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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 48

A Finely Tuned Sensibility

Sunday 16 November 2008, by Shyam Benegal

Aristocratic in taste, democratic by temperament and egalitarian by conviction, Jawaharlal Nehru comes through as a man with a finely tuned artistic sensibility, with an unceasing curiosity in the world around him, never losing his sense of wonder at the marvels of life and the universe. His deep and abiding faith in humanity committed him to the cause of freedom not only for his own country but also for those countries from whom the right of self-determination was taken away. For him, attaining political freedom was only the first step. Economic freedom and freedom from want, were the objectives for which he fought till the very end of his life. He was a man of so many facets and could claim eminence in so many fields that he seems a politician only by default. What he has bequeathed to us can be stated quite simply: Democracy, Secularism and Socialism. These probably constitute our greatest inheritance. It would be a monumental pity if we lose them.

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