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Banned in India: Reminiscences of Nehru Age by Mathai now available for free download in most of the popular formats including PDF from the following link. Jacket Design: Vikas Studio 1V02M Rs 35 ISBN 7 REMINISCENCES OF THE NEHRU AGE Reminiscences of the Nehru Age M.O. Mathai. Reminiscences Of The Nehru Age book. Read 22 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. M.O. Mathai, Nehru's Special Assistant and alter ego.
Soonafter the formation of the interim government. I had already asked the Cabinet Secretary to see Pantji frequently and brief him generally. View all 6 comments. She was a Sanskrit Scholar well versed in the ancient Indian scriptures and mythology. On more than one occas-ion the judges had to remind him that he was not addressing a political rally.
Menon felt like the "hero of Kashmir" despite the fact that his speech did not win a single vote in India's favour. He and India. Lok Sabha from North Bombay constituency with a margin of 47, votes. After the.. For a while after assumingthe role of the "hero of Kashmir" and after the elections, Krishna Menon began to lose his head.
He made it plain to many that he was the natural successor to Nehru. Many important Congress leaders were annoyed by this. In the presence of senior civil and military officers in the Defence -Ministry he would criticize his principal colleagues in the Cabinet. He invariably referred. But he had perfected the art of losing them and had theinborn gift of.
I told him of one person who, at one time, attracted bigger crowds than Nehru did; but it was a passing phenomenon; he could not sustain it and soon settled down as a neglected Deputy Minister. He asked me who the per.. He 'lived to see his house being stoned by the populace, I told Krishna Menon that Nehru's having maintained his popularity for a whole lifetime was no joke.
And it so happened that, after Krishna Menon's exit from government, he was stoned by the people in several places in northern India. In it was known in the Ministries-of Defence and External , Affairs at the higher levels that China had completed the construetion of the Aksai-Chin road in Ladakh. Parliament and tIle public. I had thought that after burning his fingers at India House in London, Krishna Menon had learnt a lesson in administration.
But no. IIe created havoc in the Defence Ministry and in the defence forces. He found favourites. The classic example was B.
Kaul who had practically no experience as a field commander. In promoting Kaul to the rank of Lieutenant-General from the third position in a panel of three submitted by the Army Chief General Thimayya, superseding several outstanding officers, Krishna Menon exercised his discretion in favour of the army's greatest known coward. This was amply proved later when braggart Kaul was sent to the front to. He developed cold feet, feigned illness, flew back. President Radhakrishnan wanted Kaul to be examined by a full medical board and exposed if necessary.
In the confusion then reigning in Delhi, Kaul escaped medical examination. However, later he had an ignominious exit from the army.
When the Defence Ministry embarked on a programme of'accelerating defence production, Krishna Menon brought in a private person from Madras who was in the scout movement with him before. He was a man of no means. Soon he became an international traveller. This individual became a financial supporter of Krishna Menon, He is now back in Madras as a rich man and a Director of several important companies.
The news of the Aksai-Chin road and the Chinese menacing probes in the north and northeastern region broke out, and government had to face the strongest possible criticism in parliament and in the press. Krishna Menon was a discredited person by then. In April Chou En-lai came to Delhi and received a stiff and cold reception. The suggestion was that India should lease to China the Aksai-Chin salient; and in turn China should lease to India the narrow.
Krishna Menon's argument was that when the agreement came up for renewal, India would be in a stronger position to bargain. The whole thing was vague. The duration of the lease was not mentioned. No thought was given to the possible relative strength of India and China at the time of renewal.
The proposal was rightly torpedoed by Govind Ballabh Pant and T. A south Indian journalist's assertion that G. Pant threatened 10 revolt and resign is a cock and bull story which emanated from Krishna Menon's fevered brain. Pant was. What Pant told the PM was that.
Krishna Menon'ssuggestionvif accepted would-inflame popular. The period was one during which Krishna Menon relapsed into heavy drugging. Once he crossed all limits at the UN and used the most intemperate and offensive language in a speech. Nehru at once sent a telegram to him reading, "Remember the world is a much bigger place than the UN. Radhakrishnan always thought that Krishna Menon's was a diseased mind. Krishna Menon earned many epithets from the press and people at the United Nations and elsewhere abroad.
