Five major blunders of Nehru

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Sakal Gharelu Ustad, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    During the Nehruvian era good things also happened. Given the long period of 17 years that Nehru ruled, certain good things had to happen. However, the sad point is that the achievements of the period were a very small fraction of what the potential was, that is, what could have been achieved. A third-world country like Singapore with NO natural resources went on to become a first-world country within a short span of about 15 years, while India at the end of Nehru’s 17-year rule remained a poor, miserable, third-rate, third-world country of hungry millions begging the world for food, even though it was far better placed than Singapore at the time of independence! Similarly, several other East-Asian countries that were much behind India when India gained independence raced far ahead of it.

    Nehru’s leadership is unique not only in terms of the paucity of achievements, or the large gap between the potential and the actuals, or a very poor show compared to other comparable nations; but in the blunders that he made. Other leaders too make mistakes, but Nehru can beat them all hands down. The number, the extent, and the comprehensiveness of the Nehruvian blunders can’t be matched. Comprehensive? Other leaders blunder in one or two or three areas. Not Nehru. His coverage was comprehensive. He blundered in practically all areas (and sub-areas, and in very many ways): external security, internal security, foreign policy, economy, education, culture,… it’s a long list. An examination of his record leaves you gasping. In response to my blog and tweet, a person tweeted to me a very cryptic label to capture the essential Nehru: “Nabob of Cluelessness”. Judging from what Nehru did or blundered, it seems he had no clue on what ought to be done! One wonders why Gandhiji had to choose such a person as India’s first prime minister overriding Sardar Patel, who was the democratic choice of the overwhelming majority: 12 of the 15 (80%) PCCs (Pradesh Congress Committees)? That act of Gandhiji must go down as his mega-mega misjudgment and miscalculation, and a blunder that cost nation huge!!

    Below are given some of the major blunders of the Nehruvian era. One might say all those things happened long ago, why bother now? The reason why Nehruvian blunders are difficult to ignore or forget is that we are still grievously suffering on account of them: be it Kashmir; or Indo-China border problem; or economy thanks to the socialistic-bureaucratic mindset and drag; or the dominance of the regressive poverty-perpetuating and prosperity-preventing socialistic-Marxist-Nehruvian-leftist thinking in the academia, and in the political discourse, and in almost all the political parties whether Congress or NCP or JDU or SP or TMC or CPI or CPM or BSP; cultural and mental slavery; or …!

    Major Blunder – IConsigning India to Economic Black Hole

    Nehru’s Poverty-Perpetuating & Misery-Multiplying
    Socialistic-bureaucratic Nightmare

    Extrapolating the time it took Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan to become first-world countries by adopting competitive capitalism, and the time it took West Germany and Japan to rise from the ashes of the Second World War by adopting capitalist economy, it seems reasonable that India would have been a prosperous, first-rate, first-world country by 1980 had it too adopted free market economy, competitive capitalism and befriended the West.

    Unfortunately for the crores of starving Indians and millions of others who had great hopes for themselves, their families and the nation after independence, Nehru guided India into a poverty-perpetuating-and-misery-multiplying socialistic-bureaucratic black-hole, despite the global evidence that no country had prospered under communism and socialism. His descendants, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, by doing much more of the same, made the situation worse. UPA-I and II, by part reverting to the Nehru-Indira disastrous ways, reversed the Narsimha Rao–Vajpayee upward trend.

    Poor countries are poor because those who have power make choices that create poverty.
    —Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson in ‘Why Nations Fail : The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty’

    Nehru was the founder of what Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson call in their book the EXTRACTIVE INSTITUTIONS that have been the root cause of India remaining a third-rate third-world nation.

    Raja Vyapari taya Praja Bhikhari.
    – Indian Proverb

    Sardar Patel, Rajagopalachari and Rajendra Prasad were opposed to socialism. If only they had led India after Independence, rather than Nehru, India would have been a prosperous first-world country long ago, and it would hopefully have been saved from the debilitating feudal dynacracy (dynastic democracy), that is at the root of all miseries.

    To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukemia with leeches.
    ~ Margaret Thatcher
    A young man who isn’t a socialist hasn’t got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn’t got a head.
    ~ David Lloyd George

    Leftism or socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
    ~ Thomas Sowell

    The vice of capitalism is that it stands for the unequal sharing of blessings; whereas the virtue of socialism is that it stands for the equal sharing of misery …Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.
    ~ Winston Churchill

    People who believe in evolution in biology often believe in creationism in government. In other words, they believe that the universe and all the creatures in it could have evolved spontaneously, but that the economy is too complicated to operate without being directed by politicians.
    ~ Thomas Sowell

    Marxism and socialism were something Nehru was sold out on since the 1920s, wrote approvingly about in his books, advocated vigorously all through, and, unfortunately for India, implemented it post-independence in his own Nehruvian way.

