Into That Heaven Of Freedom…
A hillock cannot always be seen from a distant. However, one can see a Mountain Peak from the same. India recently marked the 131st Birth Anniversary of its first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (November 14, 1889 – May 27, 1964). He was not a Great Person, as he had committed many a mistake as a leader. Still, his personality made him different from his contemporary Indian politicians. Hence, the 21st Century India easily realises the importance of Nehru even more than five decades after his death. Personalities, like Nehru, are rare in modern India.
The most discussed aspect of Nehru’s political thought is his concept of Democracy. He used to respect opposing views, and remained committed to Democratic Values. India had to face various problems after its emergence as an Independent Nation in 1947. However, Nehru had tried to resolve those, democratically! Perhaps, his quality to respect opposing views helped him follow the path of Democracy. After six-seven decades, one can somewhat comprehend the essence of his political thought.
In fact, Nehru was well aware of the underlying dangers of Democracy. He knew that one would have to be constantly vigilant and active in order to protect the system. He acquired this knowledge from his contemporary time. India’s own political evolution, as well as the crises and defeats of Democracy in different countries, was instrumental in bringing this fact to life! Nehru rightly realised that various weaknesses of Democracy were hidden in the Indian society itself. Apart from emphasising on the role of democratic institutions, he encouraged politicians and administrators to nurture a Mentality properly suited for Democracy. It is also a fact that he, himself, failed to protect Democracy fully during his tenure as the Prime Minister. He may have been a victim of this system! That is why one has every right to criticise him. However, one must admit that he correctly recognised the symptoms of the disease!
The disease has spread all over India in recent times…. Today, India, along with many other countries, is a place where Democracy is in danger. It is to be noted that this danger did not come from outside, but from within! Again, it has affected various institutions. Institutions, which form the main pillars of a Democratic State and Society, have become weak, and mere spectators of the injustices or active supporters of the Ruling Class. Although the Indians still have some confidence over the Judiciary, it cannot save Democracy, alone. The role of the Judiciary has caused, and continues to cause numerous concerns. Moreover, Democracy cannot solely depend on the Judiciary. It seems that only the Civil Society can change the fate of India. Some social movements and political protests have stolen the limelight in India in recent times. Hope is still there. Perhaps, Nehru would have relied on mass consciousness and enthusiasm to save Democracy…
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