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Issue No.: 570 | December 2014

“I Touch a Sensitive Spot”

C. Rajagopalachari
Three men, all giants, compared to their successors are very much in the news. Two of them are almost projected as being in opposition to one another. The third person belonging to the deep south is all but forgotten in this unseemly contest. All three were Gandhi’s s lieutenants. Elsewhere in this issue, we carry an article by Mr. Hanuman Chowdary of the deliberate devaluation of the role played by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the freedom movement and post-freedom when he forged one India out of many; and how Gandhi played favourites and enabled Nehru to become free India’s first Prime Minister.

That Jawaharlal Nehru ensured India’s parliamentary democracy a permanence when elsewhere newly freed democracies were falling like nine pins is an achievement itself; but to what extent he is culpable in the emergence of a dynasty bearing his name is and will continue to be debated.

The Indira Congress (which at best is a splinter of the original Indian National Congress) ruled India for the next four decades and whether he would have approved it not – in the name of the father. Sardar Patel was all but forgotten until he has been brought to the centre stage as the mascot of the present ruling party. The third, C. Rajagopalachari, was side-lined after he had served the purpose of the real Indian National Congress in ousting the communists who were seen as a grave threat to the INC’s continuance in power in Madras, now Tamil Nadu.

We commemorate in this issue the 136th Birth anniversary of this great man, who in the last decade of life threw the gauntlet at his friend and comrade Jawaharlal Nehru, convinced that his friend was taking the country, ironically, too far to the left. Ironically, because it was to save the INC from the Left that Rajaji was sent to Madras!

We publish an extensive excerpt from an article by Rajaji in the Swarajya of July 20, 1963 which is both giving his old friend some advice and at the same time an assessment of Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister. –

"No one expected Sri Jawaharlal Nehru to tell the people that had gathered to hear him recently in the Punjab that he was determined to remain in office, whatever may be the opinion of the others. That would have been crude… the seemingly middle course he publicly adopted was natural. Yet one can see the flaw in the crystal. His claim is that the progress of the country depended on his continuing as PM which is the much the same as General Ayub’s and Sukarno’s claims. It is an established historic pattern. 


"Propaganda is not administration. When the people have to be educated, good ideas publicly expressed by men in great places are useful. But where officials have to be made to do or forbear, something more is wanted. That talent is the gap that makes for many of our ills.

Sri Nehru being bred all through the best part of his life in using the platform for educating the public, the virtues and defects of the romantic schoolmaster characterise the PM’s sayings and doings. He has not learnt to get things done as he wishes. Probably he cannot do it. Indeed he hesitates to do it lest something should go wrong. The administrator’s function calls for the courage to face things sometimes going wrong and also with resourcefulness to right them, and put them in good repair if and when they go wrong. It demands the pre-eminent talent to size up men, to judge aright and appraise the complicate and deceptive thing known as personality, and the instinctive perception necessary to allot the right tasks, and not to let personal favour and prejudices deflect judgment in this respect.

I am touching a sensitive spot because this is good Sri Nehru’s weak point. No one can blame him for not doing what he cannot do. He requires a Vallabhbhai Patel by him. But Vallabhbhai Patel is not there. Apart from all the policy differences which I emphatically maintain, the present point I urge is that he should have a brave Chief Secretary (or better still a Deputy Premier) who will not act as a stooge or tremble to speak out or who fears losing his favour or position and therefore suppresses himself, but a strong personality – one who will discuss things frankly with him and perform the special task of converting his wishes into action. May be that this arrangement may accelerate the demonstration of errors in the policies and priorities adopted, but even that would be a gain both for the PM and the nation.






Other Articles in this Issue

Between Ourselves

Between Ourselves



M. V. Kamath: A Personality Sketch


Remembering Rajaji

The Wit and Wisdom of Rajaji


“I Touch a Sensitive Spot”

C. Rajagopalachari

Rajaji in his ‘Dear Reader’ page, in Swarajya


Remembering Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Rediscovering The Sardar

T. H. Chowdary

When the Princely State of Hyderabad was integrated into the Indian Union


Assembly Elections: Haryana and Maharashtra

Haryana A Decisive Victory for the BJP

B. N. Mehrish

Maharashtra: Have the BJP and the Shiv Sena Missed the Mandate?

Nitin G. Raut

Prime Minister Modi – 6 Months After

Modi Triumphant

Firoze Hirjikaka

Modi’s Detractors in America

Sardul Singh Minhas

Federalism, Governance and Growth

Sunil S. Bhandare

The Political-Economy of Black Money in India

Ajit Karnik

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

Maharashtra Elections

Ashok Karnik

Ottawa Attack

Ashok Karnik

The Black Money Hype

Ashok Karnik

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - IV

R. M. Mohan Rao

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Containment And Cooperation: Continuity and Change in India’s China Policy

B. Ramesh Babu

Book Review


Lok Raj Baral


Vappala Balachandran

Educating Adults

The Legality of ‘Tolerated Prostitution’ - Remembering Meliscent Shephard as we Debate

Jyoti Marwah

Legalising Prostitution – The Way Forward

Elizabeth Rosen

Sending Sheetal from a Red Light Area to a U.S drum school?


Facilities Alone do not make for Good Education – A Personal Experience

Suresh C. Sharma

Compelling Scientists to Teach

Suresh C. Sharma

From Our Readers

Andhra Pradesh Day

T. H. Chowdary

Preserving Our Nationhood and Culture

T. H. Chowdary

Why this Discrimination?

Suresh C. Sharma

“A Tale of Three Nations” - A Correction

Arvind Banavalikar


Many Voices from the Past

The journal of the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom
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