Shashi Tharoor is at it again. He has expressed his view that Nehru was responsible for negative publicity for India as conducting foreign policy as a sort of moralistic running commentary on other people's behaviour. This perception is widely held and therefore, Tharoor has not floated a new theory. To be fair to him, he has also, in the same meeting, acknowledged the stellar role of Gandhiji and Panditji in enhancing India's standing in the international arena. There is unfortunately no place for objective analysis in our political parties. In the Congress party, any criticism, however mild and well-intentioned, of Nehru and his descendants is a strict no-no.
There are some 'holy cows' for the Congress party which all Congress people are expected to respect. Secularism with undisguised support for minorityism is one such. It was interesting to watch a TV show where a Muslim religious leader pleaded that Muslims should more openly decry terrorism and Pakistan's proven role in fomenting trouble in India. He was unequivocal that given Pakistan's nefarious role, air passengers with Pak connection must be subjected to stringent screening. This frankness made Jayanthi Natarajan, a Congress spokesperson overtly furious and she started lashing out against "such racial or national profiling".
Jayanthi Natarajan, quite well-informed as she is, was certainly expressing a view more in line with the public persona of the Congress rather than her own opinion. Thus we see the public behaviour of Tharoor and Jayanthi Natarajan at two extremes. The latter is a political survivor. It is no coincidence that Jayanthi Natarajan was among the first persons calling for punishment to Tharoor when he spoke out his mind even earlier.
Why this difference between the two ? Tharoor has been exposed to and affected by the American culture of talking straight without mincing words. This aspect of his personality ironically was responsible for his losing the U.S. support when he contested for U.N.Secretary Generalship.