Incomparable Indira

Indira bg Sun, 11 Oct 2015

Incomparable Indira

 Hazaron Saal Nargis Apni Benoori Pe Roti Hian, Badi Mushkil se hota hai chaman me Deedawar Paida

On the bank of the Ganges, an incomparable, excellent and brilliant girl takes birth to glorify India with her innocent love, self respect and pride. The family names this girl-child as Indira Priyadarshini who later on establishes the pride of India all over the world. Indira, whose birth gives happiness to the family but her departure from this world makes the whole world weep. Indira becoming Indira Gandhi becomes immortal by mentioning her name in golden letters in the history of India. Patriotism In her childhood, Indira was not fortunate enough to get the love and affection of her parents, grandparents, and other family-members since they were very much occupied with the freedom movement and they were jailed also time and again as a consequence. 

So Indira as a child had to play with toys made by her. She used to stand gudiyas (dolls of Indian girls) against guddas (dolls of English soldiers). She addressed the gudiyas to march forward and to keep flag of the Congress high and don’t be afraid of the British army and police. Taking out foreign clothes from almirah and burning them made her happier. She used to stand on the roof like Joan of Arc. She wanted to be like her so that she could free her country. Indira in her childhood saw with attention her father Jawaharlal, grandfather Motilal, Mahatma Gandhi her mother and her aunt addressing people to make India independent. It all made her very patriotic. Indira’s application for being a member of Swayam Sevak Dal was rejected since she was only 12 years old. She then formed a “Vaanar Sena” with the help of other children of her locality. The members of Vaanar Sena used to make flags, write addresses on envelops and to provide water to protestors. 

Her grandfather Motilal wrote a letter from jail on 16th July, 1930, “Indu! What is your status in Vaanar Sena? The length of tail of every member should be according to the seniority of his post. The mark of Hanuman on the badge is correct and having no club in his hands is also correct since the meaning of club is violence and we, Congressmen are an army of non-violence.” 

According to the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi, Indu was admitted in Pune’s “Pupli’s Own” school. She became the Prime Minister of her school’s mock Parliament. Indu enhancing her qualities to lead India and the world. Indu retaining and reserving sentiments of nationalism and patriotism in her heart. People allege dy n a s t i c i sm upon Nehru family but actually they are bewildered of the talent of the members of Nehru family. On the question of naming his successor, Pt. Nehru said, “People will elect their leader themselves. I can’t even think of supporting an idea which professes dynastic leadership. Such kind of thinking is entirely nondemocratic and undesirable.” Neither I prepared nor I helped Indiraji to become Congress president. Even though she was elected Congress president. She was a very good president in the opinion of even my opponents.” “Sometimes, she chose another way or she thought differently which proved just opposite of my way of thinking. It may be just correct. I neither prepared nor selected her for the top post of this country.” 

“We are unanimous on some matters but we are just opposite on some others. Indira has independent and firm belief.” Jawaharlal Nehru Indira Gandhi was appointed in CWC in 1956 and then she became its president. She was the fourth woman president of the Congress Party. After the death of Nehruji, Gulzarilal Nanda became the Prime Minister. The national executive of the Congress appointed Kaamraj Nadar to select the successor and on 2nd June, 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri was unanimously elected as the Prime Minister though there were names of Morarji Desai and Nandaji also. 

Shastriji wanted to give Indiraji the responsibility of Foreign Affairs Minister but she politely refused the offer. But Shastriji requested her again and she was compelled to become a minister. After the death of Shastriji, once again these was the question of a successor. Once again these were the names of Morarji Desai, Yashwantrao Charan and Nandaji. So the parliamentary committee elected its leaders. Indira Gandhi got 355 votes while Morarji obtained 169 votes. Indiraji became Prime Minister on 22nd January, 1966. The Fascist forces are propagating confusion and douobt against the democratic system of the Congress in the name of dynasty. On becoming the Prime Minister, Indiraji said, “I don’t think myself a woman, but a person.” Being a woman in politics is helpful or an obstruction? On this question Indiraji said, “There is no difference for me being a woman. It is not correct for a person to think that he belongs to a particular caste, dynasty, religion or gender if that person is the Prime Minister of a country. If the people have elected you their leader, it is enough.” 

