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The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library


‘Nehru and Contemporary India’, 12th March, 2015.

‘Nehru and Contemporary India’

Ms. P. Sivakami,
Writer, Chennai.


Contemporary India represents a Janus of two contradictory traits. On the one side it is a face expressing the hope of progress and on the other there is continuing trend of factionalism and regression. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime Minister of independent India envisaged an egalitarian India with a welfare state based on people's consent, strongly rooted in the ideology of democratic socialism and in ethical values. His thoughts of mixed economy, proper planning, community development, effective village panchayat system, development of science and technology, secularism and equal opportunities together portray the India that he envisioned. Nehru anticipated to an extent the ills to which governance is vulnerable like corruption and casteism and therefore he encouraged objectivity and neutrality in policy framing and administration. However from the subaltern point of view especially of the women, Dalits and the Adivasis, the speaker would like to critically examine the ethical and logical basis of those policies, planning and implementation keeping in view Nehru's broad vision. For example in the case of Dalits and the Adivasis the inadequacy of Nehruvian Five Year Plans was realized after fifth Five Year Plan and Special Component Plan and Tribal Sub Plan were initiated to ameliorate their conditions.


Ms. P. Sivakami is a writer and has authored 5 novels, over 50 short stories, essays and poems. She was a member of the Indian Administrative Service (1980 Batch) and took voluntary retirement in 2008. Her first novel is Grip of Change: A Novel (2006), (translated from Tamil Pazhaiyana Kazhithalum) and The Taming of Women (2012), being her most recent novel.

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