indias-nehruNehru’s Genius was not in writing  those two books. “Discovery of India and Glimpses of the World. Those two books showed that he was a well-read man. He not only read but he also retained. His memory was phenomenal. Those two books did help open my eyes to a vast world and universe called India. I am sure that is true of many contemporary Indians.

His genius was in his firm commitment  to what he called the scientific temper. Our generation and the generation that followed us must be forever grateful to him.Jawaharlal Nehru coined the term ‘scientific temper‘ in his book The Discovery of India, which was published in 1946. He was also the President of the Association ofScientific Workers of India (ASWI), which was registered as a trade union.

No other leader of his era could have been so strong in ensuring scientific temper. It is the greatness of this nation that handed over its destiny after independence  to a man who said of himself “I have become a queer mixture of the East and the West, out of place everywhere, at home nowhere. ” Perhaps being at home nowhere is the destiny of our current and forthcoming generations. We can give them roots. But they cling on to their wings.Scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic. Discussion, argument, and analysis are vital parts of scientific temper. Elements of fairness, equality, and democracy are built into it.  Jawaharlal Nehru was the first to use the phrase in 1946. He later gave a descriptive explanation:

“[What is needed] is the scientific approach, the adventurous and yet critical temper of science, the search for truth and new knowledge, the refusal to accept anything without testing and trial, the capacity to change previous conclusions in the face of new evidence, the reliance on observed fact and not on pre-conceived theory, the hard discipline of the mind—all this is necessary, not merely for the application of science but for life itself and the solution of its many problems.” —Jawaharlal Nehru (1946) The Discovery of India, p. 512

He was also bold in creating an independent foreign policy. It must have been very tempting to walk into either of the camps and become a stooge economy. He resisted that.

Dinanath Misra is the opposite of Nehru. He is an ill read man and stuck in a time wrap.

He has no claim to any scholarship whatsoever, but is steeped in superstition and is eager to take India back to the primitive era.

Narendra Modi, whom nobody would call a scholar walked into that trap, because he himself is ill read and is not able to rise above the web of obscurantists who hold on to him.  The biggest risk in Modi continuing to rule India is the gradual destruction and obstruction of the scientific temper. He and the philosophy that he follows is a threat to modern India. Our grandchildren stand to lose.

  • The alacrity at which Nehru is being systematically run down bodes ill for India. Our generation has the responsibility to defend Nehru and hang on “the scientific temper”. What is missing from the current political dialogue is all what Nehru built into  scientific temper
  • (1) application of logic
  • (2)discussion,
  • (3) argument
  • (4) analysis
  • (5) fairness
  • (6)  equality and
  • (7) democracy.

I do not know what motivated China to attack India. That one historic incident destroyed Nehru and his credibility. We need to redeem Nehru from that legacy. That is is in our own interest.

When a very ignorant generation runs Nehru down, I feel sorry for that generation.  As long as I live I shall be telling them that. “Culture is the widening of the mind and spirit, Nehru used to say. The present regime thinks “Culture is narrowing the mind and closing it.