I recently read an article by Vir Sanghvi, the editor of the Hindustan Times. He blames P V Narasimha Rao for many reasons. To me, knowing Rao’s government is like reading history, as I was too young to understand politics then. But still, with all due respect, I’d like to contradict Mr. Sanghvi.
Firstly he claims that, as home minister, Rao failed to protect the sikhs in the riots of 1984. Well… no steps were taken against the rioters, many of whom were prominent congressmen. It is for the readers to decide, that under these circumstances, who should be blamed- the PM, of the Home Minister? Secondly, Sanghvi claims that the Kashmir insurgency that had started in 1989, raged out of control. Frankly, this can be blamed to every PM who followed Rao. Infact, when Rao took over the government, it was unthinkable to even conduct elections in Kashmir. It was Rao who created an atmosphere to conduct elections. It was an important milestone in keeping Kashmir a part of India!
The next acquisition against Rao is Babari masjid. It indeed, is a fact that failing to protect Babri Masjid is the biggest blot on Rao’s record. But let’s make the history clear. It was Shah Bano’s case, which led Rajiv Gandhi’s government to pass the Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) act, which then lead BJP to grow from a merely 2 seats in 1984 to 89 seats in 1989 general elections which were again fought under Rajiv Gandhi’s leadership. This subsequently led to Advani’s rath yatra and the demolition of Babri Masjid. It’s really sad that the Nehru-Gandhi family is spared even after committing shameful mistakes and everyone else’s is remembered. See! We have forgotten Nehru’s 62 war, Indira’s Emergency, and Rajiv’s Bofors!
It was Rao who appointed Manmohan Singh as his Finance Minister, whose economic reforms have brought the nation to glory. It was Rao, who created this platform! Even Singh himself as the prime minister could not push another economic reform in 2004. Rajiv Gandhi was elected with the largest majority in this nation’s history riding on the sympathy wave after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Rao, on the other hand was representing a minority government. Even under such huge political pressures, who brought in the Look East policy of countering China in South East Asia? Who stepped up diplomatic ties with Israel, which supplies a good chunk of defense hardware today? Which prime minister actually sent the leader of the opposition to represent the government in the UN? Who accelerated the dismantling of the Licence Raj? I’m not a Rao fan, nor am I against Rajiv Gandhi or Sanghvi (I’m a great fan of his journalism, actually). But criticizing Rao, calling him “mud”, while portraying other leaders as visionaries, who were involved in the same cases is wrong… I can’t abide it!
I do not agree with your views on Vir Sanghvi. I think of him as a timid journalist who never reported anything against the Nehru-Gandhi led congress.
P. V. Narasimha Rao was a good PM and he has done a lot of good things like converting Public Sector Units (like BHEL, ONGC etc) into profit making enterprises and opening up the economy. But apparently the Nehru-Gandhi family doesn’t want anyone outside the family to share the top honors in history (remember Liberhan report?)
Hello… several similar issues have often intrigued me and compelled me to think hard and against the popular polity, but could never substantially propagate my views or actually never tried to refine my knowledge through research… i earnestly appreciate your attempt at the same… keep up and help us become more knowledgeable each time we visit ur blog
Well.. yes… Mr. Rao has got a lot. Not only from Vir sanghvi but also from the entire media. On the contarary, as you rightfully said, other heirs of the great Gandhi family have never faced flak for there myopic policies!
A very clean and neat site. Btw, how do i follow this site? Iam not able to find and RSS feed options or google friend connect…
The very exercise he undertook in revamping our economic, foreign and security policies is mind boggling. But a large section in the media and congress could not tolerate an ordinary looking person becoming the PM and painted him as weak, indecisive and a villain and these guys have deprived this country of his services and still talk rubbish about him.
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