28 July, 2021

Why Do They Say That Modi Hates Nehru?

Why indeed, for hate is intensely personal. Nehru’s new republic, with its measly material portions, provided the propulsive agents that made him.

Why Do They Say That Modi Hates Nehru?

As the impending birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru would be his one hundred and twenty-fifth, a number divisible by twenty-five, there would be some fuss about him over the next week. There would be talk about ‘institutions’, because when Indians of a type speak of Nehru they usually mention ‘institutions’, just the way they use ‘comparisons’ and ‘odious’ in the same sentence. It is inevitable that there would be some talk about how much the fifteenth prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, loathes India’s first.

Nehru’s world was framed in English. He was the mild bore writer, the sophisticate who could talk western culture to western culture, the atheist who found it easy to ask believers to be secular. Modi, on the other hand, the temple-goer, ham, and the only man at Barack Obama’s dinner whose elbows were on the dining table. It does look as though Modi is the anti-matter of Nehru, but does he have reasons to hate Nehru as is generally believed? A vague contempt, probably, but hate needs deep...

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