Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"The forgotten Prime Minister"

If it were just another common man like me who was ranting away that P.V.Narasimha Rao is India's forgotten Prime Minister, then this post would have added no value to the already existing volume of literature available on the Internet, which speak about how he has been sidelined. The point is, it's not a rant by a common man. Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN, Rajdeep Sardesai said it. In reply to a question wherein I asked whether CNN-IBN is providing any special coverage on the 90th birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister of India, he had this to say -

"@ssudhirkumar am afraid narasimha rao is the forgotten prime minister. worse off than lal bahadur. pity"

Which begs the question - forgotten by who? The media?

It is understandable (though ridiculous to the core) that Sonia Gandhi wants it this way, for purely political reasons. With loyal troopers in tow, she has made every attempt to erase the memory of 1991-1996. Infact, she even went ahead and credited Rajiv Gandhi with the economic reforms. For those who don't know, Economic reforms were initiated in 1991-1992, after Rajiv Gandhi's demise and PV becoming the Prime Minister. Common sense suggests Rajiv can no way be involved! Yet, in the 125th year celebration of the Congress party, the President of the Congress made every possible attempt to scuttle the memory of the man under whose helm the country did see some radical changes, just because he didn't belong to the family.

Ok, but what about the media? Rajdeep Sardesai is the Editor-in-Chief of a national news channel. He pleads helplessness in reviving the memories of a former Prime Minister of this country? I mean, why? What is stopping him from having a show to remind us of a tenure that saw so many changes in the Indian society?

1991-1996 saw tectonic shifts in both Indian polity and the economy. We deserve to know all good and bad that happened under the helmsmanship of P.V.Narasimha Rao. It is not our intention to ask only for eulogies. Give us a complete picture. If you (as in not Rajdeep, the media as a whole) find it so important to keep us reminding about Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Nehru, and hell - if you find it important to remind us of Rahul Gandhi's birthday too- what pray is stopping you from doing a special on this Prime Minister?

Economic reforms (which by the way, are the reason the middle class is so vibrant today), ending of terrorism in Punjab, friendship with Israel, Look East policy, Babri Masjid Demolition (which paved way for the creation of bi-polarity in Indian politics), Bribery scams, his famed friendship with opposition parties when national issues were involved are all enduring legacies of his tenure. The current Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has been initiated into politics by PV. Not just as PM, but he has played a major role in the state (AP) and national level politics for a longg time. Yet, the national media has chosen to forget this man and toe the line of Sonia led Congress party in ensuring that he is "forgotten".

Like Rajdeep said, it's not just about PV, but about Lal Bahadur Shastri too. How many of us even know of Gulzari Lal Nanda? Wouldn't it be fascinating to know about the man who took over immediately after Nehru's and Shastri's death? What a shame, that we are to remember Prime Ministers only from the family and "forget" about the others.

The forgotten Prime Minister. That's how P.V.Narasimha Rao will be remembered. What an irony!

PS: A day after Rajdeep said that, a 30 min discussion was aired on IBN, hosted by Sagarika Ghose. Watch it to see how the Congress has decided to obfuscate his memory

5 comments:

SysErr said...

Good Article. Am glad that atleast Rajdeep mentioned his name. The others have't got out of Rahul Gandhi's bday celebrations.

Vinod_Sharma said...

Thanks to Twitter, the more one gets to see the likes of Rajdeep, the more one realises that leading India journos have little integrity and are shameless too.

prabhjot said...

Well said and put.

R S Chauhan said...

It is a Pity that Congress has deliberately ignored two former PMs i.e. Lal Bahadur Shashtri and P V Narasimha Rao both have contributed much more to the nation than Rajiv Gandhi in whose name so many Govt schemes are named.Thanks to Twitter and IBN for at least their mention.

R S Chauhan said...

It is a Pity that Congress has deliberately ignored two former PMs i.e. Lal Bahadur Shashtri and P V Narasimha Rao both have contributed much more to the nation than Rajiv Gandhi in whose name so many Govt schemes are named.Thanks to Twitter and IBN for at least their mention.

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