I agree with the positives attributed to IG.
Now for the other side:
1. Bank Nationalization. Now that I have sufficient experience of dealing with several banks in the India and elsewhere, and have enough friends and relatives with whom I have argued, at high positions in both kinds, I have to say that there is a huge difference. The Nationalized banks are still vastly more trustworthy
than the "private" banks. As for the Customer Service, well... not much difference. Indian "private" banks are, without exception in my experience, corrupt.
The Nationalized Banks traditionally have not made huge profits. That is because they are supposed to do what is good for the nation (OK, "nation" often translates to "representatives of the people"
), not just a limited set of Board Members and shareholders. On the other hand, many aam aaamis and aurats and their families and farms are alive today because these nationalized banks have helped them despite huge risk - and in many cases forgiven loans. Contrast that to today's situation, say, in the great US of A where hard-working families are thrown out on the street routinely by the crooked banks.
It is a blind aping of foreign press idiocy of the 1970s and 1980s, to still claim that Nationalization of banks was a bad idea when it was done.
This was one of the key items in bringing India forward.
2. "Socialism". Ditto. At the time when Indian leaders went towards socialism, this was a brilliant choice. I think this should be obvious today. "Liberalization" when it was done, was still risky, because Indian institutions are still weak, and have only a fraction of the monetary power, of western billionaires and the institutions that they control.
3. "Emergency". I was old enough to read and understand newspapers through that era, and in fact, I was one of those who dared to go on "Strike" inside a Central Govt. entity (the IIT) DURING the Emergency.
The immediate provocation for the Proclamation of Emergency was that "nationalist" netas (specifically Jaiprakash Narayan, but also including many others) were going around inciting the military and paramilitary forces to mutiny
. When they did this in public speeches, the government arrested them, and forestalled the planned nationwide riots by the "Enlightened Bharatiyas" by clamping down Emergency powers.
The US and British oiseules preach and prattle about this, but in either the US or Britain, Jaiprakash Narayan would have been sent to prison for 40 years without parole, and when the riots erupted, they would have been met with armored cars and SWAT teams, and Shoot on Sight orders, with loaded M-16s. So they can go stick their pompous declarations on Freedom u-no-where.
Now I am NOT supporting the adulation and idolizing of the idiot Sanjay Gandhi during that time. IG's Indira Congress, like all entities that manage to win a huge majority, attract all kinds of scum, and these scum of course saw the Emergency as a dream come true. There were far too many abuses. Mostly in North India, where feudalism has never quite been seen to be bad. In South India, Sanjay Gandhi was asked to stay away by the Kerala Govt, for instance.
4. The Emergency was the first eye-opening demonstration that India COULD in fact function, trains running on time etc., if the government got a bit serious about enforcing the laws on the books.
Indira Gandhi's one failure was that she did not send Sanjay and Rahul and their wives to some boot camp instead of letting them hang around the house. A widowed mother's "failure". But again, this was the fault of the chamchas around her, who only believe in dynastic adulation, as subsequent events have shown.
For the rest, guys, India of that time was a desperately poor land, with an economy that was less than some 0.1% of the world's. Yet she managed to stand up to the mass-murdering crooks of Tricky D1ck Nixon and Kiss(myass)inger - and win. She (meaning Indira) gave our whole generation hope and inspiration that we could compete and win anywhere in the world. She gave us a world-class education in institutions that stayed merit-based, non-political, focused and non-corrupt - and we who came with barely the ability pay minimal food costs, let alone for a world-class education! And I think we have delivered.
In IG's time, India changed from the PL-480 Baksheesh Bowl, to a net exporter of food, despite the massive population growth.
And actually, when Rajiv G took over, the economy was looking up. It was he that took it down to near-bankruptcy.
5. Punjab: This was Canadian-UK-US sponsored international terrorism and destabilization, plain and simple. If you read Hillary Clinton's declarations in Pakistan carefully, you will see that the "dream" is still to form a combined Pooonjab-Kashmir entity that would be "strategically placed" and become an Economic Tiger. The worst allegation that can be sustained against IG is that she tried to destabilize this external aggression by putting in her own "our terrorists" in the form of Bhindranwale etc. The Other Side was vastly better organized and funded, so they co-opted this gang instead.
Ultimately, it is dishonest to blame the Punjab Terrorism on the Indian government, without asking why there have not been mass hangings of terrorists and their sponsors in the UK, Canada and US. To me, it is a miracle that India survived that aggression, and the methods used eventually, were about the only way that India could have survived.
6. Abolition of the Privy Purse.
Many have forgotten that this is what cut down the power of the leeches of India, and gave SOME hope to democracy. At least we now have leeches that actually did some hard work at some time conning ppl.
I cringe every time I see India represented by the Glory of the Maharajas in their idiotic crooked-point shoes, among the adoring naked masses, and see the Indian Tax Form (Saral) (!!) asking how many Race Horses I own. It was our generation that turned this view upside, and IG was the leader who took us that route, and called us "Bhayiyon aur Bahinon!" not "anonymous ignorant masses!"
I salute her.
In summary, I see the
against Indira Gandhi, parroting the lies of western media, as being the same as the
when BRadminullahs do their job. Same behavioral problems, same belief that throwing tantrums will get infinite tolerance. Good leaders anywhere have to face these, and say
Those who complain owe it to the rest, to at least take the trouble to consider what might have been, if the decisions against which they rail where NOT taken, and these "ideal alternatives" pursued. For instance, what would "Nuremberg-type trials" of the Pakis achieved? I too wanted them all strung up by their balls, but surviving without a massive US attack was hard enough brinkmanship in those days. The entire IAF could have been "taken out" by a campaign from the Enterprise Task Force, leaving India open to invasion by the surviving tank corps of Pakistan. Or China could have come in and done it for them. Was hanging a few slimeballs worth this risk? Which way would you have gone if you actually had to think it through?
We have a big picture of IG in the living room even today. Not of MG or JN or anyone else. Certainly not of Sonia and Yuvraj. Helps to remind ourselves of what we are. She smiles her enigmatic smile in the faces of all those visitors whose prejudices and pompousness she crushed.