Congress mouthpiece calls Sonia Gandhi’s father ‘fascist’, slams Nehru; editor sacked

The article, which does not bear the name of the writer, has been published in this month's issue of 'Congress Darshan' Hindi edition as a tribute piece to mark Patel's death anniversary on December 15.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: December 29, 2015 2:31 am
Congress leaders at the AICC headquarters on the occasion of the party’s Foundation Day, Monday. (Express Photo by: Renuka Puri) Congress leaders at the AICC headquarters on the occasion of the party’s Foundation Day, Monday. (Express Photo by: Renuka Puri)

THE FIERCE infighting in the Congress party’s Mumbai unit came out in the open today in an embarrassing fashion — on the party’s 131st foundation day — after its mouthpiece carried articles questioning Jawaharlal Nehru’s policy on Kashmir and claiming that Sonia Gandhi’s father was a “fascist soldier”.

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, who is also the editor of Congress Darshan, apologised for what he described as an “irreparable mistake”. But he also accused his rivals of having “leaked” the contents of the in-house magazine to the media to target him.

By evening, Nirupam had sacked the publication’s content editor Sudhir Joshi, a freelance journalist. Joshi was not available for comment.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Nirupam said: “I take complete responsibility… I admit the contents were unacceptable. We should have been careful. But if anybody had a problem and wanted to rectify the errors, they should have brought it to my notice. Or they should have sent it to the high command.”

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Nirupam accused his “rivals” of deliberately keeping silent about the articles. “They leaked it to the media on a day that is most auspicious for Congressmen. This is an anti-party activity. They wanted to target me and embarrassed the party. There should be an inquiry into who was behind this,” he said.

 

indian national congress, congress, Jawaharlal Nehru, sonia gandhi, congress foundation day, congress journal Jawaharlal Nehru, congress journal blames nehru, nehru kashmir policy, sadar patel, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, india news, latest news, Congress President Sonia Gandhi with his son and party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi leaving after hoisting the party flag during the 131st foundation day of Congress party function at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. (Source: PTI)

In Delhi, Congress leader Salman Khurshid said the issue should be “seriously looked into” while spokesperson Tom Vadakkan sought to distance the party from the publication.

Reacting to the articles, BJP Union Minister Jitender Singh said such remarks about Nehru’s policy have been made earlier, too. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar even congratulated Nirupam for “bearing out the truth in the mouthpiece”.

Discord and factionalism has dogged the Mumbai Congress, foiling its consolidation plans in the past few years. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party was wiped out in Mumbai. It had also fared miserably in the assembly elections in the city the same year.

The controversial articles appeared in the Hindi edition of Congress Darshan, which has a Marathi edition, too. Both the editions were brought out on December 8 to coincide with Sonia Gandhi’s birthday, with 200 copies of each printed for “internal circulation”.

An unsigned write-up in the Hindi edition blames Nehru for “the state of affairs in Kashmir, China and Tibet”.

“Despite Patel getting the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, the relations between the two leaders remained strained, and both had threatened to resign time and again,” the article says.

The article cites a letter that Patel purportedly wrote in 1950 to caution Nehru against China’s policy towards Tibet and in which “Patel described China as unfaithful, and a future enemy of India”. “Had Patel been heard (by Nehru) then, the problems of Kashmir, China, Tibet and Nepal wouldn’t have existed now. Patel opposed Nehru’s move of taking the Kashmir issue to the UN,” stated the article, adding, “Nehru did not agree with Patel’s views on Nepal.”

Another article describes Sonia Gandhi’s early life in detail, including her “ambition to become an air hostess” as well as the allegation that her father was a member of the Italian forces that lost to the Russians in the World War. “Sonia Gandhi’s father Stephano Maino was a former fascist soldier,” it says.

The write-up also describes how Sonia rose to the position of party president. “Sonia Gandhi registered as a primary member of the Congress in 1997 and became the party’s president in 62 days. She also made an unsuccessful attempt to form a government,” the article says.

When contacted, former UPA minister Salman Khurshid said, “If something like this has come out in a Congress magazine, then AICC will take it up.”

Spokesperson Vadakkan said, “It was a defunct magazine and there were attempts to revive it. This magazine has not been associated with Congress.”

‘Congress Darshan’ was launched during the tenure of Kripashankar Singh as Mumbai chief between 2007-2011 to “sensitise partymen on policies and the legacy of the Congress”.

The journal was discontinued four years ago before being revived by Nirupam, a former journalist himself, this year. “I decided to revive the Hindi edition two months ago. The first issue was brought out in November,” said Nirupam.

“The initial plan was to just translate the content published in the Marathi edition. But Joshi expressed an interest in contributing independent articles, which we approved,” he said.

Nirupam said he would now revamp the editorial board and personally monitor content.

Bhushan Patil, an editorial board member, said Joshi published the content without approval. “It was decided to prepone the December edition to mark Soniaji’s birthday. The decision was taken on December 4. The content writer (Joshi) said that he was pressed for time and did not wait for approval of board members. The Marathi edition was screened,” he said.

But while nowhere in the publication is Joshi credited for sourcing content, sources said board members and local leaders, Nizamuddin Rayeen and Chitrasen Singh, had been assigned the responsibility for the Hindi edition.