Here are a few: The police. The decision to take over Goa was taken six months before. Krishna Menon discovered a pliable senior intelligence man to prepare the ground. He was a pastmaster not only! Wild reports of Portuguese military- strength in Goa, and the "impending" arrival of Pakistani forces by air and sea in Goa were widely circulated. Actually there was no need to deploy the army. The Central Reserve Police could have accomplished the job.
The invasion of Goa did not enhance Nehru's moral stature. President Kennedy, who was an admirer of Nehru, did not question India's claim to Goa; but he remarked that "the priest has been caught in the brothel.
In the general elections early in Krishna Menon was again the. Congress candidate in the North Bombay constituency. His opponent was an Independent-s-the redoubtable Acharya J.
There were reports that Krishna Menon would have an uphill task. Nehru, unfortunately, felt that Acharya Kripalani was challenging him. Nehru made North Bombay a personal issue. He wanted Krishna Menon to win in a bigway and told S. Patil so. Throughout the election campaign, wherever Nehru wenr.
Jabalpur, Madurai-everywhere. Many people took Nehru's pre- occupation with Krishna Menon almost as a joke. Krishna Menon , ultimately won, polling , votes as against Acharya Kripalani's , It turned out to be a barren victory, for within seven months Krishna Menon had to leave government.
In September major Chinese incursions took place in the eastern sector; and on 20 October full-scale invasion started. We were outnumbered and outgunned. The Chinese exploded the myth of the impregnabi I ity of the H imala yas. A sizeable section of the Congress Parliamentary Party executivedemanded the removal of Krishna Menon. The PM resisted for a while. Then Menon made the most unwise and suicidal statement at Tezpur. He said that nothing had changed- and that he was still sitting in the Defence Ministry.
This sealed his fate. Senior Cabinet Ministers, including T. Krishnarnachari, asked for Krishna Menon's ouster.
There was a threat that most of the Congress members of parliament would boycott the party general meeting jf the PM was not prepared to dismiss Menon. Nehru at last saw the writing on the wall.
He could no longer cling to the absurd theory that an attack on Krishna Menon was an attack on him. Indira also did her bit. Dehbar and Kamaraj, to ask for Krishna Menon's ouster. Kamaraj could not speak English fluently and, in any. He started his interview with the PM with the cryptic sentence, "Krishna Menon must go.
And Krishna Menon went on 7 November as the man who brought discredit to India, dishonour to the Indian army, and ignominy to himself,. Nehru tried to retain Krishna Menon as a member of the Planning Commission. The Attorney-General, however, ruled that it could not be done unless Krishna Menon resigned from parliament, for the Planning Commission members are technically government servants. After his exit from government, Krishna Menon, tried to start legal practice in the Supreme Court with greatfanfare of puoIicity which was resented by the legal fraternity, To begin with he got a few briefs; but he did not study them.
On more than one occas-ion the judges had to remind him that he was not addressing a political rally. Gradually briefs failed to come his way. Many people believe that Krishna Menon was wedded to the public sector. He was very elastic about it. In he told me that it would be a wrong thing for an underdeveloped country like India to start a public sector for industries except for defence industries.
He said that the Tatas, Birlas and others should be encouraged and fuJly supported to go in a big way for industrial development. One day a long telegram marked "For Himself-Most Immediate-Top Secret" received in code in the cypher bureau was decoded and delivered to me.
It filled ten closely typed foolscap pages. It was coded in the Bombay government secretariat and decoded in the Ministry of External Affairs. It contained disjointed rambling thoughts of Krishna Menon on some foreign affairs issues of no urgency. It took five days to reach me because of its length and the time consumed in coding and decoding. The cypher bureau calculated the. I mentioned this to the PM. When Krishna Menon returned, I asked him why he sent that telegram and told him the cost.
I added that it could have been sent by post and I would have received if the next day. His reply was, "A telegram will have more impact, on the mind of the PM. Krishna Menon had no sense of. After he became Defence Minister ,Krisln? One day I visited the large chamber. Krishna Menon was away in Kashmir for two' days and was expected back only after another couple of days. The officer concerned was diffident, He thought he might get into trouble.
