This is where Panditji invites criticism due to his pusillanimity.
During the 1962 China war, having been denied arms by the then Soviet Union ( whose paeans he had sung for long), Panditji seeks arms from the US and Israel. Nothing wrong with that. But he imposes a strange condition that the ship carrying Israeli arms should not fly the national flag of Israel.
Panditji does this ‘not to offend the sensibilities of the Arab allies’. Only that the Arabs were never allied with India ( except for Iraq and Iran, at times).
Ben Gurion, the then Israeli leader firmly says ‘No flag, no arms.’ Then Panditji reverses his stand and India gets Israeli arms to fight the Chinese.
This policy of appeasement was followed even by Shastriji. When Singapore becomes independent in 1965, it asks India for help to build an army and train its personnel. India doesn’t want to antagonize Malaysia and doesn’t react. Singapore takes help from Israel and now has the National Service modeled on Israel’s mandatory military service.
It is in times such as these, that a nation finds who a true friend is. Leaders are made out of such crucial moments. Panditji, in spite of his charisma and intellect, didn’t stop playing to the gallery.
And that is a definite blot on Panditji’s stature.
One thought on “A blot that Nehru could’ve avoided”
Whenever anyone talks about Panditji, I remember his love for Kashmir. His love for Kashmir is much more than his love for India. If not so, he would have given the job accession of Kashmir to Patelji. On his love for Kashmir, his love for Sheik Abdullah is predominant. He wanted to see his friend Sheik as CM of Kashmir, in an equal status to him and so gave a separate flag, separate law etc. True to his religious rules, Sheikh on the other hand placed his love for Kashmir over his love towards his friend Panditji.
India is suffering till now.