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As the first Prime Minister of Independent India, Pandit Nehru shouldered great responsibility. 

His vision to stabilise a disintegrated country hit various roadblocks. Faced with daunting challenges, not all that he conceived and preached worked well. 

He inherited India in its most difficult period, a time that saw the country struggle to make its historical past meet a new modern reality of independence, democracy and development. 

With his unquestioned leadership ability, Nehru chose the path of a centralised economy to develop India. 

In his vision, it was the Soviet model that worked the best under the circumstances, even though he was hardly the greatest admirer of the Soviet Union. 

He gave India, despite it being a new nation, an international standing. He was also a great believer in democracy and social reform. 

He also carried with him a lot of idealism, that in hindsight can be said to have hurt the nation. 

His ability to maintain a scrupulous personal honesty did not prevent him from overlooking the corruption around him. He is also now seen as sometimes naiive: he refused, for example, to believe that China would ever attack India. 

The 1962 War was a humiliation that the country had to bear. Many also blame the Kashmir imbroglio on his decision not to use adequate military force to suppress Pakistan. 

'Nehruvian socialism' has now entered the lexicon as a term that is used to define India's inability to have grown at a pace that could have been much faster. 

One way or another, Nehru has become a target of hindsight: he is either adored or reviled for India's progress or lack of it. 

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