Shashi Tharoor during the relaunch of his book 'Nehru - The Invention of India', said that a 'chaiwala' can reach the heights of holding the post of a Prime Minister because of institutions created by Nehru. He further said that Nehru made it possible for common man to reach the dizzying heights of top office of India.
"If today, we have chaiwala as prime minister, it is because Nehru ji made it possible to create the institutional structures through which any Indian can aspire to and rise to the highest office in the land," said Tharoor. He added that Nehru had great respect for institutions and the vision to lay the foundations for the future of the country.
"Nehru ji respected institutions Nehru ji attended all session and every day of parliament contrary to the what current prime minister practices. If today, the government can boast about Mangalyaan, ask who created ISRO. Who decided that even a poor Indian can dare to aim for the skies. Who created the IITs who send so many bright young men to the Silicon Valley. All of this in the poor country was optional. You had to have the vision to say we need to do all these things. We need to lay the foundations to build India of the future," he said.
He went on to give credit to the country's first Prime Minister for not making the mistake of turning autocratic.
"A number of post-colonial heroes in other ex-colonies had gone the opposite way. They started off as democratically popular heroes and headed in an authoritarian direction...Nehru ji never fell into that trap," he said.
He then condemned an attempt to tarnish the image of Nehru. "A concerted campaign of vilification, calumny and an astonishing amount of lies is being spread on the internet against Nehru," he said.
Tharoor was releasing his book at Delhi’s Nehru Memorial Museum & Library. It was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Arun Shourie, former bureaucrat Pavan K Varma, former AAP spokesman Ashutosh, and Congress party leader P Chidambaram were present at the event.