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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 48

Wedded to Eternal Values

Sunday 16 November 2008, by Sadiq Ali

We remember Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru today for a whole variety of reasons. He worked hard for the liberation of our country in loyal and effective co-operation with Mahatma Gandhi, his illustrious leader. Both he and the Mahatma, whilst seeking India’s political freedom, cherished visions of a new social and economic order. Their visions were not identical but had much in common. Nehru was the man builder of India’s democracy. His democracy had a wide basis, which included economic progress, equality, freedom of the individual and several elements of socialism. He believed profoundly in moral values.

Nehru’s fame spread beyond India’s borders. He became a great world leader. He knew the West intimately, but to it he added the discovery of India, India wedded to some eternal values. These values and certain policies pursued by Nehru’s India have direct relevance to the aspira-tions of the modern world. These values hold the key to world peace.

We in India have special reasons to remember him anew. His energy and dynamism we need today but equally, if not more, his warm attach-ment to all the moral, political and economic values of democracy. He also yearned for the abolition of all divisions based on caste, creed, sex or race.

The path of democracy India has followed is, we are discovering, no easy or smooth path. We need the inspiration of Nehru’s vision and example to keep us strong and steady in the pursuit of our goals.

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