Former Union minister Shashi Tharoor has alleged that BJP is trying to “hijack” Indian history for political purposes and said Congress will not let it reduce the country to a “Hindu Pakistan”.
“We will not let them run away with the history or hijack it for their political purposes. We are not going to let BJP reduce India to a Hindu Pakistan,” he said in his speech on “rewriting history and redefining nationalism”.
He said the new ruling doctrine in the country has sought to redefine Indian nationalism in “more sectarian terms”. “BJP stood aside from the freedom struggle and sometimes actively collaborated with the colonial rulers. They, instead of accepting that at one time they were on the wrong side of the history, want us to believe that they are the true nationalists of India,” he said.
“BJP is appropriating the heroes of the Indian independence,” he alleged. Tharoor said: “In the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, comparisons were drawn between Narendra Modi and the country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. This showed a lack of understanding of history.”
“It took Modi three-four days to take action in the 2002 post-Godhra riots but during the 1947 riots, Patel took prompt measures to ensure the safety of Muslims in the national capital,” he said. “Patel personally went to Nizamuddin Dargah and prayed for the Muslim community. Can you imagine Modi going to a dargah for Muslims?” he said. The senior Congress leader said his party will always oppose what is not in the interest of the nation.
“We are a constructive opposition. The Modi government passed many bills which were initiated by the UPA government and BJP had opposed them at that time. “Jan Dhan scheme, Insurance Bill, GST, Aadhar, they all were UPA’s initiatives and we should welcome if the government has done it, but we will oppose what is not in the interest of the nation,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)