REMINISCENCES OF THE NEHRU AGE EBOOK

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Biography of Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Prime Minister of free India from his private secretary. Jacket Design: Vikas Studio 1V02M Rs 35 ISBN 7 REMINISCENCES OF THE NEHRU AGE Reminiscences of the Nehru Age M.O. Mathai. Reminiscences Of The Nehru Age book. Read 22 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. M.O. Mathai, Nehru's Special Assistant and alter ego.


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Banned in India: Reminiscences of Nehru Age by Mathai in the above website page has links to download the ebook in most of the popular formats including. Read Reminiscences of the Nehru Age book reviews & author details and more at share this book atleast as site version we'll pay n download d ebook. User Review - Flag as inappropriate. GANDHI'S FAMILY TREE WORTH SPENDING 15 MINUTES TO READ At the very beginning of his book, “The Nehru.

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Reminiscences of the Nehru age Author: M O Mathai Publisher: New Delhi: Vikas Pub. Print book: English View all editions and formats Rating: Subjects Nehru, Jawaharlal, -- India -- Politics and government -- 20th century. Prime ministers -- India -- Biography. View all subjects More like this Similar Items.

Reminiscences of the Nehru Age by-M-O-Mathai

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Biography Document Type: M O Mathai Find more information about: He read it twice. He could not take in anything. I told him that he need not bother and that I would leave written instructions to his staff on his behalf. He was no longer in a condition to do any useful work.

I felt immeasur- ably sad. I went off to Simla with the premonition that I would never see him again. On 27 May , in the forenoon, I received a telephone message from a friend in Delhi that the PM was sink- ing. The Lieutenant-Governor of Himachal Pradesh was good enough to arrange transport for me from Simla to Delhi where I arrived late at night.

It was a hot and dusty day; and in Delhi there was an earthquake. Though I have found it psychologically difficult to write some chapters of this book, it was this chapter that I found the most difficult. I shall not attempt to give the details here. They are contained. The Prime Minister did not want to accept my resignation and told me so.

Once written it was never to be withdrawn. The Prime Minister kept my letter of resignation pending for six days. On 18 January I sent a note to the Prime Minister conveying my decision to stop work after two days and to move out of the Prime Minister's house. That night he sent me a handwritten letter reluctantly agreeing to my request In fact, I gave him no choice in the matter. Nehru came down to my room and sat down with Boshi Sen. He knew that it was my birthday; but he did not want to say "happy birth- day" because there was nothing happy on that day either for me or for him.

As I was leaving, he embraced me and told Dr Sen, "Boshi, look after him. At his press conference on 7 February , the PM said, "My broad appreciation of Mr Mathai was of efficiency, integrity Attack On Me by the Communists 17 and loyalty, at any rate loyalty to me; but also a person who. But I never doubted his integrity and I have had no reasons since than. She was exercised over the possibility of my having turned bitter as a result of the one or two unfavourable remarks the PM had made at the press conference She asked me if the PM had ever pulled me up for the matters he had mentioned.

I said no. She commented, "Then he had no right to make those remarks in public. I assured her that I was not particularly hurt by them. Then I handed over to her a copy of my lengthy reply to a Cabinet Minister who had written to me disapproving of the PM's remarks about me at the press conference She took it with her to read.

She mentioned to me that the PM had told her that soon after the press conference Secretary. General N. Pillai of the External Affairs Ministry wrote a private note to him on behalf of himself and the three Secretaries of the ministry to say that at no time had I thrown my weight about m so far as they were concerned, and further that I was always helpful to them.

She made it known to me that the PM was distressed at having made those remarks. I asked her to tell him to forget about the whole matter. The PM advised me to come down to Delhi. So I came and stayed in Rajkumari Amrit Kaur's house. I told him that I did not like any one-man business in a 18 Reminiscences of the Nehru Age matter like this— in so far as the Cabinet Secretary and he himself were concerned.

Reminiscences of the Nehru Age by M O Mathai Part 2of2

My conditions were: I suggested the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India should undertake this task. The PM consulted his principal colleagues and informed me that my conditions met with their wholehearted approval. Parlia- ment was informed of this. To provide facts and explanations about personal finances spread over a period of thirteen years was not an easy matter.

However, I was able to collect the material and let the Cabinet Secretary and his colleague have it before the end of April The following documents, which were placed before both the Houses of parliament on 6 May , are given in full in Appen- dix 4: Notable Editor S. Mulgaokar wrote a brief editorial in the Hindustan Times of 8 May , which I quote on the next page: Mathai of his official posi- misuse by Mr M. Mr Nehru has Mty of substantiating their emphasised that the only infor- -causations before the inquiry mation which was offered to Mr iflbunal.

I replied in one sentence, "Only a dog returns to its vomit.

Later, the Prime Minister asked me if I would like to take up any posi- tion in government in India or abroad. I said, "Not any office of profit under the government. He had no choice. He suppressed his embarrassment and extreme annoyance and went through the affirmation of allegiance and affirmation of office which read as follows: For several days Nehru went on murmuring like a child, "I had not bargained for these.

When dominion government came on 15 August the Emperor of India automatically stepped down to become King of India; and Nehru, the Prime Minister, corresponded directly with the King.

The British Government went out of the picture. Nehru 22 Reminiscences of the Nehru Age soon discovered that his communications to the King had to be in third person and in the form of "humble duty submissions. After some time he signed "the wretched thing. Pakistan was a new state seceding from India and had to negotiate for membership of international bodies. Nehru told Rajendra Prasad and others, "I do not want to put India in an absurd position inter- nationally.

Rajendra Prasad and others hummed and hawed; but Nehru stood firm. Finally, he said he had no objection to mention somewhere in the Constitution "India that is Bharat.

This practice continues. Nehru had to give into the same set of people and agree to the inclusion of cow protection and prohibition in the Constitution. Left to himself, Nehru would not have cluttered the Constitution with all these.

His emphasis was on the "right to work"; but obscurantists wanted to go backwards. There was even a feeble demand for the protection of monkeys, descendants of the mythical Hanuman.

Soon after Rajendra Prasad became President of the Republic, on 26 January , he released a number of hefty brown monkeys into the President's Estate. One day a few of them came to the Prime Minister's office in the secretariat through a door to the balcony which was kept open.

I happened to be in the room wit n 4 Reminiscences of the Nehru Age Nehru and chased them away. One ran away with a paperweight. I told Nehru, "This is the handiwork of Rajendra Babu. The monkey population was augmented by a substantial number released at the Birla temple.

They still come up to the President's Estate where the monkey menace is very real; they take away vegetables and fruits and also attack helpless women and children even today. R, Ambedkar Through a friend of mine, P. Panikkar, who was a Sanskrit scholar and deeply religious, B.

R Ambedkar became interested in me. I had told Panikkar about my admiration for Ambedkar, but added that he just fell short of being a great man by inches because he could not wholly rise above bitterness.

However, I said that no one had any right to blame him, having regard to the humiliations and indignities he had to suffer throughout his life. Panikkar, who was a frequent visitor to Ambedkar, obviously reported all this to him.

On a Sunday morning Ambedkar rang me up and asked me to tea that evening. He said he. I turned up at the appointed time. After some pleasantries, Ambedkar told me good-humouredly, "So you have found fault with me; but I am prepared to accept your criticism.

He said that the railways and factories had done more to combat untouchability than Gandhi's personal campaigns. He" asserted that the real problem of the untouchables was economic and not "temple entry," as advocated by Gandhi.

Ambedkar said, "Our Constitution will, no doubt, abolish untouchability on paper; but it will remain in India as a virus for at least a hundred years.

It is deeply embedded in the minds of people. Despite almost 2, years of Christianity behind her, she practised untouchability with as much conviction as Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.

She would not allow a Harijan to draw water from our well in summer when water was Obscurantists to the Fore 25 generally scarce. She would rush for a bath if an untouchable came within twenty feet of her.

Then Ambedkar said with pride, "The Hindus wanted the Vedc. The Hindus wanted an epic, and they sent for Valmiki who was an untouchable. The Hindus want a Constitution, and they have sent for me. He reminded me that, according to the Valmiki Ramayana, "when Rama and Lakshmana arrived at the ashrama of Bharadwaja, the sage assembled a few fattened calves for Rama to choose from to be salaughtered for the feast.

So Rama and his entourage were fed on veal; Tulsidas cut out ail this. Ambedkar pointed his finger at me and said, "You Malayalis have done the greatest harm to this country. He said, "You sent that man Shankaracharya, a dessicated expert at logic, on a padayatra walking tour to the north to drive away Buddhism from this country. He also said that the greatest man India produced in recent centuries was not Gandhi but Swami Vivekananda.

I reminded Ambedkar that "it was Gandhi who suggested to Nehru to invite you to join the government. I amended my statement by saying that the idea struck Gandhi and Nehru simultaneously. Ambedkar confided in me that he had decided to become a Buddhist and to advise his followers to do likewise. Until he left Delhi, Ambedkar kept in touch with me.

He was a remarkable man who richly deserves the salute of the Indian people. Of course, I recognized his greatness. But I was baffled by him. My contacts with him were limited to personally delivering to him important communications from Nehru.

Early in an old foreign friend presented to me a very small, elegant, ivory-coloured transistor radio— one of the earliest of its kind. As soon as it was switched on, it started working. On closing the lid, it stopped. Nehru saw it and was fascinated like a child. So I gave it to him. He kept it in his dressing room and listened to the radio news bulletin while shaving. He used to bring it down at all mealtimes to listen to.

He spoke to Gandhiji about it and also about me. Gandhiji had already heard about me from Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. Nehru told me that Gandhiji had never listened to a radio and asked me to take the radio with me to Birla House where Gandhiji was staying and let him listen to the 6 p. I reached Birla House a few minutes before 6 p. He asked me to sit down on the floor in front of him, which I did.

I switched the radio on. Gandhiji listened for about a minute and said, "Close it, does any- one speak sense nowadays? Gandhiji baffled me on several matters: Millions of Mus- lims and other minorities had no use for Rama Rajya. They became alienated by Gandhiji's continued preaching of Rama Rajya. Apart from Muslims and other minorities, as well as some sections of Harijans and tribal people and adivasis, who were alienated by this, millions of educated Hindus wanted to worship Mahatma Gandhi 27 nothing or at least something better than a cow.

Few except Morarji Desai and some others were converted to this. Some, who practised it, eventually gave up; and some developed psychological prob- lems. This was one of the most opportunistic adventures of Gandhiji's. When Kemal Ataturk came up and abolished the Caliphate, Gandhiji looked foolish. Gandhiji was trying to forge Hindu- Muslim unity on quicksand. Gandhiji asked him to walk over a hundred miles during the height of summer to get back to his village, even though he was personally convinced that the man was honest and innocent.

Andrews, who wit- nessed this harsh treatment, took the man aside and gave him his train fare and a few rupees from his pocket without Gandhiji's knowledge. He also advised Mountbatten to move out of Viceroy House and live in a simple home without servants. He wanted Viceroy House to be converted into a hospital. He did not fail to give further advice to Mountbatten to grow his own vegetables and clean his own toilet!

The letter read, "This manslaughter must be stopped. You are losing. If you persist, it will result in greater bloodshed. If you will call it off today, he will follow suit. If you want to send me to Germany or anywhere else, I am at your disposal. You can also inform the Cabinet about this. Gandhiji had been advocating decontrol of foodgrains and other essential items of daily use, and the scrapping of rationing soon after the Government of India passed into Indian hands, even though the food situation was very critical.

At the instance of Nehru, John Matthai called on Gandhiji and talked to him for an hour. Matthai reported that throughout the one hour he had the definite impression that he was addressing a wall. The matter came up before the Cabinet which was equally divided. The decision in favour of Gandhiji's demand was taken by the Prime Minister's casting vote. It had dis- astrous consequences; and the country and its people had to pay a very heavy price for adopting Gandhian economic.

Sarojini Naidu once said, -Many will never know how much it cost to keep that old man in poverty. Confucius gave different advice to a young girl.

He told her, "If you find yourself in a situation where rape is inevitable and there h no chance of escape, my advice to you is to lie back and enjoy it. What was acceptable to him was the one he himself practised-continence. He refused to make allowance for human frailty. I never considered Gandhiji had anything to teach me about nonviolence, ends and means, detachment nishkama karma , com- passion and loving one's enemies, because these were preached and practised far more eloquently about 2, years ago by Jesus Christ.

Chesterton once said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it had been found difficult and never Mahatma Gandhi 2 9 tried" On a smaller scale, this is how I felt about Gandhiji. In fact I did not want to try.

While Gandhiji's opposition to the partition of India was heroic, he was unrealistic considering the past, including some actions of his own, that contributed to it. No wonder the Congress Working Committee passed a resolution absolving him of respon- sibility for the decision agreeing to partition. The last phase of Gandhiji's life constituted his finest hour more especially the last month of his earthly existence January He was exercised over two matters: They had seized mosques and Muslim homes all over the city and surrounding areas.

Gandhiji wanted them to return those homes to their Muslim owners and go back to their camps. The Cabinet did not want to disturb the already disturbed public opinion by giving Pakistan the money which was likely to be used to pay for arms which would be used against India in conditions existing at that time. Lord Mountbatten feared that the decision to withhold payment might drive a desperate and bankrupt Jinnah to war.

The Cabinet refused to listen to Mountbatten. Gandhiji considered the Cabinet decision as immoral. On these two issues Gandhiji's last fast 13 to 18 January took place, Sardar Patel tried to argue with Gandhiji about the paymeht of Rs million to Pakistan. Gandhiji's only reply was, "You are not the man I once knew. Within three days of Gandhiji's fast the Government of India announced that it had ordered immediate payment of the amount to Pakistan.

The High Commissioner of Pakistan was also present. Gandhiji could be devastating in his comments about people. One of his undated letters to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, who gave it to me as a present, read: You have asked my opinion about Govind Das after having done the mischief. I have bitter experiences about him. He is ambitious, vain, vulgar, crooked and unreliable. His ventures have resulted in losses. This is the opinion of those who have had dealings with him. I know him well He used to be like a son to me.

I used to think well of him. But I soon discovered that he was a schemer. Now he rarely comes near me. I am sorry, but such is my experience. Nehru once expressed the view that Gandhiji's approach to events was feminine, that is, intuitive, and was more of a reaction than the result of logical reasoning. I was glad to see Bapu and have a talk with him. This cleared up some matters, but I should like to see much more of him and find out exactly what is in his mind.

I find his approach to events is rather feminine, if I may say so. That is to say it is intuitive and is more of a reaction than the result of logical reasoning. Much can be said for this, but it is a risky business sometimes. As everyone knows, Nehru was the draftsman of the Congress regardless of who was its President.

Practically all its resolutions and correspondence with British authorities were drafted by him. My colleagues and I followed with care the proceedings of the conference yesterday and tried to understand what our conver- sations were leading us to. I confess to feeling somewhat mysti- fied and disturbed at the vagueness of our talks and some of Hansr Villa, Simla. June, 3, I an returning Dharaa Xash Dev'a letter. When we were in Kulu the packing case containing, the clock for Indu reached us.

Some bright person had forwarded it from Allahabad. Anyhow, it has come back with me now. Indu and Firoz have gone to Kashmir. I was glad to see 3apu and have a talk with him- This cleared up some matters, but I should like to see much more of him and find out exactly what is In his nind.

