New Delhi— In a veiled attack on the kind of politics of the ruling BJP, former Prime Minister of India and senior Congress leader Dr. Manmohan Singh on Saturday said nationalism and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan are “being misused to construct a militant and purely emotional idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens.”
He was speaking at the launch of a book titled ‘Who Is Bharat Mata’ at the India Habitat Centre here Saturday evening.
Former PM Dr. Singh also denounced attempts to present India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharalal Nehru in bad light.
“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,” said stalwart Indian economist Dr. Singh.
He recalled that Nehru raised the question ‘who is this Bharat Mata’ at a public meeting in 1936 and declared that Bharat Mata or Mother India was essentially its people, not only rivers and mountains.
“’Who is this Bharat Mata whose victory you wish?, asked Jawaharlal Nehru, a leading light of India’s freedom movement who would become the country’s first Prime Minister – at a public gathering in 1936. And then he declared: ‘The mountains and rivers, forests and fields are of course dear to everyone, but what counted ultimately is the people of India…spread out all over vast land’”, Dr. Singh said.
Lauding Nehru for making India what it is today, Dr. Singh said: If India is recognized in the comity of Nations as a vibrant democracy and, if it is considered as one of the important world powers, it was Pandit Nehru, who should be recognised as its main architect.