Nehru’s consistent efforts made India secular: Mani Shankar Aiyar

  • By Hindu
  • | Wednesday | 15th November, 2017

Dwelling upon non-alignment, Mr. Aiyar said that Nehru’s non-alignment did not mean equi-distance or isolationism. Mr. Aiyar was delivering a lecture on “The Nehruvian legacy and its Discontents”, organised by “Rostrum”, Alva’s Education Foundation’s Speakers Club, at Moodbidri near here. The former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Tuesday said that it was because of Jawaharlal Nehru’s consistent efforts that India established itself as a secular country with equal rights for all regardless of their religious affiliations. He said that Nehru was an “extraordinary giant” of the freedom struggle, a prominent maker of modern India, a great believer of pluralism, the chief architect of democracy, socialism and secular ethos. To a query why democracy is the profuse value of the Congress but not the Congressmen, Mr. Aiyar said that the Congress believes in collective decision of party members and people’s choice in election.


The former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar on Tuesday said that it was because of Jawaharlal Nehru’s consistent efforts that India established itself as a secular country with equal rights for all regardless of their religious affiliations.

Mr. Aiyar was delivering a lecture on “The Nehruvian legacy and its Discontents”, organised by “Rostrum”, Alva’s Education Foundation’s Speakers Club, at Moodbidri near here. He said that Nehru was an “extraordinary giant” of the freedom struggle, a prominent maker of modern India, a great believer of pluralism, the chief architect of democracy, socialism and secular ethos.

He said, “It is his contribution to democracy, insistence on secularism, economic policies and non-alignment principle which makes him distinguished among others in the history of Indian politics.” Mr. Aiyar further said that agriculture had virtually been stagnant for half-a-century and the average rate of economic growth was less than one per cent. Against this dismal backdrop, Nehru made it possible to accelerate the first 15 years’ estimated GDP growth at 4 %, and nearly 2 % per capita as opposed to 0.1 % during 1900-47. Dwelling upon non-alignment, Mr. Aiyar said that Nehru’s non-alignment did not mean equi-distance or isolationism. It meant independence of judgment and action. It was not a passive but a pro-active and dynamic policy in which India was strongly committed to the goals of the United Nations and would do its best for peace in the world.

To a query why democracy is the profuse value of the Congress but not the Congressmen, Mr. Aiyar said that the Congress believes in collective decision of party members and people’s choice in election. To another query why Rahul Gandhi should become the Prime Minister, he said, “If Indians want to win and a secular state to be formed, it is only with Rahul Gandhi one can expect [it to happen].”

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