I informed the PM also. He fully approved of the action that I had taken. When Krishna Menon saw my note on return from Kashmir he was upset. He came to see me to find out if I could undo the thing.
The reason 'he gave was that his not keeping and office in the External Affairs Ministry would give the impression that he was out offoreign affairs. I replied, "It is as it should be. Soon after Krishna Menon became Minister without Portfolio, Potter, the man involved in the jeep scandal; threatened to go to court. In fact be sent a legal notice to Krishna Menon who made an air-dash to London under false pretences.
A substantial part of it was given to Potter to buy his silence. When Krishna Menon became Minister without Portfolio, the Prime Minister wanted him to leave the Prime Minister's house and have an establishment of his own. The PM spoke to me and asked me to see that it was done gently. He said that apart from the fact thatit was the right thing for Krishna Menon to do, "he barges in t09 often while I am working; he is getting on my nerves; whenever he enters my study he brings in tension.
He hummed. Finally he said, "Ole man, get me something nearest to the PM's house; I don't want the impression to get round that I am no longer in close contact with the PM. United States, he used to carry with him a certificate from a British doctor that he was incapableof performing the sex act. Once, in New York, he got into trouble with a shapely young Spanish woman.
He used to take her round to restaurants and nightclubs. She ultimately threatened to blackmail him by telling the press that Krishna Menon had been intimate with her. Krishna Menon got the fright of his life. He enlisted the services of a UN employee, an Indian. This man talked to the Spanish woman and showed her the British doctor's certificate. She was not dissuaded and said, "Let him publish that certificate also. I had three tiffs with Krishna Menon.
The first happened in my study in the PM's house where Krishna Menon had come to see me. He sat and gossiped. He was then a Cabinet Minister. In the course of his gossipy talk he said, "You know, the PM is the kept map. You do not have-even a modicum of gratitude to the man without whom you would have been in the gutter. He looked sheepish and left. The second happened in the Cabinet room of 10 Downing Street,. London, where a meeting of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers'.
Conference was in progress. Nehru and -MrsPandit were at the table. PilIai, Krishna Menon, and I, in that order, were behind. Nehru was speaking. The third incident happened in my office in the PM's secretariat a week after my resignation. I had heard about some caustic 'comments made by Krishna Menon about my resignation.
I rang him up and said that I would like to see him in his office. He said, "Ole man, I will. But he insisted and came to my office. You are an ungrateful man; everyone, including the Prime Minister, is a convenience for you. I am not going to take back my resignation as some people do and I am not going to return to government. But remember that I can, if I choose, do more harm to you from outside than from within.
Now I do not want to see your' horse-face again. Krishna Menon was visibly shaken and mumbled, "Nobody has talked to me like tills. I never met him afterwards though on two occasions he tried to meet me. Kashmir was with the Prime Minister.
Nehru was in a somewhat mischievous mood. He turned to Krishna Menon and said, "You Malayalishave to be brought here to be civilized.
It is the Shankaracharya temple. Shankaracharyahad to corne all the way on foot to civilize the Kashmiris. For the rest of his life. Krishna Menon never forgot the Shankaracharya hill in Srinagar. Onemorning 1 was having breakfast with the PM as Indira was out of Delhi. Krishna Menon barged in. I ordered tea for him. After coffee: Krishna Menon began playing with the cigare-tte box and started talking about different brands of British cigarettes. And to my surprise he held forth about the flavours of the- different brands.
I asked him, "Have you ever smoked a cigarette in your life? The PM burst into laughter. As we all went out of the dining room, Krishna Menon said, "You should not. Even after his exit from government, KrishnaMenon's wandermania persisted.
He continued to travel by first class' by air and stayed in the most expensive hotels in London, New York and other places. Tongues began to wag. People asked, "Where does he get all this money from? All his life Krishna Menon chased controversy and sometimes controversy chased him. People began to ask questions 'about the sum of over Rs , in cash and the fabulous wardrobe of expensive European clothes with expensive unused British and French shirts thrown in, which he left behind. Death stills most things.
