The Congress has highlighted the role of former prime ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi in the India-Pakistan conflicts in its book marking 125 years of its formation but has not spoken of the 1962 war with China, for which the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru faced a lot of criticism.
The book, “Congress and the Making of the Indian Nation,” edited by senior party leader Pranab Mukherjee, says that Indira Gandhi was at the height of her power in the wake of the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.
“She was hailed as Durga, an incarnation of Shakti. The war was seen as her personal success,” says the book, briefly narrating the events leading to the surrender of Pakistan in the eastern front.
Referring to the 1965 war, the book says that Shastri demonstrated to the world that India could defend its territory with the modest resources at her command.
“The aggression by Pakistan was effectively checked. The Indian troops even crossed over to Pakisani territory near Lahore. However, hostilities ceased after a while, following pleas for an amicable settlement by a number of countries,” the book says.
The chapter on the Nehru era in the book is silent on the 1962 hostilities with China.
It only says that Nehru outlined five principles of Panchsheel which became the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The 172-page book mentions in passing the Pakistan's hostilities in Kashmir in 1947-48 but does not go into details.
About the Kargil war of May 1999, the book says that the Congress condemned the incursion by the Pakistani army.
“It (the Congress) also condemned the government (National Democratic Alliance) for its gross negligence in allowing such a dangerous situation to develop in the country,” says the book.