Talking about Jawaharlal Nehru in another context, prominent Assamese scholar and editor of the Sentinel Newspaper DN Bezboruah, in a column in The Assam Tribune wrote about our first Prime Minister’s fiercest critic.
This critic wrote: “Men like Jawaharlal… are unsafe in a democracy. He calls himself a democrat and a socialist… but the mind is ultimately a slave to the head… a little twist, and Jawaharlal might turn into a dictator, sweeping aside the paraphernalia of slow moving democracy. He may still use the language of democracy and socialism, but we all know how fascism has fattened on this language and then cast away as useless lumber.”
Surprisingly, this scathing criticism that appeared as an anonymous newspaper article sometime in the 1950s was written by Nehru himself. Turns out Jawaharlal Nehru who encouraged criticism - was his own greatest critic.
A far cry indeed from leaders of today, who seem unable to rest even in their death, sending 21-year-old girls into prisons for expressing a fair opinion before a handful of friends on Facebook.
One wonders, now that Nehru and Thackeray are in the same place, what would they be chatting about. Is Nehru turning Thackeray secular, or is the divisive Marathi leader teaching Nehru the ABCD or fascism?
Image: Children, in Jawaharlal Nehru's attire, wave the national flag during Children’s Day celebration at a school in Amritsar, Punjab on November 14, 2012.