It referred to the. He was only adapting what Clemenceau, in his exasperation, said of President Woodrow WiJson at Versailles after the first world war. I am sorry, but this is true. One High Commissioner In Delhi, who was a -conceited fellow and never missed an opportunity to make it known that he was a Rhodes scholar, and who was despised by a fellow Commonwealth High Commissioner as an insufferably arrogant person, once told me that he thought Nehru was arrogant.
Later, Nehru went up to him and asked him with some heat, "Why did you do it, Sir John? Why' did you not show me your speech before you made it? Sir John shot back, "Why should I? Do you show me yours before you make them? I have the highest regard for him and especially for his disinterestedness in all that he says and does, and the incident must have been quickly forgotten by him as it was by me.
He was also impatient. He had the minor drawbacks of a person who started public life at the top. It did not behove Chou En-Iai to judge Nehru when he, in his rank arrogance, let his country attack India, thereby returning evil for good. The fact that the External Affairs Department was then, and for some time to come, manned at the top by British civilians did not help matters.
The Commonwealth Relations Department, also under Nehru; were manned by Indians of indifferent calibre. Ramamurti, who had acted as a provincial Governor under the British regime, was not a happy one.
He was sent for by Nehru as a possible choice for the chairmanship of the Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation Board. Nehru wanted a person who was not emotionally involved in the influx of refugees.
He explained the problem to Ramarnurti. Here was a great human problem; instead of discussing the challenge posed by the problem and its possible future dimensions, Ramamurti foolishly raised questions about his position, salary and emoluments, place in the Warrant of Precedence, perquisites such as the type of bungalow, railway saloon and the like. Nehru terminated the interview and got rid of. But the aftermath of partition proved that most of the IeS and other service people were free from narrow communalism and functioned fairly and justly in an extremely difficult situation.
This created a good impression on Nehru. From then on it was smooth sailing for the civil servants. The defence services provided the finest example of noncommunal outlook. Around I took up with the PM three issues: The Lee Commission extended to Indian res officers, their wives 'and dependent children the privilege of-return, passages between India and England and staying in.
England for a few months five times during their career at government expense and drawing. Katju and Cabinet SecretaryY. In spite of repeated reminders to the Home Ministry and the Cabinet secretariat, nothing was. Then, suddenly,' a paper was submitted to the Cabinet for, the abolition of the.
Lee Commission passages. This isa typical example of the dilatoriness of the' civil service and. In all democratic' countries the Head of State is the Commander. He has no command functions;. General Cariappa, who.
Some top brass in the army. Dhoti Prasad as C-in-C. Maneckshaw, in htsmessage to-Major-General FirmanAli, used the expression, "the forces under my command. I shall not discuss individuals, here 'except one-Girja Shankar Bajpai, who prospered. He 'became a. Dcil rather early in his.
Hisofficewas an adjunct of the -British 'Embassy. He ordered the' chauffeur to' ignore traffic rule's without endangering safety. Soon the' police stopped his car. Soonafter the formation of the interim government. Since the senior. This was' also intended to relieve Nehru, from routine ' meetings with foreign Ambassadors. In many ways' Bajpai was. But in dealing with, Kashmir affairs, he was, a disaster. Instead of sticking to basic principles and asking for' an answer to. I asked him what was.
He said eggs, and added that butter and sugar were served in limited quantities to the inmates of the hotel. I knew he would. But Bajpai became a bundle of grumbling and never forgave me. Conditions in England were so bad that when we went over' to Dublin for a couple of days.
Lady Mountbatten thrust into my pocket innumerable pound. London I delivered 'to her fifty kilos of succulent fresh meat, several dozens of fresh eggs, and-the smallbalance of her money. She showed her joy and excitement almost ':. I visited one small family of husband, wife and a child.
The husband was away to his factory. Wit4 Agatha's permission I asked the young woman some questions about, the rigours of life, shortages and the like. QUick came the spontaneous reply,"Yes, we have our difficulties and shortages, but my. From London we went 'over to Paris-and I had a chance of seeing conditions there.
They were totally different from what I sawin London..
