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Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru
Amin Ahsan Islahi
(Tr. by:Rakshanda Chaudry)


(This obituary was penned by the author in 1964 at the demise of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru.)


The passing away of the Indian Prime Minister, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru is a major tragedy in the events of the recent past. Though he rejected God and religion, he was truly devoted to his homeland and nation and in this regard was an epitome of loyalty and ideological strength. Many prime ministers have come and gone in the world and many more will come but it will be difficult to find an example of the popularity that he enjoyed in a vast and ethnically diverse country like India. One has to admit that during his long tenure in government, he ruled not only his nation’s body but also its heart and real power is one which exercised on hearts.

We sincerely hope that those in whose hands the reins of power have been transferred are able to complete all the unfinished work of Pundit ji. Pundit ji was enamoured of democracy and, undoubtedly, managed to successfully maintain it. However, a weak aspect of democracy is that if it is not backed by a very strong and popular leader it is very difficult to safeguard. After Jawaharlal Nehru India does not have this feature. Its leaders will have to seriously reflect on this issue otherwise the future of democracy will be faced with dangerous troubles and whatever alternatives there are, none are such that can be willingly accepted.

Pundit ji was also taken by secularism but met with extreme lack of success in this. Reactionary elements made all his efforts in this field totally ineffective and Pundit ji could not show the strength against them that was expected from him. To be honest we were very disappointed in him on this issue. Whatever the reasons, we could never imagine that, during his term in power, Muslims would be massacred in every city the way it happened and Pundit ji accept it without batting an eyelid the as he did. Though we did not expect him to have the courage of Gandhi ji, neither did we expect the weakness in him that he exhibited. Had he, during his tenure in office, merely managed to create secular thinking government agents and police, Muslims in India would have been able to safeguard themselves and such events would not have taken place, events on witnessing which one even loses hope in mankind’s future not to talk of Indian Muslims.

We hope that Pundit ji’s successors will follow Mahatma Gandhi and not Pundit ji on this issue and will put all their efforts into saving their country’s good name from savages and barbarians. We are not among those who believe that Lal Bahadur Shastri cannot hope to do what Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru could not. The issue is not whether he is able or unable--it is about having true and strong intentions. If we get to see that, in India, there exist people who hold human values as dear as Gandhi ji, it is enough to set our minds at rest. It is immaterial what results their efforts will produce.

On the Kashmir issue Pundit ji’s actions have been very surprising for us. In this matter he has shown remarkable confusion and disappointing obstinacy which have damaged badly his reputation and that of his country. However, during the last years of his life, on this question emotionalism probably gave way to practicality due to which he freed Sheikh Abdullah and opened the way to its resolution. Alas! He is no longer in this world but we estimate that it will not hinder the settlement of this matter; in fact, perhaps a more conducive atmosphere has been created. We hope that this conjecture of ours proves to be correct and the leaders of Pakistan, India and Sheikh Abdullah are able to successfully resolve this dispute on which depends Indo-Pak friendship, and in turn on which friendship depends the progress of both the nations. We are glad that President Ayub Khan and the Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri both appreciate the value and merits of this friendship. We hope that through these two leaders a new era will commence in the history of Pakistan and India and Shaikh Abdullah will come out a successful person in this time.


(Translated by Rakshanda Chaudry)


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