Nehru not only excelled in his so called “platonic relationship” with Lady Mountbatten, but also was a clear winner with his liberal values which included British mannerisms and may I add British scotch. The sanatorium of Oxbridge thought he grew himself into was an added advantage for the middle class which always has had a special succour towards the anglicised scheme of things along with the Playboy. But, such a liberal mind was the all in all at a time, when actors had to change their Muslim names to Hindu ones to get a break in the film industry. Alyque Padamsee, theatre luminary known for his extreme views on many things including fairness creams also illustrated the apartheid against the Muslims in now the Khan dominated fiefdom of post independent India.
Even then there were fissures hard to cover, there were right wing activists hard to suppress and there were hard lined terrorists who were abused and not eulogized. Nehru was the Prime Minister, when Nathuram Godse with indiscreet links to the RSS assassinated the Father of the Nation. A self-righteous guy called Madan Lal hurled bombs while Gandhi was carrying on his prayer in his ashram. But, still Godse and his vile towards Gandhi was not dispensed with. Rather, he was executed. And the man who “discovered India” treated an assassin as a terrorist and rightly so. Were there not right of centre voices then? Were there not any iota of intelligentsia who challenged the meek advocacy of the Mahatma towards resilience to a terrorist state? Of course there were. But justice prevailed.
RSS has never been a den where any right thinking liberal can mingle with its narrow mindedness and parochialism-something which has rounded off terror attacks on minorities. But, then how Asaduddin Owaisi becomes a saint like figure with his ultimate view of a biased judiciary and uncompromising segregessionist outlook towards religion? The hue and cry was nimble and indifferent till the AIMIM chief came into the radar and spoke how Yakub was being victimised just because he is not Maya Kodnani or Babu Bajrangi. How would have Nehru seen this? The man who vehemently opposed Jinnah’s gimmicks of communalising the already acrimonious communities-could he have endorsed that?
And when the left thinking liberals come out as the Owaisis fired the venom, we experienced the institutions which Nehru garnered and polished and recuperated getting abused, getting lowered in the eyes of public scrutiny. Indira did it at the times of Emergency, but the intelligentsia did it to sermonize its ‘rational’ militancy-capable of plaguing the face India is trying to project in front of the world. Because, Sunny Leone is not our sole ambassador in any case! The mutiny seems to have been propelled by some sort of testosterone charger, whose logic remains in the grey even now. Yakub’s death sentence was in the run for long. And somehow, the Karats and the Tharoors seemed to have been in the slumber. Perhaps for them the past year brought too many electoral challenges to find them some time.
Many opt for abolition of capital punishment. I lie in accordance with the view. But how many of the greats of protective humanism burnished their vanguard when Dhananjay Chatterjee, was sent to the gallows for raping and killing a minor girl called Hetal Parekh in the year of the 14th Loksabha elections? CPI(M), a party known for inconsistent stands at that time also had Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury with Harkishan Singh Surjeet as the General Secretary of the party. They never uttered a word on the measure of punishment which was being awarded. Even then there was a raging controversy in the Bengali media about the various discrepancies found in the case against Dhananjay. And here lies the irony. The man who was extremely feverish in sending Chatterjee to jail was Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the CM of Bengal along with his wife and daughter Suchetana. “His wife made an impassioned speech in favour of the hanging in a public meeting”. This is what the TOI had to say regarding Meera Bhattacharya’s statement. Civil rights group protested against the hanging. It is a different issue now that the fate of the Left in Bengal now hangs in disarray. If I memory serves me right, Mamata Banerjee protested against the drama of the then CM in the hanging of Dhananjay.
How would Nehru perceive the high handedness of a discussion which even his liberal mind of the 50’s failed to catch? The declaration of equality, sovereignty, fraternity is being challenged not by communal forces, but by storm troopers who are far more veiled in religious nepotism unaware of the idea India and its multi-cultural identity the first PM despite his loopholes championed. Yes according to me, hang till death is wrong, but the tryst with a terrorist of debating law, judges and a judgement is not going to serve any right……