We had a halt in Newfoundland where the American air base Commanderlooked after us. Nehru 'and Indira descended from the plane followed by Bajpai and myself. After the Commander drove away with Nehru and Indira, an air force Captain approached Bejpai with a silly question, "Understand English?
Bajpai turned red in-the face and asked irritatedly, "What do you 'want? The Captain said sorry to Bajpai who regained his composure. For the formal social functions in the United States, Bajpai had ordered from Saville Row, of all places, a black achkan, churidar ' pyjamas, and a couple of Gandhi caps. At a dinner in Washington Bajpai and I found ourselves on opposite sides of ' the table.
Isn't she wonderful? That mole on her chin is heavenly. Suddenly she. Fortunately; the man onthe other side of the woman started talking to her. Bajpai revived.
During, the Korea crisis "Bajpai used to see Vallabhbhai. Patel frequently. Both were privately opposed to the policy of nonalignment. Bajpai's notes 'and draft's submitted to.
I spoke to K. He 'Yas reluctant for fear of offending Bajpai. So I asked him to. Soon Bajpai discovered that his. More about this in the chapter on Vallabhbhai Patel. After two extensions Bajpai was due to retire fro. So he came to me to 'enlist my assistance. He said he was interested only in the 'governorship of Bombay. That did not make matters easy, I spoke. He expressed his reluctance in thrusting Bajpai on anybody and added,' "There is something lacking in that man.
Kher, who happened to be in Delhi then. I met him and spoke about Bajpai, He' was not. He said that he would consult Morarji Desai: These momentous revelations had a good effect on Morarjibhai. He included Bajpai's name in the panel of three names submitted to the PM.
So Bajpai achieved his ambition. He had the best of both worlds. Nehru once described himself as a pagan. He was completely amoral. I have yet to see a Nehru, male or female, who believed in the proposition, ,I'one man: Napoleon had many mistresses; but women did not influence him in matters of state. He once said, "Woman is the occupation of the idle mind, arid the relaxation of the warrior.
These can be applied equally to Nehru. A female who pursued Nehru with determination and in an uninhibited manner normally not associated with Indian women was Mridula. Sarabhai, heiress from a wealthy Gujarati family. She was a dedicated and tireless Congress worker. By early Nehru had lost interest in her.
She lacked feminine charm, clad herself in the most atrocious clothes, and generally disfigured herself. Since they chose to keep out, Nehru appointed B. Keskar and Mridula Sarabhai as the General Secretaries.
Mridula knew very little English. So she employed more than one ghost writer.
Sometimes she herself wrote in English to Nehru on political matters. Few could make head or tail of her letters in English. In Mridula Sarabhai was put in charge of the recovery of abducted women during partition. In this she worked tirelessly and with great zeal and rescued many women. She showed great courage but it was' the reckless courage of a wild boar.
She possessed no more than the wisdom of the same animal. There have been many cases of Mridu1a inflicting physical violence on. In and' thereafter marty people thought that this Amazon missed her profession arid- that she should have joined the Military Police. She utterly lacked humaneness in- dealing with human.
Bhuta Singh, aged fifty-five, a bachelot Sikh farmer, rescued a seventeen year old Muslim girl, Zanib, trying to flee her abductor. The' information ultimately reached Mridula, Her gang, with a police escort, arrived on the scene and forcibly took Zanib, much against her will, put her in.
Pakistan and India, n'huta Singh came-to symbolize tomillions of Punjabis on either side of the border-the tragic aftermath of their insane conflict as well as the faint hope that man's.
In my view she was not guilty of anti-nationalactivities? I had two tiffs with Mridula. Dressed in Pathan clothes, she barged into my room and started ordering me about. I had never met her before. I asked her, "Who are you? The 'second was when I heard that whenever the Prime Minister went on tours, she- used to ring up Chief 'Ministers and Chief Secretaries directing them what should be done about security. I immediately had a circular sent to the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries to say that such interference by Mridula Sarabhai was unauthorized and that in.
I did not Tail to inform Mridula about what I had. Endowed with a perpetual bed.. She was pathetically overburdened by illusions. She convinced herself that she was irresistible.
