to subscribe that the model was set out as the first step to the economy. as said before, i blame the successor governments, mostly the congress, for having kept the economy the way nehru left it, without allowing for quicker growth. that is my opinion.
the truth, as you say, must be known. i, and many more are more open to finding out who and what nehru really was, than you might perceive. childhood is an impressionable time, yes, but let me decide whether i can handle the truth. cheers!!

Darth Midnightmare said...

True. Am sorry if my comment sounded that way. Was not aimed at you at all, but was prompted by other incidents that happened concurrently. Anyway, getting to the report, yes, that report exists and the damning fact is that the Maxwell paper (that link) has never been contested by the Government. The Committee to gauge whether it was ok to release the official report was formed by Rajiv Gandhi. That Committee obviously recommended that the report not be released. It's dynamite! And the fact that successive governments have refused to comment on or refure the Maxwell report is quite suggestive, if you ask me.

As for the Nehru model, it was borrowed by Nehru straight from the Russians. The objective was to have the "towering heights", huge public-sector monoliths in Industry. The Plan, as it was Russian by birth was Socialist to the core and envisioned an economy that would be literally run by the government with social justice as the basic aim. While later Congress governments are equally to blame for what transpired, Nehru's biggest folly was his failure to realise that a country like India needed to start by concentrating first on the agricultural sector and then on the industry and also the fact that it's always going to be the private sector that stimulates growth!

That is the path every developed nation has taken. India failed to do this and that's what caused the mess. Growth rates were horrendous until finally India concentrated on agriculture. A contrast is China. They dumped the N-M Model and decided to concentrate on the agri-sector at the outset. The results are obvious (despite their being Communist). Another point is protectionism. In itself it was good at the time, but should have been structured like Japan's!!! There were reasons for protectionism and a closed economy. I accept that reality, but the way nehru went about it was disastrous, to say the least. In the end, the 1991 reforms were far too late and far more drastic than they needed to have been.

Darth Midnightmare said...

Check out that article. The parts on the China War quote directly from official records. These are the reasons why the Maxwell report is considered gospel.

StupendousMan said...

before anything else, i have to ask... hows placements coming along? i was shitting bricks at this point in jan... we had discussed fearlessness in one your your posts, remember. i sure as hell wish i could be fearless... life would be so less complicated.

as far as the report and its impact goes, i hardly doubt that when it's released(if ever), it will be brushed off as quickly as can be. this is something that happens across the world. apparently, the JFK findings will only be disclosed sometime in the 2020's(i think). we live in a world thats incredibly not transparent. for all the democracy and freedom to speech and expression, and for that matter, the right to information act, there seems hardly anything that the average man can do about the way society functions.

on that note, i shall continue reading The Qualcomm Equation, which seems to be an interesting book. hit me back once your placements are done, and tell me what kind of an obscene 7/8 figure salary you're going to draw. :)

Darth Midnightmare said...

Placements? Hmmm...lukewarm for me. Just barely applied to 4-5 companies. Looking more at off-campus applications to be honest. And as far as salaries go, well, have heard a fairly obscene figure regarding you as well :-).

Oh and 7/8 figures? You're kidding me! That'd be the day!!!

StupendousMan said...

whaaa? i think i shall crack down on the source of your info once you guys are done with placements. and don't kid me about 'that being the day'. i'm pretty sure its going to be either the 4th or the 5th. heh heh. we should do the beer thing once you touch base in mumbai.

singlewheatfemale said...

OH MY GOD! Kids, kids, calm down, take a deep breath and now lay back.. There you go. Now, i agree with you Mike, on the post, cuz I have done my reading( before you shoot me down too :p) and I have read "Freedom at Midnight" by Dominique Lapeirre. Its amazing how the very basis of the formation of our country is wrapped in a mesh of farce. Just political aankhra or whatever.

Moving post, man. Never knew some of the stuff. Good that you made it public.

thanks for dropping at my blog :)

Darth Midnightmare said...

@SM: LOL. Hmmm...I just confirmed, so you can't duck out of that one!

@SWF: Naah! We're chilled out. Check out the beer invite for prrof :D. As for the hiding, every country hides facts and that's a fact in itself :-). But with India, somehow our entire history has been reduced to a garbled mess. Sad but true :-)

Docs Dope said...

find it hard to believe an ignorant dwarf maligns the great leaders of our country

Darth Midnightmare said...

I find it hard to believe that you are here despite what happened last.

StupendousMan said...

what'd i miss? what'd i miss??

Anonymous said...

insightful post ; ala dan brown.
- apr.

Anupa said...

I just happened to stumble upon these blogs recently. Looks like a ring of IIM students ( well, mostly ). Am using this blog to say that I'm interested in knowing what you guys thought about the "cartoon row". Have been away from India for a while now and this is a nice channel to get in touch with the thoughts and opinions of the next generation of my home country. How about a blog on that, Mr.Midnightmare?

IssacMJ said...

Ah.. Some food for thought here! Mike, I dunno if you have come across a book called "The Himalayan Blunder" by Brig. Dalvi.
That the Sino-Indian war could be traced to Nehru's failure as a strategist and diplomat is establised without a trace of doubt.There is a famous anecdote of Nehru's address in the Parliament when he said that " We won't lose an inch to the Chinese " when a substantial part of Indian territory was already occupied by Chinese troops and someone asked him as to how many square miles made an inch!

Darth Midnightmare said...

@Issac: Yeah, that was a very famous anecdote and really brought one of those sad smiles out. The blindness and astounding alacrity with which he dealt with all foreign affairs situations is mind-numbing!!!