A Kashmiri Pandit whose family had settled in UP, Nehru was indeed a charismatic personality.
Generations of kids grew up on the story of 'Chacha Nehru'.
But Nehruvian India underwent major changes in the last few decades.
In recent years, there have been growing voices against Nehru's vision, policies and his 'Westernised' outlook.
Though attempts to malign his personality have been going on for decades.
And, doesn't it sound bad calling Nehru, a Kashmiri Pandit leader, bringing his stature down! But if Sheikh Abdullah was Kashmiri Muslim leader, and when Nehru is attacked so much, can we take this liberty for a while?
India's first PM belonged to the KP community, which indeed suffered and had to leave its homeland after militancy began. But it is not felt required to mention that Nehru [and many other leaders of freedom movement--Saprus, Katjus, Kauls], belonged to this community.
And, whether we like it or not, whether it suits our political positions or not, truth is that Nehru's stature and following among the Indian masses, at the time of independence was far ahead of any other leader. Ram Rajya Parishad, Hindu Mahasabha and Jana Sangh didn't have public support then.
When abusing, targeting and engaging in character assassination of Nehru, by floating 'stories' about his life or morphing photographs has become a fashion, this fact too needs to be stressed upon. They were all committed to values of secularism--something which is anathema to Nehru-baiters.
They feel India could have been a Hindu nation, long back, had Nehru not been at the helm for all those years. Nehru is credited for establishing major institutions. Critics, of course, feel that he was more an idealist and romantic leader, rather than a pragmatic politician.
They blame him for a lot--from partition to the Kashmir problem, from our slow progress to the Chinese invasion. They are entitled to their views. We must listen to each other and agree to disagree. Nehru was and will always remain our first PM. You can't erase this piece of history.
On Children's Day, the enthusiasm has been slightly less in recent years. Reasons are obvious. However, in schools [many private schools] there were celebrations. The statues were garlanded. This is a photograph of flowers raining on Nehru statue in Madhya Pradesh.