A day after BJP questioned Jawaharlal Nehru’s role in the Partition of India, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said the party will strongly oppose misrepresentation of history for “political gains” by putting icons of the independence movement “on the dock based on lies”.
In her message on the occasion of Independence Day, Sonia said attempts to “trivialise” the sacrifices of freedom fighters and the “glorious achievements” made by the country can never be accepted.
“We have achieved a lot over the last 75 years but what can never be accepted is that the current self-absorbed government is hell bent on trivialising the great sacrifices made by our freedom fighters and the country’s glorious achievements,” Sonia said in her written message issued by the Congress. “The Indian National Congress strongly opposes misrepresentation of historical facts for political benefits and putting great national leaders like (Mahatma) Gandhi, Nehru, (Sardar) Patel and (Maulana) Azad on the dock based on lies.”
Although the statement did not go into any specifics, it appeared aimed at BJP’s account on the Partition, released on Sunday in the form of short video clips across the party’s social media handles. The clip, which obliquely questioned Nehru’s role, was titled, “Where were those people who had the responsibility to fight against divisive forces?”
In a Facebook post in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said, “We vow that we will always serve our country and its people, and will not allow divisions in the name of religion, sect, language at any cost.” Asked about the PM’s remarks on nepotism, he refused to comment.
Even on Sunday, the videos drew a sharp reaction from the Congress, with the party’s general secretary (communication), Jairam Ramesh, alleging that Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar gave birth to the two-nation theory and Mohammad Ali Jinnah perfected it. “The real intent of the PM to mark Aug 14 as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day is to use the most traumatic historical events as fodder for his current political battles,” Ramesh tweeted. “Lakhs upon lakhs were dislocated and lost their lives. Their sacrifices must not be forgotten or disrespected.”
In her statement, the Congress president, who is recovering from Covid-19, also celebrated India’s progress in the last 75 years. She stated that the country has left an indelible mark on the international stage in many areas, including science, education, health and information technology through the hard work of its talented people.
“Under the leadership of its visionary leaders, while on one hand, India established an independent, fair and transparent electoral system, it also strengthened democratic and constitutional institutions. Side by side, India also made an identity for itself for always living up to the ideals of plurality of languages, religions and communities,” she added.
At the Congress headquarters, veteran leader and Congress Working Committee member Ambika Soni unfurled the national flag in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi. Later, Congress leaders took out a march from the party headquarters to Gandhi Smriti on Tees January Road as part of the party’s Azadi Gaurav Yatra.