Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Indian Governance after Independence

India, an ancient land with a distinct culture and a unique religion, had several rulers. The last of them was the British who tinkered with our civilization. So India rose up under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi to get independence. Many writers, particularly from Bengal, inspired people to follow the movement. Apart from innumerable personal sacrifices we had to sacrifice a part of our land, to form Pakistan, to get our freedom. Indian Independence Movement, unlike other freedom fights all over the world, was a non-violent one. It was an unprecedented achievement in the history of the world in spite of our cultural diversity.

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Independent India chose to be democratic and remained a democratic country. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President and Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister. A “Constituent Assembly” created a constitution for us. Nehru believed in Socialism and introduced Five Year Plans as in Russia for development. He planned big projects. He advocated peace but Pakistan occupied western part of Kashmir and China a large part of Kashmir on the eastern side.

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Lal Bahadur Sastri was the second PM. He gave importance to defence and agriculture. He gave the slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan. Food production in India was not enough for us and every year we depended on American Aid in the form of wheat. He died mysteriously in Russia.

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Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, became the next PM though there were many senior leaders in the party. She dominated all other leaders. She signed a defence agreement of twenty years with Russia though officially India was a non-aligned country in a world polarized by American and Russian groups of countries. She nationalized banks. She supported freedom struggle in East Pakistan and saw that it became an independent country viz Bangladesh thereby cutting Pakistan to half of its size.

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Her electoral win was struck down by a court as illegal. Then instead of resigning to her post she declared emergency and arrested leaders of all opposition parties all over India and put them in jails. In her dictatorial rule people were tortured with compulsory sterilization.

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She was killed by some Sikhs as she ordered soldiers to enter Golden Temple with shoes to kill a criminal hiding there.

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Then son of Indira, Rajiv Gandhi, who was a pilot, was made the PM. He tried to develop a few things like telephone communication. He was accused of taking commissions in buying guns from Bofors. He was killed by Sri Lankan Tamil militants.

After him Viswanath Pratap Singh became PM. He tried to control illegal activities of corporates. In his attempt to prevent religionising politics he sacrificed his power.

When the country was in severe financial trouble PV Narasimha Rao became our PM. He took Dr Manmohan Singh, an expert in finance, as Finance Minister. Dr Singh changed the earlier system of giving manufacturing licence to only one or two for a product to free licensing to anybody. This was expected to produce better quality products for lesser prices due to competition.

Then Atal Bihari Vajpaye became PM. He tried to set right many things but could not do much as his government was a mixture of many parties with different interests. He gave importance to local products.

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Then Dr Manmohan Singh was made PM. He remained inactive and things were managed by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and her son Mr. Rahul Gandhi. The benefits from his earlier financial reforms went into the hands of the industrialists and politicians but did not reach people because he did not try to control anything.

Then Sri Narendra Modi became PM. In the first year he continued projects started by earlier government. Then he started doing things according to his plan in the interest of the nation. He made the world realize India’s potential and respect it. With a clear vision of what to do, when to do and how to do he brought in many reforms almost in every field of life. But opposition parties blame him for everything. Now common man is left in a dilemma as media which should be impartial is not bringing out the truth.

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Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur
Rajendra Singh Baisthakur had been a Lecturer in English. He is a poet, critic and translator. His interests are Literature, Philosophy and social media.



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