At a relatively early age she took great delight in imagining that Nawab Salar Jung was in love with her. If he happened to look at any: I first met Padniaja in Allahabad in February She made' it a practice to be in the Nehru household in Allahabad and later in Delhi as often as possible. She always insisted on being put up in the room nextto Nehru's.
Heavily burdened with huge, hanging breasts, she perfected the art of folding 'them into her bra' to look like Mae West.
She' always wore low-cut blouses and deftly managed to let her sari fall frequently from her shoulder before men to bare her breasts and make them shake like jelly pudding. When she occupied her room, she filled it with the aroma of powders and perfumes. I never considered her to be attractive; but of course, tastes differ. Hyderabad in the first week of November to celebrate the birthdays ofNehru 14th , Indira 19th and of herself 17th. Indira disapproved of Padmaja coming too often and staying for too long;.
One day Indira told me that she did not like Padmaja arriving with her father in public places such as Rajpath on Republic Day, Red Fort on Independence Dayar d the like, and wanted me to do something about it. I told her, - "Y ou stop going with your father in his car and let your two little boys go with him; you and Padmaja should go together in another car ahead of your father. In the winter of Nehru was scheduled to pay a brief visit to Lucknow.
Sarojini Naidu, who was 'then the Governor of UP, spread the news among her inner circle that Nehru was going to propose to Padmaja. And Padmaja was all keyed up and in great expectations. And, 'lo! She refused to meet Lady Mountbatten. During the winter of Padmaja was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Hyderabad. Soon after, she landed herself in the Prime Minister's house and occupied her strategic room.
She had no intention of taking advantage of the government accommodation normally allotted to a Constituent Assembly member. She had every intention of overstaying her welcome. However, the problem was soon solved. She was told of the ,impending arrival of Lady Mountbatten on her way to the East and again on her way back. A couple of days before. Lady Mountbatten's arrival, Padmaja moved into Western Court where she established herselfin a suite of rooms next to her sister Leilamani Naidu who was working in the External Affairs Ministry.
After lady Mountbatten's arrival, Padmaja sent for Indira and told her that she wanted to hand over all the letters Nehru' had written to her, She also told Indira that she was going to commit suicide. Indira told me about this the same day; she was somewhat disturbed. Then I burst into laughter and told her the story of a young married woman who lived. The woman had perpetual quarrels with her husband.
One day,. She rushed into her room, took an umbrella, opened it and rushed out of the house towards the river. The foolish woman thought that the husband would get a fright and run after her. He did nothing of the kind. She stealthily returned to the house, crestfallen.
Then the husband burst out laughing and asked her, "Will anyone who is serious about committing suicide give notice of it to others? Will anyone who wants to drown herself in the. But Padmaja, who was in a tantrum, refused to meet her. Among other things she told me sadly, "Jawahar is not a one woman's man. A year later, having seen two photographs of Lady Mountbatten in Nehru's bedroom, Padmaja could not bear the thought of not having one of hers there.
So she hung a small but provocative painting of hers bust above the fireplace in Nehru's bedroom-in such a posit-ion that Nehru could see it while lying in bed. The moment Padmaja left Delhi, Nehru had the painting removed and stored.
He consulted the- Chief Minister, B. Roy, who was a long-standing personal friend of Padmaja.
Roy enthusiastically welcomed the appointment. Pantji also had an informal talk with President Rajendra Prasad who also welcomed it. Only after that did Pantjibroach the subject with the Prime Minister.
Nehru's younger sister, Krishna Hutheesing, wrote to me an astounding letter asking me, "Was it done for services rendered? But then I remembered Nehru's advice to me not to. Padmaja proved to be a- good Governor. After Roy she got on well with his successor P.
She retired from governorship some time after the death of Nehru. In the autumn of a young woman from Banares arrived in New Delhi as a sanyasini named Shradha Mata. She was. People, including MPs, thronged to her to' 'hear her discourses. One day S. Nehru's old employee; brought a letter in Hindi from Shardha Mata about whom he. Nehru gave her an interview in the PM's house.
As she departed, I noticed ihat. During one of. Nehru's visits to Lucknow , Shradha Mata turned up there" and Upadhaya brought a letter from. Nehru sent her 'the. Nature's fool, as he was, he told me with' great conviction that she: Suddenly Shardha- Mata disappeared.
