ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Miles to Go

The Nehru era is gone, something else must take its place and something is aborning, however unconscionable the time taken by it.

The Nehru era is gone, not past recall, but though one hates to say it, it is dead and gone. On those to whom in their youth Nehru had been the symbol of their hopes and aspirations and who had found in him the articulation of their dreams and ideals, the weight of the past still hangs heavy and it is they who find it most difficult to shake it off, not so much the pre-Independence men who are still in power. That is inertia, the natural inclination to stay put until lifted up and impelled by another equally powerful force. It is those among them, again, who retain some sensitiveness and have not lost their capacity to feel and think, who find it especially difficult to propel themselves forward. The symbol, however, has fast been losing its meaning, if it has not already ceased to have any. Of late, it has been tried time and again but failed to arouse response. A voltaic charge into a dead frog may produce a temporary movement of the limbs but it soon comes to a stop. The time for an assessment of the Nehru era, of its aspirations and achievements is perhaps not yet, but it is certainly high time to face the fact that the Nehru era has closed. A new era must have been aborning but it has been taking time to be born. But has that to be accepted? Can the birth be speeded up, can the pace of history be forced? If not, does it then mean that we have to accept things as they are and keep our fingers crossed for something to happen?

Surely there is helpless fatalism in this view, something which offends both logic and the experience of the past. There are periods in the life of a nation when things move fast, changes come tumbling one upon another and transform society in the process. Equally are there periods of little change, near stagnation. There are also periods when forces released in the past remain still active, but are directed and moulded, so that in retrospect, one may see in such periods the process of consolidation of what had been happening rather than the operation of altogether new forces.

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