Forgotten Heroes

It's seems to be a very commonly used tactic in the world's history to ignore, forget and marginalize leaders of the old and to lie squarely on their shoulders, the blame for anything and everything that is going wrong. And it's universal, spreading across all countries and continents.

There's PV Narsimha Rao, the Prime Minister of India who is all but a taboo for any Congressman. After all, he is the only Congress Prime Minister who reigned most successfully for a full 5-years without being a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family. He was obviously a threat to their reputation and dominance over the party.

PV Narsimha Rao is credited for having opened up and liberalized India's state-dominated economy (a brainchild of Nehru and Indira) and brought it to it's boom years. He led a minority government and yet managed to pass these reforms successfully. Yet, for the mistake that he made, i.e allowing the Babri Masjid demolition, he had to pay.

His name is hardly spoken anymore within the Congress circles. The Babri Masjid demolition drew away the Muslims from the Congress and taking his name and reminding them about it, isn't obviously helping the Congress party's aim. So, he is ignored and sidelined while Nehru, Indira, Rajiv and Sonia grab all available centrestage.

The BJP doesn't have any such leader as of now. But that doesn't mean that it will be like this for ever. If by some miracle, the BJP wins 2014 and Modi becomes the PM I don't see LK Advani in the field anymore. All his supporters will be thrown into political wilderness and he himself will be forced into permanent retirement. The very man, who with his yatra brought the BJP from a mere two seats to the mammoth party that it is today, will become an outcast.

This isn't a phenomenon only of national parties. Regional parties are as notorious for this. In Bihar, the JD(U) led by the duo of Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav has all but silenced George Fernandez, the face of all opposition towards the Congress and the Emergency. The founding member of the Samata Party, the precursor to the JDU was even denied a ticket to contest elections earlier. In the Telugu Desam Party of Andhra Pradesh, it's founder NTR is hardly spoken about anymore.

Same is the case in China. 32 years ago, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China issued a resolution lying squarely on the shoulder of Mao Zedong, the blame of the Cultural Revolution. In one stroke, the man who was basically the Father of Modern China (ironically and eerily similar to Mahatma Gandhi) was made a figure of all the bad of the Communist rule. The revered and respected man was turned into a manifestation of hate.

In the USSR, all faults within the system and crimes committed during it's rule was all Stalin's faults. All his successors, who were once his most vocal supporters began to become his most vociferous critics. In the USA, the Republican Party doesn't seem to be talking much about George Bush (some of his policies, most importantly his foreign policy were largely unpopular) or at least doesn't talk about him as much as Democrats talk about Bill Clinton.

It's seems to be the easiest solution of every crisis to blame it on a predecessor. In fact, it even helps successors to get themselves out of the towering shadows of their predecessors. It's extremely sad that this happens and rather hypocritical of the people who do this, but it seems to have become a standard now.

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