NEW DELHI: The Congress is miffed over the BJP’s alleged attempts to erase the legacy of the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
While the proposed museums of former prime ministers at the Nehru Memorial Library and Museum in Delhi is the latest trigger, recent attempts to replace Nehru’s picture with that of BJP icon VD Savarkar in Goa textbooks and the missing reference to him in social science books in Rajasthan were protested by the party’s youth wing, NSUI.
For the Congress leaders, Nehru remains the one who allowed parliamentary democracy to take roots in free India, something which contributed to his detractors coming to power at the Centre.Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot feels there is nothing wrong with the idea of a museum for former prime ministers, but doubts the intention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Modiji’s intention behind it is not so much to preserve the legacy of former PMs but to erase the legacy of Nehruji. While doing so, BJP forgets that Nehruji holds a special place in the hearts of people. His memory is everlasting,” Gehlot said.
Gehlot feels the textbooks controversy is a systematic campaign led by the BJP to wipe out the name of Nehru. “But they do not know such an exercise would be totally futile because Nehru lives in the heart of every child and his sacrifice and good deeds can never be forgotten,” he said.
Another senior party leader, Jairam Ramesh, had shot off a missive to NMLM director Shakti Sinha to register his protest. In February, PM Modi had blamed Nehru for the country’s partition, while attacking the Congress in Parliament.