    How do you tell a communist?
    Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
    And how do you tell an anti-Communist?
    It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
    —Ronald Reagan
    If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert,
    in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.
    —Milton Friedman

    Marxists call their socialism “scientific socialism”, as if the self-assigned, self-adulatory adjective “scientific” is sufficient to testify to it being scientific—correct; however preposterous it might be from a genuine scientific angle, where the litmus test is the real practical proof. Mere dialectics of self-serving arguments and logic does not result in truth! Marxism as a science or as an alternate economic thought for a nation to build on has failed—it has been proven wrong both in theory and in practice.

    Those who do not genuinely understand science or scientific-methods are taken-in by mere allusion to something as scientific. Many became Marxists because being so implied being scientific-spirited, rational, progressive, pro-poor intellectual, aligned to the forces of history! Rather than being aligned to the forces of history or being on the right side of it, to the dismay of the Marxists, the unfolding history proved them to be on the wrong side; and their science—“scientific” socialism—turned out to be an alchemy!

    While many studies have documented the predominance of the political left in the academic world, the exceptional areas where they do not have such predominance are precisely those areas where you cannot escape from facts and results—the sciences, engineering, mathematics and athletics. By contrast, no area of academia is more dominated by the left than the humanities, where there are no facts to challenge the fantasies that abound. Leftists head for similar fact-free zones outside of academia.
    —Thomas Sowell
    Leftists like Rousseau, Condorcet, or William Godwin in the 18th century, Karl Marx in the 19th century, or Fabian socialists like George Bernard Shaw in England and American Progressives in the 20th century saw the people in a role much like that of sheep and saw themselves as their shepherds… The vision of the Left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves—a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice,” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalting vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues— and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.
    —Thomas Sowell

    Nehru uncritically accepted socialism. It is strange that while Nehru’s books approvingly talk of Marxism and socialism, there is no comparative analysis by him of much more proven competing economic thoughts. It was as if Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, JS Mill, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and others did not exist for Nehru. Economics is a serious subject for its affects the lives of millions, and for Nehru to take up a firm position on one trend of economics without critical appraisal of the alternatives was not only unwise in the academic sense, it proved disastrous to the nation in practice. Further, even if Nehru mistakenly believed that communism was doing good for one country, the USSR, how was it that he did not notice the many countries prospering under capitalism, like the US, the Western-European and the South-East Asian countries. Was Nehru—the scientifically-minded person—going more by personal bias than by facts!

    Mr Jawaharlal Nehru returned from Cambridge with notions of how an all-governing interventionist state can force people into happiness and prosperity through socialism…He sticks to this bias in spite of the demonstration of world experience against it…I hate the present folly and arrogance as much as I hated the foreign arrogance of those [British] days.
    ~ C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji)
    He [Nehru] had no idea of economics. He talked of Socialism, but he did not know how to define it. He talked of social justice, but I told him he could have this only when there was an increase in production. He did not grasp that. So you need a leader who understands economic issues and will invigorate your economy.
    ~ Chester Bowles

    While I usually came back from meeting Gandhiji elated and inspired but always a bit sceptical, and from talks with Jawaharlal fired with emotional zeal but often confused and unconvinced, meetings with Vallabhbhai were a joy from which I returned with renewed confidence in the future of our country. I have often thought that if fate had decreed that he [Sardar Patel], instead of Jawaharlal, would be younger of the two, India would have followed a very different path and would be in better economic shape than it is today.
    ~ JRD Tata

    Nehru’s inability to rise above his deep-rooted Marxist equation of Western capitalism with imperialism, and his almost paranoid, partly aristocratic, distrust of free enterprise in its most successful form as ‘vulgar’, cost India dearly in retarding its overall development for the remaining years of his rule, as well as for the even longer reign of his more narrowly doctrinaire daughter.
    ~ Stanley Wolpert

    In fact, Nehru’s prejudice—which he picked up at Harrow and Cambridge—against capitalism had more to do with his cultivating himself as an upper-class Englishman, who had a bias against trade, than on understanding of economics or economic history; just as his socialism had more to do with upper-class English Fabians, than with any genuine experience of or revolt against poverty.

    The whole political vision of the left, including socialism and communism, has failed by virtually every empirical test, in countries all around the world. But this has only led leftist intellectuals to evade and denigrate empirical evidence…
    …When the world fails to conform to their vision, then it seems obvious to the ideologues that it is the world that is wrong, not that their vision is uninformed or unrealistic.

