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End Of Britsh Rule: Nehru Was Not Good For India

by | 15th, August 2007

MUCH ado about the last Viceroy’s exit. And Samizdata tells us: 

With the 60th anniversary of the end of British rule in the sub continent, there is the normal talk of whether the vast numbers of rapes and murders during partition could have been prevented. The British will, perhaps quite rightly, get the blame for not delaying independence and for not using enough force to try and prevent the violence on partition.

However, it is almost forgotten that Nehru (the leader of the Congress party and first Prime Minister of India) was demanding that the British leave (every day we stayed was a day too many for Nehru), and even claimed that it was mainly where the British were that violence took place.

This was the exact opposite of the truth (and Nehru knew it) – as it was where British forces went in (sadly much too rarely) that the mass rapes and killings were prevented. Nehru had “form” in letting his “get the British out of India” obsession cloud his judgement.

For example, in 1942 he had gone along (whatever doubts he must have had) with the demented “Quit India” campaign. Had the British actually “quit India” the Japanese would have come in (they were at the gates of India) and the Congress party would have found out what “slavery to an Imperial power” really was.

As Prime Minister of India Nehru followed a policy of armed aggression (so much for “non violence”) against such places as Portuguese Goa. But also did not bother to prepare against real threats to national security.

The classic example is relations with Red China. Nehru ordered a policy of confronting China in the border area – but did not send a decent level of troops or equipment (the Indian troops did not even axes to cut down trees and where forced into trying to use spades for the task – much to amusement of the watching People’s Liberation Army). Nehru also refused to approach the United States for aid – he could handle matters.

When the Chinese invaded in 1962 the Indian force fought bravely, but was hopelessly out-numbered and out-equipped – their defeat was inevitable. The Chinese captured the entire disputed area (which they had no legal right to) and Nehru was left begging the United States for aid – in case the Chinese decided to take any more of India.

But the worst aspect of Nehru was his domestic policy:

Nehru loved talking of “five year plans” and an industrial revolution for India. However, his policies condemned the population of India to poverty, often extreme poverty. Not only was overseas competition virtually banned (for almost all goods and services), but the “permit Raj” meant that almost all domestic competition was crippled as well.

The “freedom” that the Congress party promised India turned out to be so many rules and regulations that it made the British Raj look almost libertarian by comparison (although the British Raj was bad in many ways).

I doubt that most of the above will be mentioned in many places, but people deserve to know.



Posted: 15th, August 2007 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink