Former bureaucrat Arun Bhatnagar traces the political tapestry of the Nehru-Gandhi family.


New Delhi: It was the Muhammad Ali Jinnah founded Muslim League party that facilitated B.R. Ambedkar’s entry into the Constituent Assembly of India in 1947. This and other unknown events are a part of former senior bureaucrat Arun Bhatnagar’s upcoming book, “Nehru Saga”.

Bhatnagar, who is the grandson of well known scientist Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, retired as a Secretary of Government of India in 2004 after which he served in the National Advisory Council and later as the chairman of Prasar Bharati in 2008.

As per Bhatnagar, it was because of Jogendra Nath Mondal, who is often described as the architect of Muslim-Scheduled caste collaboration in undivided Bengal, that Ambedkar got elected to the Assembly from that province with Muslim League’s assistance. It is pertinent to mention that Ambedkar, in past had even failed to win the Bombay Provincial assembly elections in March 1946. Later, Mondal served as the first Minister of Law and Labour in Pakistan under Jinnah before coming back to India.

Bhatnagar’s latest book, his second after “India: Shedding the past, embracing the future,1907-2017”, is dedicated to Pandit Motilal Nehru, with whom the political journey of the Nehru-Gandhi family begins, also covers political life of subsequent Nehru family that includes Sanjay and Priyanka Gandhi. The title “Nehru Saga” has been taken from a letter that was written by Indira Gandhi in May 1972 to K. Natwar Singh, who was then posted as an Ambassador to Warsaw, Poland.

This soon-to-be-released book has tried to give an objective analysis of the work undertaken by various Congress leaders. While dwelling on the role of Nehru family both before and after independence, Bhatnagar critically examines many steps taken by them and does not shy away from focusing on controversial topics like the imposition of emergency by Indira Gandhi.

The book has tried to encompass more than 9 decades that covered the Nehru family from 1930, starting with Motilal Nehru and goes on till 2019 when Priyanka Gandhi formally enters politics. Incidentally, as the book mentions, Priyanka’s entry into active politics has commenced in a year that marks the centenary of her great-grandfather taking over as the Congress President at Amritsar in 1919.