    —Thomas Sowell
    The socialist monster unleashed by Nehru is worse than Frankenstein’s. Frankenstein’s monster voluntarily decided to disappear after its creator’s death. Not so the socialist monster.

    Insufficient Industrialisation
    Stress only on public sector and restrictions on private sector throttled growth in industrialisation and employment, and adversely affected chances of prosperity and poverty reduction.

    Nehru, through his anti-private-sector policies, throttled industrialisation. Although, in comparison with the deliberate neglect in the British period, the progress in industrialisation during the Nehru period was much better owing to significant public sector investments. British set up or allowed setting up of only those minimal things that helped them in their trade, business and greed—not what was required for a country like India.

    Post-independence industrialisation was also helped by the very significant second world war sterling debt repayments by the UK, and aid by other countries like the US, the USSR and Germany. However, when the repayment of the sterling debt by the UK tapered off, and not much further foreign aid was forthcoming, and the public sector into which Nehru had sunk the investment was either in loss or not able to generate adequate surplus, the industrialisation momentum began to taper off, as there were no funds; and given Nehru’s socialistic approach, the private sector was anyway shackled!

    Further, not learning anything from Japan and others, who had dramatically prospered with their outward-looking, export-led growth, India under Nehru went in for inward-looking, import-substitution model, denying itself a world-class, competitive culture, incentive for production of quality products, share in the world-trade, and the consequent prosperity. Instead, India invested heavily in the inefficient public sector, over-regulated and strangulated private enterprise, shunned foreign capital, and ignored better technology.

    Many industries were barred for the private sector. When entrepreneurs in the countries in Southeast Asia, like South Korea, were being encouraged to expand and set up industries and their government was offering them cheap credit, here in India we were doing the opposite: GD Birla was refused a license for setting up a steel plant; scores of business proposals of Tatas were rejected; Aditya Birla, looking to the hostile business environment in India, chose to set up industries outside India;…the list is endless. Krishna Menon [the right-hand man of Nehru] had reportedly snubbed offers of the Japanese corporate representatives for collaboration saying it was out of question on account of the vast differences in the policies of the two countries.

    Given license-permit-quota-raj, reluctance to give licenses to the so-called “monopolies”, anti-business policies and extortionist taxes—maximum slab rate being over 80%—industrialisation had to suffer. Industrialisation and industries were sought to be controlled and managed by Nehru’s IAS babus who knew next to nothing on how to run an industry. Nehru and the socialists had very simplistic notions on wealth creation: Nehru thought that all it took to have economic prosperity was to invest in industrialisation, especially in heavy industries, and to put babus in charge. Market, competition, entrepreneurship, quality, top-line, bottom-line—those funny words existed in the English dictionary in total contempt of the Nehruvians. No entrepreneurship was required. Sarkar was the entrepreneur. It would decide what to produce, what not to produce, and how much to produce, and at what rate to sell—the market itself would be controlled by Sarkar.

    Neglect of Agriculture
    Nehru and his team were seemingly innocent of the basics of economics: without a prosperous agriculture, you can’t have agricultural surplus, and without that, you can’t feed the growing urban population and sustain industrialisation. Yet, they neglected agriculture, which adversely affected industrialisation, and resulted in mass poverty, hunger and famines. India under Nehru became a land of the hungry millions, and was forced to go around the world with a begging bowl.

    I had quarreled with him [Nehru] regarding his neglect of the village economy, especially agriculture, and protested to him about his almost total neglect of irrigation which was the key to Indian agriculture… Nehru told me disparagingly, ‘You are a villager, you know nothing.’ I retorted, ‘If you had one-tenth of my regard for the village, the Indian economy would have been different.’…I am not sure if he had any convictions, except for aping the Russian model.
    ~ S. Nijalingappa in his book “My Life and Politics”

    Neglect of agriculture resulted in famines, and turned India into an international beggar, and a nation of hungry millions.

    Read more here: http://yugaparivartan.com/2016/04/10/five-major-blunders-of-nehru-part-i/
     
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  3. k murali

    k murali Regular Member

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    Nehru did so much for you people. He kept India a sort of semi-democracy. Without Nehru some fascist like Patel might have turned the country into absolute dictatorship.
     
  4. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Are you saying if Nehru did few right things by mistake we should suck up and not complain about any of his blunders!!
     
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  5. AnantS

    AnantS Senior Member Senior Member

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    well what I was alluding to is Nehru's insistence on Hindi becoming National Language. Since you love Nehru, why would you hate that decision?
     
  6. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nehru had some good points ,some bad points ,his industrial policy helped us,his understanding of China screwed us but the major damage was Indra Gandhi and then Rajiv Gandhi ,Sanjay Gandhi had a vision but his method were worst.
     
