Meeting Nehru 13.10.1962 — & Rajiv’s gift 18.9.1990
September 18, 1990 — drsubrotoroy
I loved Nehru as a child and greeted him dressed like him at Colombo airport on October 13, 1962. Independent India as a country was only 15 years old then! …The surprise Chinese attack started slightly the same day, and my father told me Nehru cut short his visit and returned to Delhi later in the day… The women at the Indian diplomatic mission in Colombo started to knit woolen socks for the soldiers in the cold, I donated my entire saved-up pocket money of nine months, Rs 63, to the cause (the Ambassador, the late great Balraj Kapur, a dear family friend, phoned me at home to ask, Soooby, are you sure you want to do this? Yes, Sir, I shrieked back…)… Of course it was all a bit of a waste… especially when we learnt a few days later that they attacked Ladakh too and were not giving that back…
I have said Nehru was scientific, secular, progressive and a democrat who despised monarchy and brought India universal suffrage (as early as 1951!). On the other hand, he was a weak Fabian on the Soviet Union & socialism, and foolish to the extreme in his assessment of Mao-Zhou-Lin Biao’s Communist China. A great but fallible man of the new India.
Currently china’s agressive move in Ladakh reminds the fact that Nehru with all his greatness, did some blunders on foreign policy front. Especially Naively Recognizing Tibet as integral part of china with out proper demarcation. Going to UN on kashmir issue are some of them. Chinese aggression became a big set back to Nehru and take a heavy toll on him from which he never recovered.
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