GUWAHATI, Oct 19 - Bedabrata Baruah, former Union Minister of State for External Affairs in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet, delivered a talk before the members of the Guwahati Senior Citizens� Association (GSCA) at Pensioners� Bhawan on Saturday.
Baruah, who was a trusted lieutenant of Indira Gandhi, also held the office of Law, Justice and Company Affairs in an earlier term and took some significant decisions which brought laurels to the Central government.
Dwelling on the foreign policies of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Baruah said Nehru took an excessively pro-Russian attitude to extreme negligence towards the friendship offered by the US during the time of President Truman.
He said Nehru who depended thoroughly on VK Krishna Menon in setting the country�s external affairs policy, was ultimately disheartened when China for whom Nehru coined the slogan �Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai� ultimately betrayed India and gave it a terrible shock � as a result of which he passed away after a couple of years of the Chinese invasion.
�Since Menon was a Marxist, he stretched India�s foreign policy towards Russia, in utter negligence towards the US and other western countries,� he added.
Baruah said Indira Gandhi, who was more practical than her father, maintained equidistance with both America and Russia and ventured to provoke US President Nixon very often.
He said that current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a practical politician and a statesman who has now infused new colour and dynamism into India�s foreign policy. The result is, India now has more friends than ever before.
Baruah said Nehru�s greatest contribution towards world politics and international peace was the evolution of the Panchsheel principles, which were also accepted by China and most of the Afro-Asian countries.
He said that the weak-kneed policy followed by earlier Indian governments in respect of Kashmir had been rectified boldly now by Modi, who valiantly repealed Article 370 and brought Kashmir and Ladakh at par with the rest of the country.
DN Chakravartty, in his presidential speech, spoke on the problems of Assam and the North East since the days of Nehru and stressed the need for raising a strong voice, both in Parliament and other national fora, by giving proper exposure to the problems and challenges of Assam and exposing the �step-motherly attitude� shown by successive Central governments in denying the rightful claims of the nearly 50 million people of the North East.