Former union minister Gurudas Kamat said, “I’m shocked… The credentials of the content writer ought to have been checked before he was appointed for the job.”

Former party MP Milind Deora tweeted: “Glad action has been taken against writer of unsound piece. Leaders must show caution, avoid such mistakes in future.”

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  1. S
    Sri
    Dec 28, 2015 at 1:52 pm
    Intolerance. Instead of sacking people there should be a real debate and fact finding about historical facts. The media could conduct the debate and surely the readership and viewership will increase.
    Reply
    1. 4
      4thAugust1932
      Dec 28, 2015 at 4:43 pm
      To promote Pandits/Brahmins hegemony in Jammu valley, Nehru "created" Kashmir issue;
      Reply
      1. S
        Selva
        Dec 28, 2015 at 10:43 am
        editor Sacked ??? for telling the truth ??? who is more intolerant??? Mr Raul Vinci - why don't you ask your Mother??? DO NOT PREACH ON TOLERANCE!! where are award Wapsi Jokers, who returned back for Intolerance in India?? where is Salman/SRK/Aamir???
        Reply
        1. S
          Selva
          Dec 28, 2015 at 10:02 am
          the cat is out of the bag (by mistake), that too from Congis Bag!!! hahahaha............ these congis are fascist minded and they doomed India's growth for 65 years for their own benefits.......... India should not have congis henceforth and better to start identifying a better opposition party (not the likes of mamta/left/ SP/BSP or joker party AAP) - credible opposition to counter the good values shown by NAMO
          Reply
          1. A
            Athiest
            Dec 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm
            Congress party's salvation is only in getting rid of Sonia & Rahul. As long as mother and son are leading the congress party, congress will not win the election. It is pointless to conclude the results of the past based on umptions .
            Reply
            1. A
              akbar khan
              Dec 28, 2015 at 10:52 pm
              Contents-editor sacked by the evening. How dare he published Truth inconvenient to the Mafia? No question of tolerance!!!
              Reply
              1. A
                Alab
                Dec 28, 2015 at 11:14 am
                How true !!! If it were not for Sardar Patel we would had a stomach problem jn Hyderabad besides head aches in Kashmir & Tibet. Besides country would not have tolerated psudo-secularists. Mixed economy dxperiment was a disasterous failiure, compounded by reorganisation of states on lingustic lines. On postive side he started industrialisation and higher educatik
                Reply
                1. A
                  Amir Khan
                  Dec 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm
                  Anyone surprised by fascists destroying parliament and democracy?
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Amir Khan
                    Dec 28, 2015 at 2:27 pm
                    Descendants of fascists have abrogated the "hi" name. What a shame. Can any sycophant defend the shame of making Sonia Maino the part head in 62 days after getting party membership? What was the hurry in foisting a fascist descendant with a hi name on unsuspecting Indians ?
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Anand Sudan
                      Dec 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm
                      It shows Congress is a Fascist party i and that is why it is not allowing parliament to function
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Ashutosh
                        Dec 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm
                        Wah re Chamcho - Hadd ho gai Chamchagiri ki.....
                        Reply
                        1. I
                          Indian
                          Dec 28, 2015 at 6:36 am
                          Nehru wanted to be PM of India at any cost. It was due to tireless efforts of Sardar patel that Hyderabad and other states were included in the republic of India.
                          Reply
                          1. T
                            Tarnish_Gheesodia
                            Dec 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm
                            what are Kirti Azad's views on this sacking of editor?
                            Reply
                            1. D
                              david
                              Dec 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm
                              Truth is always bitter, thats why dynesty is up side down.
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                DBMhapankar
                                Dec 28, 2015 at 8:04 am
                                I wonder why some cngressmen are posing ignorance about the text written in this article. This is a well known fact. You will find a book stating it but in the news print its appeared first time. Old news papers quote differences bet Nehru & Paper, state this. I can understand many may find it shocking but in this dynasty ruled country it was kept under carpet .Mhapankar
                                Reply
                                1. T
                                  Tarun Durga
                                  Dec 28, 2015 at 5:49 pm
                                  Where the critics of prevailing atmosphere of tolerance now? These psuedo intellectuals who were on Congress and left payroll will not utter a word against congress which is trying to stifle freedom of sech
                                  Reply
                                  1. d
                                    dv1936
                                    Dec 28, 2015 at 8:56 pm
                                    Why not change the name to Khandani Party.
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Anand N.
                                      Dec 28, 2015 at 11:34 am
                                      Congress n RSS are two sides of the same coin.
                                      Reply
                                      1. K
                                        KB
                                        Dec 28, 2015 at 11:31 am
                                        suna hai rahul hi aaj kal europe ghum rahe hai..... Christmas jo hai..... mama ke ghar to jana padega na bhai.......
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Sarvotham Hari
                                          Dec 28, 2015 at 10:54 am
                                          ..why should the poor editor be sacked..don't you term it as extreme intolerance?..what are our award-wapsi intellectuals of IIC doing to stop victimising a poor editor?..nor do our tolerant bollywood heros can come to his rescue..all for talking against a family..
                                          Reply
                                          1. H
                                            Harish
                                            Dec 29, 2015 at 4:02 am
                                            "The fault, dear Brutus (Nirupam Som) is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we ( in Congress) are underlings." - With apologies to Shakespeare
                                            Reply
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