‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ being misused, says Manmohan Singh
Nationalism and the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are being misused to construct a militant and purely emotional idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday.
Singh was speaking at a book launch on selections from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s speeches, essays and letters from pre- and post-Independence years in a book titled “Bharat Mata’’ by Professors Purushottam Agrawal and Radha Krishna.
“I am happy that this book makes an effort to revisit Pandit Nehru. Nehru had led this country in its volatile, formative days when we adopted democratic way of life, accommodating divergent social and political views. Pandit Nehru who was very proud of Indian heritage, assimilated it, and harmonised them into the needs of a New Modern India,” Singh said.
Singh said a section of people who either do not have the patience to read history or would like to deliberately be guided by their prejudices, try their best to picture Nehru in a false light.
“Pandit Nehru was not only a statesman of high international standing, but a great historian and literary figure too... But for his leadership, independent India would not have become what it is today. Unfortunately, a section of people who either do not have the patience to read history or would like to be deliberately guided by their prejudices, try their best to picture Nehru in a false light. But I am sure, history has a capacity to reject fake and false insinuations and put everything in proper perspective,” he said.
Singh said this collection of writings and speeches shows the mind and ideology born out of experience, observation and deep study behind this democratic and genuinely inclusive idea of India.
An understanding of Nehru’s political and intellectual journey is a pre-condition for India’s survival as a democratic polity as a humane, compassionate society, he said.
“The purpose of this book is to show to the entire world and more particularly to India, how Pandit Nehru and his idea of India, built on Gandhian principles, harmonising the past and the present free from communal discords, is the only way to promote the inevitable plurality of our country. Nehru makes a very significant and time relevant remark on the dangers of leaderships falling into a trap and getting removed far away from the common people whom they are supposed to serve,” he added.
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