My Press Briefing in AICC 21-Oct-2018

Statement Issued by Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Spokesperson, AICC

एक विरासत हीन भाजपाजल बिन मछलीकी तरह तड़प कर देश और राष्ट्रिय आंदोलन की विरासत को हथियाने में लगी हुई है !

The Ideology of Netaji & BJP is as different as Chalk & Cheese

We reject PM Modi’s vitriolic and conspiratorial attempt to appropriate the legacy of Netaji

The Indian National Congress pays tribute to a great son of India and a National hero- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on the 75th Anniversary of the Azad Hind Government. On October 21, 1943, Netaji, in a simple ceremony in Cathy building of Singapore, Netaji had announced the formation of this interim Government.

The Congress party has always endeavored to protect, preserve and propagate the ideals of the brave patriot and secularist Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

  • In August 1947, the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian national flag above Lahori Gate. Pandit Nehru’s speech made a special mention of Netaji, regretting his absence on the occasion.
  • It was Jawaharlal Nehru who was INA’s Defence Lawyers in the Red Fort trials of the INA (Indian National Army or Azad Hind Fauj)
  • The declassified ‘Netaji Files’ reveal how Prime Minister Nehru and chief minister Bidhan Chandra Roy took care of Subhas Chandra Bose’s family.
  • Netaji founded first National Planning Committee in 1938 and post-Independence, Congress Government under Pt Jawaharlal Nehru continued his legacy by envisaging Five Year Plans for India’s planning.
  • On 23rd January 1947, Sarat Chandra Bose dedicated Netaji’s historic house to the nation, and in 1957, the Congress Government encouraged the establishment of Netaji Research Bureau in Kolkata that relives the memory of Netaji.
  • In 1975, under the Indira Gandhi Government, the Congress party released the proceedings of the First Netaji International Seminar. In 1998, the Netaji Museum was refurbished and redesigned.
  • In 1985, the Congress Government under Rajiv Gandhi established the Indian National Army (INA) Martyrs’ Memorial complex at Moirang in Manipur as a tribute to Netaji and the INA personnel.
  • In 2005, the Congress-UPA Govt established a Netaji Museum in Kurseong, Darjeeling that houses pictures and documents related to great historical events like Haripura Congress Session, interaction with Rabindranath Tagore and Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian National Army, participation of Hill people in Indian National Movement
  • In 2007, Congress-UPA Govt reconstructed his ancestral home and converted it into a museum in Cuttack, Odisha.

Those who do not have their own ideas and idol, and have zero contribution in the National Movement of Freedom Struggle, try to attribute and appropriate the legacy of our Freedom Fighters, in an attempt to be perceived ‘Nationalist’. Today Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi desperately tried to do the same.

PM Modi today alleged that the previous Congress Governments did not follow the legacy of Netaji and Sardar Patel.

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.

  1. Netaji was a strong critic of the policies and ideology of the Hindu Mahasabha which, according to him, was a communal organisation.

 He had written an editorial in his weekly Forward Bloc on May 4, 1940, titled ‘Congress and Communal Organisations’. He wrote, “There was a time, not long ago, when leaders of the Congress could be members of the communal organisations like Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League….But in recent times, circumstances have changed. These communal organisations have become more communal than before. As a reaction to this, Indian National Congress has put into its constitution a clause to the effect that no member of a communal organisation like the Hindu Mahasabha or the Muslim League can be a member of an elective committee of Congress.”

  1. Today, the RSS and the BJP are praising Netaji for his military endeavours to liberate India but their ideological ancestors had done totally the opposite: when Netaji was revamping the Azad Hind Fauj (or INA) in Japan and Gandhiji had given the ‘Quit India’ call, the RSS and was hand in gloves with the British. Hindu Mahasabha under Savarkar’s leadership organised recruitment camps for the British armed forces.
  1. To get political mileage, BJP is portraying Subhas Chandra Bose as Mahatma Gandhi’s victim and Pandit Nehru’s rival, but in reality Netaji always had the highest regards for both of them. He indeed named two INA regiments after Gandhi and Nehru. It was Netaji who first gave Gandhi the epithet of ‘Rashtrapita’, or the father of the nation, in a radio address from Singapore in 1944. It was the same year when a member of Hindu Mahasabha, Nathu Ram Godse, made his first attempt to kill Gandhi.
  2. While Netaji exhorted to fight against British, Savarkar exhorted Indians to join the British Indian Army

 While Netaji was working on the military strategies to take help of the German and Japanese forces to liberate India, on the other hand, Savarkar was busy in directly assisting the British colonial masters. This amounted to the betrayal of the cause espoused by Netaji. Savarkar and Hindu Mahasabha openly stood with the British government which later was able to kill and maim thousands of brave cadres of the Indian National Army (INA). While greatly eulogizing the British masters, Savarkar told his followers at Madura that due to the ever-advancing forces of Japan with a declared objective of freeing Asia from European influence, the British government needed Indians in large numbers in its armed forces which must be helped. Savarkar spent the next few years in organizing recruitment camps for the British armed forces which were to slaughter the cadres of INA in different parts of North-East

  1. Even Sardar Patel expressed his dismay at the obstinacy of the RSS

“You are very well aware of my views on the RSS… I had hoped that your people also would accept them. But they appear to have no effect on the RSS persons, nor was there any change in their programmes.”

But can all this ever understood by an organization like RSS, which sided with the British and boycotted the National Movement of Freedom including the Quit India Movement. A letter dated 24th March, 1936 written by RSS Chief, M S Golwalkar to RSS spokesperson Krishna Rao Wadekar is a case in point.

“The Sangh should stay away from movements born out of fleeting moments of enthusiasm and emotion.” He further said, “The programme was born out of momentary enthusiasm and outburst of mercurial emotions and described all such attempts to overthrow the British rulers as Shallow Nationalism.”

  1. It was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which held RSS’ ideology responsible for murder of Mahatma Gandhi. In a letter dated July 18, 1948 to Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Sardar Patel said

 “As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, the case relating to Gandhiji’s murder is sub judice and I should not like to say anything about the participation of the two organizations, but our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies, particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in the conspiracy.”

 “The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of Government and the State. Our reports show that those activities, despite the ban, have not died down. Indeed, as time has marched on, the RSS circles are becoming more defiant and are indulging in their subversive activities in an increasing measure.”

 [V. Shankar, Sardar Patel: Select Correspondence 1945-50, Navjivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1977, p. 277-78]

The Congress party has always welcomed the earlier decisions of Modi Govt and West Bengal Govt to declassify the files pertaining to Netaji, but BJP has just played politics with it. In the past 53 months, the Modi Government has only indulged in news plants and nothing adverse has come against the Congress party as perpetrated by them. We still want all the Netaji files be declassified. Infact, the Modi Govt on May 30, 2017 in a RTI Reply has already conceded that Netaji died in a plane crash in 1945. [ ]

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