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RSS disagrees with Jaswant Singh's views on Jinnah

IANS  New Delhi, August 17, 2009
First Published: 14:38 IST(17/8/2009) | Last Updated: 15:29 IST(25/8/2009)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) -- the ideological fountainhead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- on Monday said it did not agree with the views of senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh on his eulogy of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.

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Eulogising the founder of Pakistan in his book "Jinnah -- India, Participation, Independence", Jaswant Singh has said Jinnah was "demonised" by India while it was actually India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's belief in a centralised polity that led to partition.

"I have not read the book, but whatever reports have come in the media regarding the contents of the book ... we do not agree with it," RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav told IANS.

Asked if he would want the BJP leadership to take action against Jaswant Singh, Ram Madhav said: "It would be premature to make any comment on this issue as I have not read the book and Jaswant Singh has also categorically said in an interview that these are his personal views."

Speaking to CNN-IBN channel, Jaswant Singh, a former external affairs minister, said: "Nehru believed in a highly centralised polity. That's what he wanted India to be. Jinnah wanted a federal polity. That even Gandhi accepted. Nehru didn't. Consistently, he stood in the way of a federal India until 1947 when it became a partitioned India."

Jaswant Singh strongly contested the popular Indian view that Jinnah was the villain of the 1947 partition or the man principally responsible for it. Asked if he thought this view was wrong, Jaswant Singh said: "It is. It is not borne out of the facts... we need to correct it."

"I think we have misunderstood him because we needed to create a demon... We needed a demon because in the 20th century the most telling event in the subcontinent was the partition of the country," he said.


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