She however forgot to. The person who brought the 'letters surrendered them. Nehru 'was told, of the factsJ. This reminded m. Nambiar, who was with Bose, told me the story. Bose was anxious to have an abortion done; but It became impossible because pregnancy was a little too advanced.
He was too interested in his political future. Bose left Germany by a submarine, for Japan.. Injnatters of. The last I heard wasthat she was in Jaipur. Never again. I made discreet enquiries repeatedly about the boy but failed to get a clue about, his, whereabouts. Convents in such matters are extremelytightlipped and secretive.
Had I succeeded in locating the boy, I would have adopted him.. He must have grown up' as a Chatholic Christian blissfullyignorant of who his father was. Napoleon discovered his existence only at Elba while, with the connivance of the British, Marie Walewska visited him on the island with her little 'son.
Then he ,started to pfesent him with a sword by saying, "My SOD, this was the sword with which I conquered Italy when, I was twenty-six. Her son, Alexandre. In 18S5 he became the Foreign Minister. When he left the Foreign Office in i, it was to become Minister of State; an office which he held until A revolt against his authority.
Would anything like this have happened to Nehru's son if hewere not anonymous and if he were talented and' competent? Some of the great men in the past have been "bastards. Of all the women in Nehru's life after , Lady Mountbatten was pre-eminent and occupied the pride of place. She was a remarkable woman, full of compassion and nervous energy. During the partition period, she spared no effort in bringing solace and succour to innumerable refugees and dispJaced Muslims.
She organized the United Council for Relief and Welfare and brought together all the social service organizations in Delhi within its 'ambit and provided the much needed coordination. Much of her time was taken upin visiting hospitals and refugee camps which were mostly insanitary. She did not hesitate to visit dingy hovels. Gandhiji was so impressed by her ceaseless work that he publicly referred to her as "the angel of mercy. Before the Mountbattens left India, Lady Mountbatten extracted a promise from me that I would write to her regularly.
Actually I did not have to because Nehru started to reply to her in his own hand. Their letters were numbered in order to make sure that if any went astray, it could be detected. In my offie,; there was a carefully-selected confidential assistant to process mail. To begin with I opened all communications marked personal, secret and confidential. Their number grew so large that I soon discovered I could not cope, with them.
I asked the confidential assistant to open them all except those marked "For him.. To begin with, such marking was to be resorted to only by Indira, Nehru's twosisters and Lady Mountbatten. The marking became known and several people resorted to it. Letters of such unauthorized persons were opened by me.
One day the confidential assistant opened a letter from Lady Mountbatten. He brought it to me in great distress. I asked him not to worry, but to be more careful in future. I sent it to Nehru with a. Even today I cannot understand how a woman of Lady Mountbatten's age could write such adolescent stuff. After this incident Lady Mountbatten resorted to the practice of placing her letters to Nehru in a closed envelope which was put in an outer envelope addressed to me.
I have been several times to the Rashtrapati Bhawan swimming pool with Nehru and Lady Mountbatten and have seen her ill scanty swimming costumes. There was nothing physically attractive about her; but she had a nice face. While M. Turkish wife of the Nizam's second son from whom she had: She was then living in Paris. Nehru wrote to Vellodi to' persuade the Nizam to do the right thing in the matter.
TheNizarn, who disapproved of both his sons, did make a reasonable' settlement. This made tongues wag in Hyderabad and the gossip' that Nehru was personally interested in Niloufer spread to Delhi..
At this time a Director of the Tatas, known as a busybody, told Nehru that Niloufer was anxious to come to Delhi to thank him personally for his kindness. The Tata Director went to the extent of suggesting that Niloufer might be put up in the Prime Minister's house.
Nehru told him that Niloufer was welcome. Later Nehru told Indira about Niloufer's intentions and told her that she should be' put up in the PM's house as a personal guest. Knowing the back. I sent for the Tata Director and to1d him that Niloufer's 'proposed visit could, only do. I added-that it was inappropriate. I asked him to have her visit cancelled and to tell her that she might. I saw her at the Orly airport and found that she was. Sometimes Nehru bad to 'be saved from himself and some of his so-called 'friends.
