As a widower, veteran, and amateur stamp collector[ii], I feel I have some insight into the world of international politics. I must take issue with your article last week on the end of Nehru (“A Jacket’s Final Throes”, Style Section, D3, June 1st). The move from colonial rule to self-government is a long and tricky process, and one that Mr. Nehru helped handle quite admirably in India. No recent developments on the subcontinent suggest India is moving away from the course he set. I am also not quite sure it is “the end of an era,” since the fellow died ten years ago.
I’m no bleeding-heart hippie type[iii], but describing the former minister as “comfortable, but rebellious, a symbol of the ‘mod’ culture first popularized by the Beatles” smacks of disrespect, as he was fighting for independence when the Beatles were still crawling around in the gutter in whatever godforsaken English town they spawned from[iv]. Also, bluntly saying he had “six to seven buttons, some of which were deliberately left open” is unfair. Let’s leave the man’s private life[v] alone and concentrate on his civic accomplishments.[vi]
[i] At the time, the post of “Editor-in-Chief” was held by two very in-sync twins.
[ii] Kleghorn is being modest here. In fact, he was paid to collect stamps professional by the Rockefeller Foundation.
[iii] The author kept his hair clipped short and ignored the latest fashions.
[v] A related article focused entirely on Nehru’s underwear.
[vi] Dal Makhani for all.