That is to say it is iit- L tuitivo and is more of a reaction than the result of logical reasoning, iftjca can be said for this, but it is a risky business soraetiies. While we would like to asso- ciate ourselves with every effort to explore ways and means of finding a bajis for agreement, we must not deceive ourselves, the Cabinet Mission or the representatives of the Muslim League into the belief that the way the Conference has so far pro- ceeded furnishes hope of success.

Our general approach to the questions before us was stated briefly in my letter to you of April We find that this approach has been largely ignored and a contrary method has been followed. We realise that some assumptions have to be made in the early stages as otherwise there can be no progress. But assumptions which ignore or run contrary to fundamental issues are likely to lead to misunder- standings during the later stages.

In my letter of April 28, I stated that the basic issue before us was that of Indian independence and the consequent with- drawal of the British army from India, for there can be no independence so long as there is a foreign army on Indian soil.

We stand for the independence of the whole of India now and not in the distant or near future. Other matters are subsidiary to this and can be fully discussed and decided by the Constituent Assembly.

At the Conference yesterday I rerTerred to this again and we were glad to find that you and your colleagues, as well as the other members of the conference, accepted Independence as the basis of our talks.

It was stated by you that the Constituent Assembly would finally decide about the nexus or other relation- ship that might be established between a free India and England.

While this is perfectly true, it does not affect the position now, and that is the acceptance of Indian independence now. If that is so, then certain consequences inevitably follow.

We felt yesterday that there was no appreciation of these con- sequences. A Constituent Assembly is not going to decide the question of independence; that question must be and, we take it, has been decided now.

That Assembly will represent the will of the free Indian nation and give effect to it. It is not going to be bound by any previous arrangements. It has to be preceded by a Provisional Government, which must function, as far as possible, as a Government of free India, and which should under- take to make all arrangements for the the transitional period.

This method of grouping has not so far been discussed by us but still our talks seemed to presume all this. I should like to make it very clear that we are entirely opposed to any executive or legislative machinery for a group of provinces or units of the Federation. That will mean a sub-federation, if not something more, and we have already told you that we do not accept this.

It would result in creating three layers of executive and legislative bodies, an arrangement which will be cumbrous, static and disjointed, leading to continuous friction. We are not aware of any such arrangement in any country. We are emphatically of opinion that it is not open to the Conference to entertain any suggestions for a division of India.

If that is to come, it should come through the Constituent Assembly free of any influence of the present Paramount Power. Another point we wish to make clear is that we do not accept the proposal for parity as between groups in regard to the exe- cutive or the legislature. We realise that everything possible should be done to remove fears and suspicions from the mind of every group and community.

But the way to do this is not by unreal methods which go against the basic principles of demo- cracy on which we hope to build up our constitution. Below is the draft of a letter from Nehru dated 12 June , addressed to Viceroy Lord Wavell as corrected by Gandhiji: I am sorry for the slight delay in answering your letter of today's date. Your invitation to me to see you today at 5 p.

Jinnah about the Interim Govern- ment placed me in a somewhat difficult position. I would gladly meet you at any time, but our official spokesman in regard to such matters is naturally our President, Maulana Azad. He can speak and confer authoritatively, which I cannot do. It is there- fore proper that he should be in charge on our behalf of any authoritative conversations that might take place. But since you have asked me to come I shall do so. Many people believe that it was Nehru who first referred to- Gandhiji as "Father of the Nation.

It was Safojini Naidu who did. When Gandhiji briskly walked to the rostrum of the Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi 28 March to 2 April , Sarojini Naidu, who presided over the conference, announced in her commanding voice, "the Father of the Nation.