Indiraji with her thinking, skill and personality changed the whole scenario of the country. She took decisions after a lot of thinking and she remained firm on her decision. She did what she said and she said what she did. A comparison of Pandit Nehru once said, “Indiraji is way ahead in comparison to her formers (Nehru and Shastri) with respect to her skill of expression, courage to take decisions according to her belief and clear and straight-forward approach.” During her tenure, she took very bold and forward looking decisions. She said, and getting nick name of “Durga” by her opponents – these are the proofs of Indira Gandhi’s administrative skills. Social justice is symbol of Indian culture which was made meaningful by Indiraji. Socialism and secularism are the tow ideas which can be attributed as Indiaji’s contribution for the foundation of this country. By 42nd Amendment of the constitution, she added “Socialism” and “Secularism” in the preamble of Indian constitution. Today, the importance of these two words are being experienced. Indiraji finalized a special package of Rs. 1362 crore for Dalits, called Special Component Plan; Tribal Sub Plan for tribal people and 20-point and 15-point programmes for minorities. She said, “we have paid a special attention for the exploited class and the poor in economic development.” Secularism Indiraji remarked, “We have adopted the policy of secularism. Secularism doesn’t mean devoid of any religion but to understand every religion as sacred.” “The constitution gives the right to equality to every citizen. It should be implemented so that people may get its real advantage.”

One of the underlying meanings of Congress Mukt Bharat is to make India abandon the idea of secularism. There are so many events during the last one and half year which clearly indicate that there is an attempt to take our country towards fanaticism. Unfortunately, never before our constitution was so badly bruised. On 14th November, 1938, Pandit Nehru’s last letter in the last series of Discovery of India letters – “The struggle which is seen throughout the world is not between socialism and communism on one hand and fascism on the other, but it is between democracy and fascism.” The propagators of the slogan, “Congress Mukt Bharat should be aware of the fact that all the activities of Indiraji upto her death were secular in nature. Secularism became her soul. The ultimate aim of her government was to make the majority of Indian population happier in every respect. She understood the meaning of Indian nation under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi, Motilal-Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel. What is analyzed by the idea of India and Indian culture in true sense? Disregarding caste and religion, she respected all Indians, and became a people’s leader. Her activities mention her true character. Before independence, going jail and bearing atrocities of the British rule became part and parcel of her life. 

After independence, Mahatma Gandhi persuaded her to serve humanity. During a communal riot, she fearlessly went through the fanatic crowd and saved Muslim families. She brought them at her home for their security. She did a lot of work for women-empowerment. During Chinese invasion, she arrived at the border to encourage our soldiers. These are some distinct features of her personality. Indiraji visited foreign countries in order to provide India a global image. She made arrangements for the import of grains meant for the poor. Some leaders of her own party alleged that she was very much inclined to America. She told unambiguously in the Congress Working Committee, “If you don’t like my method, remove me and elect your new leader.” To devalue Indian currency was the bold step in order to save our country from economic crisis. As a result of this, export soared and India received economic profit. The Indira government faced many challenges like famine like situation due to continuous deficient rains during Monsoon; economic slowdown; inflation; strike, shut down, violent agitations by opponents; price-rise; gherao of Parliament by Bhartiya Jansangh demanding to pass laws to stop cow-slaughter. But she was very firm while taking decisions like Gandhiji. She was also idealistic like Nehruji. She accepted assistance from America but declined to put her signature on the draft of non-proliferation of atomic arms. 

Indira Gandhi wins elections, loses elections but in the hearts of Indians, she epitomizes India. She was a very popular leader in foreign countries. When Indiraji visited America, the whole country welcomed her and the Time magazine wrote, “An administrator with self-respect, ability, firm belief, sobriety and thoughtful.” Ms. Johnson, the wife of American President, came to visit India and said, “If you want to see India, go to its villages; read the poems of Rabindra Nath Tagore and if you want to know the ultimate truth of Indian life, get the teachings of someone like Indira Gandhi.” Indira Gandhi has not only studied history but created history also. She not only studied geography but created geography also. 

Her personality showed us a woman and a statesman. The dedication of Indira Gandhi is unparalleled, incomparable and rare. A true follower of Mahatma Gandhi. She followed him in her whole life and died also like him for the unity and integrity of the country. The personality of Indira Gandhi is a unique combination of a visionary and a creator. On the foundation of democracy, her contribution is incomparable and unparalleled in making India self-reliant, a country with self-respect and pride and establishing India as a front-runner in the global context. India will be forever obliged to Indiraji. 

On the end of an era – Maut usi ki hain, jiska jamana kare afshosh, Yu to sabhi aate hain duniya me marne ke liye.  (Based on the speech delivered at Rajiv Gandhi Study Circle, Kota)