Letter to the Editor – Report of TJS George om 15 Prime Ministers of India
My namesake TJS appears to be a Nehru fan. I too used to be one. I remember the days when the school library at Sacred Heart High School, Thevera used to get Span Magazine. This is an American propoganda instrument. It was printed on high quality paper and used to carry many pictures in colour, something of a rarity in India at that time. I must have been probably in the 6th standard when I happened to come by a picture of Nehru and Kennedy together. With permission of librarian I had it cut up and got it framed. I must have been 12 at that time. I cried when I heard the news that Nehru had died. By the age of 17 and 1/2 years poverty at home took me to Bombay. Then it was struggle, sometimes living as paying guest and sometimes in lodges, not being able to save anything in spite of employment. Every time I came home on holiday, I used to cry when leaving home. I used to think what a fate has befallen on me that I had to leave home and struggle out in a strange place.
Now at 71 and looking back through the rear view mirror, what I see is a lot of missed opportunities. If the foundation goes wrong, then it is a difficult task to fix it. Nehru built IIT, Steel Mills, Dams etc. but consciously kept the private sector from evolving. Nehru had to choose betwee three systems: Capitalism, Socialism and Communism. He went for Socialistic model which is nothing but a softer version of Communism. With this model it was ensured that private enterprise had no real incentive to modernise. They could sell what they produced due to lack of competition. Control Raj ensured that it is all but impossible to start anything. Waiting for a scooter (not that I could afford one at that time) was 10 years or more. The same was true of Ambassor car. Where did the products of IIT end up ultimately? Most of them ended up in USA, never to return. With the benefit of hindsight, I would say that Nehru's economic model was flawed. His daughter was no better. She perpetuated her father's policy and even nationalised a very well run airline, Air India. Look at its condition now. Left in the hands of Tatas, they would have given Emirates a run for their share of the market.
The biggest and most miserable legacy that Nehru left behind is the culture of family based succession policy. After Nehru, brief interregnum, then Indira, then Rajiv and then Rao (who can be credited with the opening up of India), after that world-renowned expert assuming office, only allow himself to be remote controlled by Rajiv's widow who became president of Congress party. She did all the trick known to her to prepare her son to carry on the tradition of the family by becoming the PM but failed miserably and he shows no sign of growing up. So the widow appears to be casting her grandson through Priyanka . His phots have started making rounds in the public domain. I don't underestimate this 19 old. Who knows he could become PM soon like Solomon in the Old Testaments who became king despite of his young age and was wise until his love life undid him. Whatever, it is a slur on Indian democracy that Congress party is not able to look beyond one family for leadership.
Modi is a by-product of Nehru's and subsequent Congress PMs from the family's pampering certain minority community and appealing to the conscience of some truly secular-minded Hindus that ensured them victory after victory. Somewhere along the way, the Hindus realised that they were being shortchanged and gave Congress a miss.
Modi hasn't done yet. It is no surprise that reporters, especially those from the Lutyens gang ( I do not know if TSJ belongs to this gang ) not liking him as they no longer accompany him on his foreign tours with free flowing booze and good food on board. Modi is running ahead of my front view glass. He is of same age as me. With his disciplined way of living, (something that I lack) I won't be around to write a rear view on him when the time eventually comes along. I had no black money. So I can't complain about DeMon. If I want to be critical of Modi, he should have realised that DeMon taught him a lesson that nobody likes to pay tax but at the same time all want to live a honest life, something that is not possible under our tax regime which is regressive and forces people to be dishonest.