Imagine a situation in the Rajya Sabha where the Chairman, all the MPs, and the pressmen in the gallery have closed their ears, and Bhupesh Gupta alone is available to speak. It will be a tragedy. The audience will miss the most pleasant voice and the public will miss the daily quota of his inimitable pearls of wisdom the next morning. Throughout his life Nehru had what might be called a "father complex. Nehru opened his heart almost completely to Gandhiji and discussed with him practically everything.

After Gandhiji's death, Nehru had no one to whom he could open his heart. Con- sequently he got compartmentalized. They were all men older than him. As Prime Minister, Nehru never summoned them; whenever he had something to discuss with them, he would go to their houses.

Death by assassination claimed Gandhiji at 5. Immediately after the assassination, the telephone rang at 17 York Road. I took it. The call was from Biria House announcing Gandhiji's assassina- tion. They were discussing Nehru's note dtod 6 January , copies of which were distrfbnted only to Gandhui and Patel. The full text of the note isgivenin Aonend v ttat had r!

CeS T? Gandhiji's assassination made Nehru and Patel to sink their differences and to work together. I quietly withdrew and closed the door without Nehru noticing me. I knew he was weeping for his beloved Bapu.

I knew that Mountbatten had given the two writers recorded interviews for thirty hours. Subsequently Larry Collins saw me twice.

During these meetings Collins pointedly asked me about some matters Mountbatten had revealed to him. I mildly contradicted Mountbatten on two or three counts. It appears that Collins reported these to Mountbatten at about the time the book Freedom at Midnight was published.

And Mountbatten went on the BBC. The text of his interview was publi- shed in the Listener, 30 October As many in India may not have seen the Listener, I quote below the relevant extracts: I went to Simla for the simple reason that after the Punjab Boundary Force had been divided, which was at the end of August, the beginning of September, I had nothing more to do.

I was only the constitutional head, I wanted to go away from Delia' to show the country that their government was in sole power in Delhi, and I was just the man to countersign their orders. Then after two or three days, my old friend V.

Menon, the best of my Indian staff, rang me up and said: I will come later on'. He said: If you can't come within 24 hours, don't bother to come at all. It is all over; we shall have lost India'.

I finally said: Lord Mountbatten and "Freedom at Midnight" 41 I came down at once. They told me how serious the situation -was, and they said; 'Will you take over the country?

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You have just taken over'. We can't do it by ourselves. You must come back'. I saw they were serious. I said: We must make it appear that it is you.

And we must keep this a secret, certainly in our lifetimes, for your own good and reputation'. Call the meeting at once. I will have my own Confe- rence Secretary in British style who will take the minutes, we will move very very quickly. I will consult you and say: And I will say: I have had some recent correspondence with Mountbatten on the subject.

I shall, for the present, leave the book and take on Mountbatten. I am afraid strict veracity was never one of V. Menon's virtues. Early next morning he rushed to me and made an earnest request that I square up the Prime Minister. I asked him if there was going to be a naval battle on the Jamuna at Okhla. I advi- sed him to appraise Sardar Patel about the whole matter immediate ely.

Later, I mentioned the matter to the Prime Minister who, as I expected, was furious and said he wanted to speak to Menon imme- diately on the telephone. As I knew that Menon was one of Nehru's earliest antipathies in government, I told the Prime Minister that Sardar Patel would be speaking to him on the subject.

Nehru was impatient and went straight to Sardar Patel's house. Fortunately, Menon hadJeft the place by then. On his return from Sardar Patel's house, the Prime Minister told me that Sardar Patel was much annoyed with Menon; and that now the only thing left to do was 42 , Reminiscences of the Nehru Age not to embarrass Mountbatten and do something gracious to asso- ciate him with the handling of the developing situation in Delhi which Menon had exaggerated enormously.

In his letter to me dated 14 September Mountbatten has questioned my statement that V. Menon had exaggerated the situ- ation enormously. It is all over. We shall have lost India. To me these are the words of a hysterical woman. I have informed Mountbatten accordingly. Mountbatten has admitted in his letter of 14 September to me "there is little doubt therefore that though V.

