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At Bose event, Modi takes veiled digs at Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress

At an event commemorating the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’ Azad Hind government, PM Modi said “the architects of Indian systems saw India through the prisms of England” which has caused a problem in our approach to many aspects in India.

india Updated: Oct 22, 2018 00:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PM Modi,Jawaharlala Nehru,Congress
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of establishment of Azad Hind Government, at Red Fort in New Delhi, on October 21, 2018. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the architects of Indian systems continued to see the country through the “prisms of England”, in an oblique reference to Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress, invoking sharp reactions from the principal Opposition party.

At an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’ Azad Hind government at the historic Red Fort, the PM also sent across a sharp message of India’s strength in security, announcing that any challenge will be met with twice as much reply.

Invoking Bose’s stand to see India from an Indian perspective, Modi said, “This is our misfortune that after Independence, the architects of Indian systems saw India through the prisms of England. Our culture, our education, our system had faced a lot of problem because of this approach.”

“If country had the guidance of leaders such as Subhas Bose and Sardar Patel that foreign vision would not have prevailed,” Modi said, possibly hinting at the legacy of Cambridge-educated Nehru, who was India’s first Prime Minister.

“We reject this vitriolic and diabolical design of Modi government to defame national icons with the content it deserves. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Sardar Patel were completely against the philosophy of sectarianism and bigotry that is espoused by PM Modi’s ideological patriarch- the RSS & Hindu Mahasabha,” Congress’ senior spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said hours after the PM’s programme.

While Modi maintained that he is following the path of stalwarts like Subhas Bose to make the country stronger, the Congress retorted that the BJP is portraying Bose as Nehru’s rival to “score political mileage”.Singhvi also dished out several examples like Nehru’s speech in August 1947 that made a special mention of Bose, regretting his absence on the occasion and that Nehru was the defence lawyer in the Red Fort trials of the INA.

Talking about the strength of the Indian Army, Modi said that Indian jawans forever had “josh, junoon aur jazba” (enthusiasm, passion and emotion) but now better technique and modern equipment are added to the force.

“Our force works for the protection of the country. Whoever throws a challenge at us, will get twice as much reply from our forces. Best technology is being incorporated in forces,” he said, adding that the country’s armed forces are developing the way Bose had envisaged.

Modi’s comments on the armed forces and their enhanced capabilities invite significance in the light of the barrage of attacks by Opposition parties over the Rafale deal. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has launched a frontal attack against the Modi government.

The Prime Minister boasted about his government’s abilities to take “Bade aur kade” (bold and strong) decisions like the surgical strike on Pakistan’s soil and disclosing many files on Netaji.

First Published: Oct 21, 2018 23:00 IST