By Kamal Morarka
There was a Shyama Prasad Mukherjee event to mark a milestone in his life. It was held in the Nehru Memorial Library in Delhi which is alright. It would have been in the fitness of things if the Prime Minister or the Home Minister had given that oration. If they did not have the time and if the party had to select somebody, he should have been of the stature of Advaniji or Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi who are equal if not senior to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in stature. To make Amit Shah to give that oration is actually a slight to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was an able member of Nehru’s cabinet. He held the Industries portfolio, and the earliest decisions favouring the public sector were taken by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. People forget history or event so easily today to put all the blame on Nehru and all the praise on Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. These are all hogwash. The fact is Shyama Prasad Mukherjee founded the Bhartiya Jan Sangh as an alternative ideology to the Congress party, which is what democracy is all about. But it does not mean that he was against the public sector or to feather the private nests, etc.
On Kashmir, Nehru has to take the blame for going to the United Nation which as a gentleman he did and which gave Pakistan an opportunity to misuse that move by India. However, the point we are missing is that Kashmir would have gone to Pakistan had it not been for Sheikh Abdullah who admired Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. It was he who decided that Kashmir will remain with secular India and not with the Muslim Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, left alone, would have gone to Pakistan long back thinking that the majority of the state is Muslim. Whether BJP likes it or not, whether Amit Shah likes it or not, you cannot dissect the two events. Kashmir is with India because of Sheikh Abdullah and Nehru. Kashmir dispute is there because of Nehru. Both the things are interlinked. You cannot say that had Nehru not been there, there would have been no Kashmir dispute. Yes, there would not have been a dispute, because Kashmir would have been gone to Pakistan. BJP need to reread the history and make up its mind what its stand is. As we understand, the stand of RSS and BJP is that we should have a Muslim Mukt Bharat. Then they should clearly say that Kashmir should go to Pakistan. Why are they trying to make government here and make various moves to assimilated Kashmiris among us? I think there is a widespread confusion at the policy-making level in the BJP. I don’t know whether RSS s guiding them or not guiding them but only thing apparent by their move in Arunachal, Uttrakhand and Kashmir is that they are flattering the Congress by proving all they are interested in is grabbing as many states as possible – principles and polices may go. That is the one event that has taken the headlines.
Another event recently we are reading is 24-hours malls, restaurants and all will be open. Again we are aping the West, I think America. India should go by its own culture. In cities already eateries are open late into the night, but we should go slow. I don’t know what the purpose of this is, whether it is for revenue or employment or what. But government should come clear, what their policy directions are? As of now the sum total of the two years of NDA government is that they following UPA government’s policies point by point. In some cases like MNREGA they have not changed the name; in other cases they have changed the name but the schemes are the same. I am not saying that whether they are the bad things or good things, but the fact is that if you have to work for the poor for the downtrodden, for the unemployed for the landless there are things to be done which Congress was doing as per its own thinking, BJP can do as per its own thinking but to suddenly claim that Jan Dhan Yojana and crop insurance scheme are revolutionary that is not so. These are the schemes which have been ongoing. Of course there is scope of improvement and is welcome. If BJP can improve the schemes to reach the farmers that is the most welcome thing.
The Seventh Pay Commission report has been approved by the cabinet but that is expected. I don’t think any government had much of options because pay commission are there they go through the whole process and whatever recommendations they give, if you try to cut on them they will be disgruntlement among the government employees. Of course it costs money but that has to be provided in the budget which I am sure they must have taken care of.
By Kamal Morarka