Menon misled me into believing that both the PM and his deputy wished me to return to Delhi, he had in fact consulted neither and they were only told of his action after I had agreed to return from Simla. I also believe that this accounts for the fact that when Nehru and Patel came to see me immediately after my return, they appeared to be very ill at ease" Mountbatten has also admitted to me that as early as he definitely knew of V. P Menon misleading him. And yet in his BBC interview in October he gave his listeners the definite imp- ression that he returned from Simla at the request of Nehru and Patel.

This, to say the least, is lacking in candour. I was not present at Mountbatten's meeting witt Nehru and Patel soon after his return from Simla. Mountbatten's account of what transpired at the meeting provides amusing reading and is in keeping with Mountbatten's high sense of drama.

Nehru is repor- ted to have told Mountbatten, "You have commanded millions of men. I do not know where and when he commanded "millions of men," The Indian army within the borders of India was not under nis command. The Americans were indifferent to Mountbatten.

The Ameri- can interest in Southeast Asia was confined largely to supplying essential war material over the hump by air and heavy stuff by lorries to China by the India-Burma-China Road that they had constructed, maintained and protected along difficult terrain. The object of the Ambassador inviting roe to lunch was to persuade me to help them over the book that they have decided to do about the Transfer of Power In India. They arc now planning to visit India in the middle of January for about a month and I would be most grateful If you would allow 'them io call on you at some mutually convenient time.

If you will kindly let me know whether this la agreeable to you, I will arrange for tbem to make direct contact with you. It is a tragedy that Pandit jl is no longer alive to see them but I have told them that no living person knows more about him, particularly during those vital years and than you. X would be really grateful for any help you can give them. How thrilled she would have been with all that you are doing In her memory. We are all most grateful. With best wishes to you for Nehru is also repor- ted to have told Mountbatten, "You are a high-level administra- tor.

Neither do I thmk that a constitutional Governor-General chairing a com- mittee to deal with non-controversial matters amounts to "taking over the country. The reputation of Nehru and Patel was not involved. If I am asked whether Mountbatten would have been invited formally to help in the crisis, but for the situation created by V P Menon, my answer is no. After ail, Pakistan, which was in a worse position, without even a capital of its own, managed to survive What happened in Punjab and Delhi was not unexpected.

There is no doubt that the aftermath of partition was a terrible thing and the Indian people are greatly indebted to Lord and Lady Mountbatten for their services during this period They remained steadfast friends of India after their departure from this country. Now to the book, Freedom at Midnight. The greatest blunder Mountbatten committed was to be taken in by Shaheed Suhrawar- dy and to send to the British Government the plan of Operation Balkan.

Mountbatten had even discovered that Jinnah would not oppose the idea. It did not occur to Mountbatten that he should find out whether Nehru would support the idea. If he thought that he could impose it, he was sadly mistaken. Although it does not go into details of these affairs, it helps the reader understand the psychological impact of such affairs on Nehru which in turn would have affected his decisions the national front.

However, he leaves no stone unturned in his scornful attacks towards Feroze Gandhi and even goes on to mention some of his romantic episodes which caused distress to Indira Gandhi. These excerpts are just the tip of the iceberg the and book is full of such explosive details. Although the book was banned in India, it is now available for free download in most of the popular formats including PDF from the following link: One can argue over the need to review a banned book which on the first glance appears to be an opinionated work by a Personal Assistant.

I agree that there is not really a need to dig into the personal lives of past leaders.Not so surprisingly, Nehru changed the subject by telling him, "You are already helping me a great deal from outside. Those who try to keep tabs on our lenders in spite of all the suppressions and deliberate misinformation are aware of the fact that the second son Indira or Mrs. So I had the honour of sharing Nehru's last imprisonment; but it was for a brief period of about a week.

We realise that everything possible should be done to remove fears and suspicions from the mind of every group and community. Shaw looked healthy for a man of his age; and we were to discover during the course of the meeting that his mind was alert.