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Reservation Policy and Pt. Nehru

 

Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, The first Prime Minister of India (1952 -1964), was a visionary, a theoretical revolutionary, an idealist and a socialist by conviction. His ideas were greatly influenced by the modern West. Gandhiji described him as, more English than Indian in his thought and make. Masses fell under the spell of his irresistible charisma and yet he could not identify himself with the masses and adopt their life style as Gandhiji and Patel did. He remained distant and aloof even in their midst.i

His opinion about Reservation was, I referred above to efficiency and to our getting of the traditional rut. This necessitates our getting out of the old habit of Reservations and particular privilege being given to this caste or that group…It is true that we are tied up with certain rules and conventions about helping the SC’s and STs. That deserves help, but even so, I dislike any kind of Reservation, more particularly in Services. I react strongly against anything, which leads to inefficiency and second rate standards. I want my country to be a first class country in everything. The moment we encourage the second rate, we are lost…This way lies not only folly but disaster. ii

Nehru in a letter to Patel (March 29, 1950) showed his frustration, I see every ideal that I have held fading away and conditions emerging in India, which not only distress me, but indicate to me that my life’s work has been a failure. This depression/frustration of Pt. Nehru reached to its maximum before his death in 1964.

 

i Krishna B. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel: India’s Iron Man, Hindustan Times, Dated November 12, 1995, p5.

ii A letter Dated June 27, 1961, addressed to Chief Ministers of various States.

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September 27, 2009 - Posted by | Reservation/Affirmative action program

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