Sardar had better insight (not just administrative and
organizational skill) into India's needs. But the atmosphere was not
propitious for him precisely because the Hindu element in his
personality was stronger than the modernist with its emphasis on
socialism and secularism as articulated by not only Nehru but also
other leaders such as Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia who
had come into prominence in the 1942 Quit India Movement. Thus while
Gandhism and Ganghians have been a marginal phenomenon in
independent India, Nehru continues to dominate the thinking of the
Indian intelligentsia three decades after his death. Modernizers are
still in command.
Nehru's role in the modernization of
India is well known. There is, however, another face of Nehru which
places him, even if indirectly, among the proponents of Hindu
civilization. This, of course, is not one of Nehru's prominent
faces. He rarely allowed it to come to the fore. But unlike most of
his followers, Nehru was deeply involved with the problem of the
culture-civilizational personality of India.
Nehru himself spoke and wrote
extensively for well over four decades. Much of what he wrote as
Prime Minister between 1947 and 1964 is still not available for
scrutiny. As such, we have to rely primarily on S. Gopal's
assessment of him as spelt out in his three- volume study of Nehru 1.
So far, no one else has been allowed full access to the Nehru
papers. There is, however, evidence to show that somewhere at the
back of Nehru's mind lurked reservation regarding the path on which
he had helped launch India. Though this evidence is available
publicly in the collection of his speeches, it has been neglected.