Why did Mahatma Gandhi, an advocate of Hindi, choose Nehru, who was fluent in English, to run the country? - Newztezz Online


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Why did Mahatma Gandhi, an advocate of Hindi, choose Nehru, who was fluent in English, to run the country?


Why only Nehru? Although Mahatma Gandhi did not immediately give reasons for this, the reasons he later gave for favoring Nehru over Patel included, among other qualities, his studies at Harrow in London, being a graduate from Cambridge and being a barrister. . In Gandhi's opinion, this ability of Nehru would prove useful in the negotiations for transfer of power from the British.

Why did Mahatma, a great advocate of Hindi-Hindustani and Swadeshi, find it necessary for the country to have an English personality and a leadership proficient in English immediately after independence?

election to decide the country's leadership

The election for the post of Congress President in 1946 is remembered for different reasons. The Congress President was to be made the Vice-Chairman of the Viceroy's Executive Council formed during the British rule. This Vice President will be called the Prime Minister in the interim government. After the transfer of power from the British, he was nominated the Prime Minister of independent India also. By April 1946, the early withdrawal of the British was decided.

This was a decisive time when the country's representative body Congress was going to elect its new president after a gap of six years due to almost the entire Congress Committee being in jail due to the Second World War and the 1942 movement.

It is a question of Gandhi's will, not the party.

The events at the time of the election of the Congress President clearly state that Mahatma Gandhi was completely unconcerned about whom the state committees of the Congress and its delegates wanted to elect as the President. At the time of transfer of power after a year, Gandhi may have appeared helpless in front of Nehru-Patel on the question of partition, but on the occasion of this election, his wish was completely followed.

Of course, Gandhi was not even an ordinary member of the Congress at this time, but even before the elections, he had put forward the name of Jawaharlal Nehru. On April 20, 1946, he wrote in a letter to the then Congress President Maulana Azad that in today's situation, if I were asked, I would give priority to Jawahar Lal Nehru. There are many reasons for this, but why go into details?

What happened was what Gandhi wanted

Of course, what Mahatma Gandhi wanted happened. But the second and third line leadership of that period could also raise questions on the will of the supreme leadership of the party, this election also gave the message of this. Despite Gandhi's wish, none of the fifteen State Congress Committees proposed Nehru's name for the post of President. Of these, 12 state committees were in favor of Sardar Patel and two in favor of Acharya Kripalani. One committee was neutral.

A year later, Gandhi did not attend the historic meeting of Congress and Muslim League leaders with Mountbatten on June 3, 1947, to formally approve the partition of the country and the transfer of power, on the grounds that he was not a member of the Congress. But in this presidential election in which the future leadership of the country was to be decided, Gandhi was not only present but was in a decisive position.

she became an example

In reality, this was not an election, it was a nomination. Before independence, it started in the presence of the supreme leader of the country and then the political parties in independent India adopted it as an example. The state committees may not have proposed Nehru's name, but General Secretary Acharya Kripalani, keeping in mind Gandhi's wish, got the signatures of some members of the Working Committee and AICC in favor of Nehru. Then withdrew his name. The paper was forwarded to Patel asking him to withdraw his name so that Nehru could be elected unopposed. Patel passed the paper towards Gandhi.

Every member of the meeting knew what Mahatma Gandhi wanted, but still Gandhi followed it as a formality. Said that Nehru's name has not been proposed by any state committee, only by the members of the working committee. Nehru remained completely silent in response. Gandhi asked Patel to sign his withdrawal. Even before this, Patel had withdrawn his name at the behest of Gandhi in 1929 and 1939. For the third time he obeyed the Guru's orders.

Those qualities of Nehru which Patel did not get

What were those qualities of Nehru that Gandhi did not see in Patel? Mahatma's grandson Raj Mohan Gandhi has mentioned this in his book “Patel A Life”. Almost a year after this election, Gandhiji publicly said that at a time when power had to be wrested from the British, no one else could take Jawahar Lal's place. He studied at Harrow. Is a graduate of Cambridge. Is a barrister. Have to talk to the British. Mahatma Gandhi also explained why Patel was inferior to him.

Nehru has better communication with a section of Muslims, in which Patel is not interested. Nehru is better known in other countries than Patel and under his leadership India will have a role in the international world. Gandhi also did not forget to remind that Nehru would not accept being at number two. Gandhi, reassured by his obedient Patel, said that Nehru's selection would not deprive the country of Patel's services. Both will need each other to move the government's bullock cart forward.

Had Gandhi's thinking about English changed?

By the time the country's independence approached, had Gandhi's thinking about English and English changed? Did he accept that English is necessary for communication abroad or to make a place in the international world and the country needs a leader who is well-versed in the English style? Or was this concession only for Nehru, towards whom he was always inclined?

Gandhi is also remembered for the lack of difference between his words and actions, but his speech 30 years ago was teaching something else! Lord Hardinge inaugurated Kashi Hindu University on 4 February 1916. Mahatma Gandhi's speech on this occasion had troubled the British subordinates present there. Then Gandhiji had said, “I have the audacity to say that we have almost reached the pinnacle of the art of oratory. But now seeing the events and listening to the speeches should not be considered enough. Now our minds should be energized and our hands and legs should move.

I want to say that today I have to speak in a foreign language in this holy city, in the courtyard of this great university. This is a matter of great dishonor and shame. I hope that arrangements will be made to impart education to the students of this university through their mother tongue. If you tell me that good thoughts cannot be expressed in our languages ​​then it is better for us to get out of this world. Can anyone imagine that English could someday be the national language of India?

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