Dhaka daily slams Rahul's 'infantile innuendo' | world | Hindustan Times
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Dhaka daily slams Rahul's 'infantile innuendo'

The Congress MP's remark on division of Pakistan has been slammed by the New Age daily.

world Updated: Apr 20, 2007 17:46 IST

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's remarks crediting his Nehru-Gandhi family for the division of Pakistan has been slammed by a Bangladeshi newspaper as "infantile and insensitive".

English language daily New Age has in an editorial warned: "If the Indian elite really want the Indo-Bangla relations to improve, they have to forsake such an attitude."

In a hard-hitting editorial titled "Rahul Gandhi's infantile innuendo" on Friday, the newspaper hit out at Gandhi for his observations, made in the course of the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh this month, that India under the Nehru-Gandhis was responsible for the "division of Pakistan".

"Rahul's remark - infantile and insensitive as it is - suggests that he is either divorced from, or delusional about, the history of the subcontinent in general and Bangladesh in particular," the newspaper said.

It said that Gandhi's "attempt to hijack the credit" of a nation's prolonged pursuit of independence, which culminated in a bloody armed struggle, "may seem politically infantile but comes nonetheless as a serious affront to those named and unnamed millions who either laid down their lives or underwent endless days and nights of torture and trauma".

Seeking to put things in perspective, the editorial said: "It is, however, not to say that we disregard the crucial support India provided us with during those days, particularly in terms of giving shelter to some ten million refugees, providing military training to our freedom fighters and, of course, a good number of Indian soldiers sacrificing their lives in the collaborative war against the occupation army of Pakistan."

While there was no correction from the Indian establishment, the editorial noted the statement of Abhishek Singhvi, a Congress spokesperson, who said: "Viewed holistically in sum, substance, essence and spirit, Rahul Gandhi said and did nothing wrong."

"There is no denying the fact that the division of Pakistan served the geopolitical interest of India. But to suggest that the Bengalis fought and won the independence war to serve India's geopolitical interest is simply ludicrous," the newspaper said.