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  7. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    His industrial policy was worst. He killed private capital completely through red tape and govt. deciding what to produce. Govt. could have still built big dams and steel industry, while letting private sector to take care of the rest. But he did not.
     
  8. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    He went against many in his party that industries should be developed ,those steel industry and dam were the foundation of our growth ,he could taken help of private sector but he was a socialist .
     
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  9. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nehru did save India from the fate of Pakistan by integrating and respecting the minorities and stabilize the nation
     
  10. k murali

    k murali Regular Member

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    Criticizing one;s blunders is not wrong, I have criticized VP and MK myself although I have the greatest respect for them.

    It is different from insulting a person. Criticizing and insulting are different.
     
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  11. AnantS

    AnantS Senior Member Senior Member

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    And Kashmir is prime example of that .. :D
     
  12. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    I was talking about Tamil Nadu,Goa and other states,we should have captured the entire Kashmir,he screwed there and except the UN proposal.
     
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  13. AnantS

    AnantS Senior Member Senior Member

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    For all of the above, the main reason was: Patel. UN reso was disaster. Nehru enjoyed fruits of the sacrifices made by others. Not to undermine his time in brit jail. But the only good post for him would have been as foreign minister. NAM was good idea. But his own economic policies, failed to make India and NAM a valid alternative to two power bloc.
     
  14. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    Patel was strong but at times to hard ,those two were the perfect combination
    Nehru as FM would have been instrusting
     
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  15. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    People often forget that VP Menon also worked closely with Patel on the Integration of the princely states.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._P._Menon
     
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  16. dray

    dray Regular Member

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    This is my first post here, but I think the thread title should be "Five of the many major blunders of Nehru". Here are five more blunders:

    1. His naive, impractical and too idealistic foreign policy
    2. Treating his own military almost as enemies of the nation and undermining its requirements and role
    3. Totally misjudging China's intentions even after repeated warnings by sections of the political class and military
    4. Letting Tibet go
    5. Going to UN regarding Kashmir
     
  17. k murali

    k murali Regular Member

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    Patel was a fascist and Nehru saved you people from fascist rule for a while
     
  18. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Critique:

    Claim: "Neglect of Agriculture"

    The three paragraphs following the subheading provide a lot of rhetoric, but is devoid of any fact whatsoever. S. Nijalingappa's allegation about Nehru's "almost total neglect of irrigation" is untrue.

    Let's us see the reality:
    upload_2016-4-15_21-33-48.png

    Source:
    Democracy, Development, and the Countryside: Urban-Rural Struggles in India
    By Ashutosh Varshney

    Claim: "Insufficient Industrialisation"

    A good argument can be made that License Raj stifled industrial growth that could have happened in a Laissez-Faire system. A counterpoint, however, exists, where one can argue that both in industrial and educational sectors (educations is a direct impactor to technology, and thereby industries) have not seen any substantial improvement in the quarter century since liberalization started. Improvement should not merely be mentioned in currency figures, but in terms of products and innovation (see supporting article below). That India is still a major technology importer and licensee from foreign entities is a testimony thereof.

    It is therefore, an optimistic hypothesis to assume that India would have done significantly better. Said that, de-licensing has had an overall improvement in the way PSU's function.

    [SOURCE]

    [SOURCE]

    [SOURCE]

    So, although it is everyone's wish that India had more industrial development than it did during Nehru's years, the question is, would it actually have happened?
     
  19. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Can you tell us where you are from. You are definitely not from Tamil Nadu. What is your place of birth?
    You look like SL Tamil to me. Your world view and knowledge of history is very different from what an Indian would learn.
     
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  20. garg_bharat

    garg_bharat Senior Member Senior Member

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    Because private sector will not become globally competitive overnight. Production in India is still unfavorable due to high raw material prices, lack of land and water, and high regulation and taxes.

    India has already lost 47 years (1947-1992) when other countries stole a march over India. If you think the advantage built by these countries over 47 years will disappear in 24 years of de-licensing; you are dreaming.

    Study the case of Japan. How Japan built its industry. It is not only de-licensing but enablement - through infrastructure, education etc., that results in industrialization.

    Socialism is a bad argument. Licensing is even worse.
     
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  21. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Pakistan did not have socialism since 1947. They do not have the excuse of having lost 47 years. Both India and Pakistan started off from more or less similar situations.

    24 years is sufficient to turn a country around. The Soviet Union was devastated during World War II. By the 1960s, it was at par with the west.

    Japan was already industrialized during the two World Wars. Moreover, it received major injection of funds from the US after World War II.

    P.S.: No argument was made in favour of licensing. Argument was made against licensing.

    My position w.r.t. licensing is same as this:
    Edited to add clarification.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
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