After that her eyes opened up: Even though they did not part, they were estranged, and. Two years before Lady Mountbatten's death in , the-princely woman persuaded herself thatshe was in love with Nehru. EVeD though she met Nehru off. Nehru died, she imagined- herself to be -in deep private mouming-e-. A few years after Nehtu's death, this woman's bearded husband also died.
He prefers to beknown as "author and political thinker. To portray his life without taking into account this side of his personality is like failing to depictBeethoven's handicap of deafness - during the composition of his greatest works.
Lord Krishna had 16, women in his life. Neither he nor hisfavourite Radha have suffered in reputation on this account. On the contrary, they are lauded and profusely depicted in paintings and other forms of art as well as in poetry.
That -is a basic Indian tradition. On the whole the Indian people did not suffer. Their reason was that Nehru's. Later, on Gandhiji's advice, they withdrew the joint letter ofresignation. This conflict of ideology was always there in dormant form.
The Socialists, in their burry, did not help matters. They had been declaring that the old guard represented outworn ideas and were obstructing the progress of the country and that they deserved to be cast out of the positions they were holding.
The Socialists also felt that Nehru was not supporting them enough. Nehru's concept of nonalignment started to take practical shape in the late twenties: In the first quarter of , having caught out Maulana Azad for telling two lies to him, Gandhiji was anxious to see a change in the' presidentship of the Congress.
Having a clear vision of the coming. He went to the extent of suggesting the dropping of Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad and others of the old guard, and assured him that he would personally ensure that none of them created any difficulties.
Nehru did not accept this advice. He however wanted a. He spoke to them. The Socialists refused to join, the Working Committee. This Was the beginning of the long Socialist drift into the wilderness, owing primarily to a lack of a sense of realism and timing.
When the Constituent Assembly Was formed towards the end of , Nehru, as Congress President, ,was again anxious to bring a number of prominent Socialists into the assembly and eventually into government. But Jayaprakash Narayan and others still kept on harping on their pet theory o. One very valuable woman Socialist called Nehru the Indian. Kerensky, That was at a time when she was having a brief honeymoon with the Communists.
People who are incapable of original thinking import foreign situations into Indian conditions and make themselves ridiculous,. However, he continued to have a soft comer for' Jayaprakash Narayan. Even though he did not say so,': Nehru hoped that Jayaprakash Narayan, with his charisma, would eventually succeed him as Prime Minister. If Jayaprakash Narayan had exercised patience and had accepted Nehru's advice at.
Before his meeting with Nehru, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya arranged for Jayaprakash Narayan to meet me at two after-dinner sessions at her residence. He had prepared fourteen points for discussion with Nehru. A copy of these was sent to me by Kamaladevi who was anxious that Jayaprakash Narayan should work with Nehru in government.
When I saw the fourteen points, my reaction was, "The Almighty had only ten! I did not want an endless argument with him. I quoted to him the example of the rata Iron and Steel Company. He immediately said, "They have. Masani how much of the shares of. Tata Iron were held by widows.
Hehadno answer. I attended the second meeting' without enthusiasm. I told Kamaladevithat nothingconcrete. That is exactly what, happened. I felt sad because I considered. Prom then on the Socialists, particularly Jayaprakash Narayan,. Although it does not go into details of these affairs, it helps the reader understand the psychological impact of such affairs on Nehru which in turn would have affected his decisions the national front. However, he leaves no stone unturned in his scornful attacks towards Feroze Gandhi and even goes on to mention some of his romantic episodes which caused distress to Indira Gandhi.
These excerpts are just the tip of the iceberg the and book is full of such explosive details. Although the book was banned in India, it is now available for free download in most of the popular formats including PDF from the following link: One can argue over the need to review a banned book which on the first glance appears to be an opinionated work by a Personal Assistant. I agree that there is not really a need to dig into the personal lives of past leaders.
Another example to learn from such books is to understand the the root cause of certain evils that have pervaded our nation. Take the case of corruption. Take the case of dynasty politics. All that he has done is just informed the readers about such anecdotes without going into uncomfortable details.