Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022

Hashtag Politics | Partition video; Savarkar over Nehru in Karnataka ad: BJP & Cong lock horns

After BJP video blaming Congress for Partition comes Jairam Ramesh’s riposte; Oppn party also takes offence at Karnataka govt not mentioning India’s first PM in an ad celebrating freedom fighters.

The video, set to striking music and using archival footage, blamed the Congress — a lot of the footage shows Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah — and the Communists for allowing the division of the country. (Screengrab, Twitter @BJP4India)

A video blaming the Congress and Indian Communists for Partition and Jawaharlal Nehru’s photo missing from a Karnataka government advertisement on Sunday triggered sharp responses from the grand old party, which accused the ruling party of disrespecting those who lost their lives during Partition and nursing “unending hatred” for India’s first prime minister.

Sharing the video on its Twitter account on the second Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, the BJP wrote, “Those who had no knowledge of India’s cultural heritage, civilisation, values, pilgrimage sites drew up a border in three weeks between people who had been living together for centuries. Where were the people who at the time had the responsibility of fighting against these divisive forces?”

The video, set to striking music and using archival footage, blamed the Congress — a lot of the footage shows Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah — and the Communists for allowing the division of the country.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh posted a Twitter thread in response. “The real intent of PM to mark Aug 14 as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day,” he alleged, “is to use the most traumatic historical events as fodder for his current political battles. Lakhs upon lakhs were dislocated and lost their lives. Their sacrifices must not be forgotten or disrespected.”

Ramesh said the truth was that Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar “originated 2 nation theory and Jinnah perfected it”. The Congress leader added, “Sardar Patel wrote, ‘I felt that if we did not accept partition, India would be split into many bits and would be completely ruined.’”

He went on to say, “The Indian National Congress will uphold the legacy of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and many others who were untiring in their efforts to unite the nation. The politics of hate will be defeated.”

Congress leader Pawan Khera tweeted, “I come from a family that lost over a dozen members during partition. The Sangh-League duet created an atmosphere which lead to the events that unfolded. PM can do well by apologising for the misdeeds of his ideological forefathers.”

In response to Ramesh’s tweets, BJP national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh tweeted, “Why did it take so long a time to remember horrors of partition? Why so many PMs from your stable avoided it? Why was it that history pages have missed it? Is it because your Party & its leaders had many things to hide?”

BJP’s information technology department chief Amit Malviya said the Congress cannot “hide its malfeasance and not face the Horrors of Partition, a tragedy, it is solely responsible for”. He added, “Ignoring our past, however uncomfortable, is a disservice to those who suffered. Partition Horrors Remembrance Day is a day to stand in solidarity…”

Karnataka govt ad

Meanwhile, the Congress also took umbrage at a Karnataka government advertisement that excluded Nehru from a list of freedom fighters. The government released the advertisement through the state Information Department highlighting the contributions of various freedom fighters to the cause of Independence. It featured Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, and Veer Savarkar among 10 national freedom fighters, and 10 freedom fighters from Karnataka.

“Not including Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the list of freedom fighters in today’s govt ad shows how low a CM can go to save his chair,” tweeted former CM and Congress leader Siddaramaiah.


He went on to write in a series of tweets, “The CM of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai should apologise to the entire nation for insulting Pandit Nehru. The people of India and Karnataka will never accept anyone who humiliates their country’s first Prime Minister. Savarkar, who pleaded (with) British officers to get himself released from jail, gets position in the front row. But, Baba Saheb, who fought for freedom by being the voice of marginalized sections, gets placed in the last row.”

State Congress president DK Shivakumar also hit out at the BJP for misusing public money for “its campaign of vendetta”. He added, “Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested nine times by the British for participating in the freedom movement and kept in jail for 3,259 days. It is inexcusable that Nehru’s name has been left out of the advertisement out of political malice.”

Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Singh Surjewala of the Congress tweeted, “Unending hatred for India’s 1st PM & Nation builder, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has reached its zenith. Bommai Govt stoops to the lowest by denying his very existence. On 75th Anniversary of Independence, it reflects the character & vicious thought process of present day rulers.”

First published on: 14-08-2022 at 06:07:40 pm
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