Civil Society Congress success On the Record Rajeev Gowda

In the spirit of Jawaharlal

“What is he aiming at with all his want of aim? What lies behind that mask of his, what will to power, what insatiate longings? His conceit is already formidable. It must be checked. We want no Caesars.”

It was 1937 when Calcutta’s Modern Review carried the article excerpted above that critiqued Jawaharlal Nehru. The article was titled ‘Rashtrapati’ and the author called himself “Chanakya.”

It was an era when dictators were running rampant in Europe. In India, Jawaharlal Nehru was President of the Indian National Congress. Already the question of “After Gandhi Who?” was in the air.

It was only some years later that Indians learned that the Chanakya who raised questions about Nehru’s potentially autocratic tendencies was none other than … Jawaharlal Nehru himself.

One of Pandit Nehru’s singular contributions to building Indian democracy was his willingness to engage with constructive criticism. Even when secure in parliament with an overwhelming Congress majority, Nehru ensured that the opposition’s voice was heard carefully and their suggestions and critiques treated respectfully.

As I dwell further on Pandit Nehru’s magnanimity, my mind goes back to a story I heard while growing up. It seems that my late uncle, M. V. Krishnappa, was a youthful thirty-something freedom fighter in the first Lok Sabha. In a debate about agricultural policy, though a Congressman, he had the guts to stand up and criticize the government’s policies. Apparently Nehru listened carefully and retorted that if my uncle thought he could do better, he should join the ministry. Which is how my uncle found himself working with Rafi Ahmed Kidwai as junior food and agriculture minister in the era before the Green Revolution.

We tip our Nehru caps to Panditji as we announce that we will be carrying articles that offer constructive criticisms of the Congress on this blog. We will show that we Congressmen can engage with multiple points of view. We Congressmen can take heed of faults that need correcting, of suggestions that need implementing, of causes that need championing. We are reasonable where others are rabid, we are engaged in nation building where others revel in dividing Indians on class or religious lines.

So if you come across reasonable, though critical, articles, do point them out to us; you can reach us at As long as they avoid name-calling and vicious personal attacks, we’re eager to check them out and learn a thing or two from them.

In the spirit of Jawaharlal.


  1. Hello

    In my opinion, the JLNehroo was the first Indian, who was the man played key role to established the role of the RELIGION for reaching to the extreme POWER OF POLITICS supported by another POWER HANKER Mahammad Ali Zinna in 1947.


  2. Read your article. Your comment that ‘BJP is indulged in divisive politics’ is not substantiated by facts. Do you really think appeasing some sects for the sake of votes and betraying India is politics of secularism or politics of uniting all? The every other day Assam’s Congress Chief Minister shamelessly claimes that there is not even a single Bangladeshi infiltrator in India…. why? just to gain some muslim votes.. but on what cost? the cost of India…
    Ponder a bit and you will get the fact. BJP (its earlier version Jan Sangh) was formed in 1951. Since then how many times the country has divided.. India has seen many partitions.. right from Mynmar getting out to final partition in 1947… all during when Congress had influence…
    Had BJP been indulged in divisive politics, do you think congress is strong enough to hold against that. Congress would have rather succumbed to that, as it did to Muslim League in 1947… The lust of power of the Congress Leaders could not keep the strength of Mahatma Gandhi, what to say of the new generation ‘Gandhies’ who have been fraudulently useing the ‘Gandhi’ surname to woo the voters, though not in any way entitled to..
    Be critic, but keep eyes open.. that’s my earnest request to you…




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