Vice President Hamid Ansari has said that the ideas of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru would continue to remain relevant in the days to come. "There is no apprehension that ideas of Nehru will cease to be relevant. Yes, life is full of twists and turns and debates are always welcome. But at the end of the debates, Nehru will come out even a greater personality than his iconic figure," Ansari said on Wednesday
Speaking after releasing the book "Nehru-Gazing at Tomorrow" penned by veteran Congress leader and former Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, Ansari said “we hold each one of these ideas close to us because each of them have helped us reach where we are and the direction we should be taking.”
While complimenting Bhardwaj for his book, the Vice President said the book contains on purpose Nehru's historic 1929 Lahore speech, which "spelt out with remarkable clarity the totality of ideas of how he visualised India to be".
"In 1929, India was not a free country but he had the foresight to look beyond the horizon and spell out what he would like independent India to look like," Ansari said.
Commending Bhardwaj for his book, which has sections on social justice, parliamentary democracy, working of the Indian Constitution as well as science and technology, Ansari said, “It reflects the persona of Nehru and his ideology
“To me a Gandhian socialist is a sandwich between the extreme socialist and extreme leftist. To me to be a secular socialist is Gandhian philosophy," Bhardwaj said in his address
Commenting that Nehru as a humanist and secular democrat, The author said, "People who criticise Nehru should introspect.
His cabinet comprised 10 ministers selected by Gandhi and represented all shades of opinion including Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, minister of industry , Sardar Baldev Singh, B R Ambedkar, all kinds of people of all religions."
Bharadwaj, was the law minister three times has also written a chapter on "We the People" where Nehru cautions people about disruption and divisive forces that were on work.
"All his life, Nehru promoted secular India and gave preference to all kinds of people who are socially backward and disadvantaged," Bharadwaj said. "Now our courts have interpreted our democracy. The latest judgment of the court is that secularism is the foundation of Indian democracy. And any person who harms the secular fabric of this country, he does not deserve to be the ruler of this country and any discriminatory treatment on any ground is prohibited," he said.
Harish Khare, former media adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said Nehru had been under attack since January 1948.
"Since January 1948 Nehru has been under attack. And it is no surprise that this great democrat and his ideas are once again under attack this time by new reactionaries and new communalists." The book has been published by Hardnews Media whose editor Sanjay Kapoor also spoke on the occasion