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Indira Gandhi could never tolerate bullying, unfairness, says Sonia

Congress president Sonia Gandhi remembers India’s former Prime Minister as someone who always fought for the right of others

india Updated: Nov 19, 2017 22:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress,indira gandhi,sonia gandhi
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party's vice president Rahul Gandhi at a function celebrating the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi hailed former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as someone who could not tolerate “any form of bullying, coercion and unfairness”, in what was seen by many as a subtle message for the ruling dispensation.

Inaugurating a photography exhibition looking back at Indira Gandhi’s life and personality on her birth anniversary, Sonia recalled that “For her as Prime Minister there was but one religion, a sacred creed passionately held — that all Indians were equal children of the motherland.”

“She fought for secularism, against all those forces seeking to divide the Indian people on lines of religion and caste. She gloried in the rich diversity of India, its profound democratic and secular values,” said Sonia, dubbing her as one of the greatest Indian Prime Minister. He comments assume significance as a section of the followers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already started comparing his charisma and political standing with that of Gandhi.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “I remember you Dadi with so much love and happiness. You are my mentor and guide. You give me strength.”

At the photo exhibition, Gandhi recalled her 16 years of association with the late PM, the Congress chief said Indira Gandhi passionately felt for her country, deeply cared for the poor and oppressed, and faithfully followed the teachings of her father and other great leaders of the freedom struggle who had been a part of her as she grew up.

A cultural programme at Delhi’s Nehru Park on Sunday evening will mark the culmination of the year-long celebrations of Indira Gandhi’s birth centenary.

“It was that rigorous schooling in the Independence movement that made her so staunch in defence of India’s sovereignty, so committed to the ideals of secularism and social justice, and so determined to advance them through her policies and programmes.”

Asserting that Indira Gandhi fought for India’s dignity and independence as a sovereign nation, against the dominance of superpowers, the Congress president said Bangladesh’s creation is a monument to that stand.

“I have heard Indiraji being referred to as the Iron Lady. But iron was only one of the elements in her character; generosity and humanity were just as prominent traits. She fought, yes -- but not for personal ascendancy. She fought for her principles, against vested interests and agendas,” she said.

In his speech, former President Pranab Mukherjee, whose political career blossomed under India’s regime, said Indira Gandhi left a message that “a commitment to the people can never be killed by any power, however strong it may be.”

Mukherjee pointed out that her decision to nationalize the banks also helped the Congress come closer to people.

First Published: Nov 19, 2017 13:38 IST