Nehru’s Legacy – UPSC GS1

Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Ambedkar embodied the vision of India in the 1940s. Gandhi’s morality, Nehru’s political passion, Patel’s firm hand in administration and Ambedkar’s legal acumen translated the Indian national movement into the Indian nation. Some major contributions include:
  • Mahatma Gandhi: While the world was disintegrating under fascism, violence, he preached the virtues of truth and non-violence.
  • Ambedkar: While the nation was facing communal carnage, he drove the values of constitutionalism and rule of law.
  • Patel: While parochial values threaten national unity, he unified the nation.
  • Gandhi and Nehru, despite their tactical differences, proved to be a formidable combination. Gandhi guided Nehru politically, and Nehru turned out to be an inspirational campaigner for the Indian national congress.
What are the contributions of Nehru?
  • Nehru’s strength was his vision, his nature of politics, his incorruptible nature and his ability to instil faith in the masses. Despite his popularity, he instilled values of democracy in Indian polity and society.
  • His legacy can be understood through democratic institution building, pan India secularism, socialist economics at home, and a foreign policy of nonalignment.
Why is Nehru called a champion of democracy?
After the death of Gandhi, he had unbridled power, but he never misused it. He followed all protocols with all respect to the post of president and Vice President.
  • He did not interfere in the functioning of the judiciary.
  • He wrote letters to chief ministers seeking their opinions.
  • He had firm faith in having a strong opposition in Parliament.
  • He was always accessible to people, offered daily darshan at home, and never forgot that the power comes from the people.
So it was Nehru under whom 400 million people learned to govern themselves. This pluralist democracy is testimony to the deeds and words of a great visionary Pandit Nehru.
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