‘Will oppose distortion of history’: Sonia Gandhi hits out at ‘self-absorbed’ govt on I-Day

A day after the BJP questioned the role of Jawaharlal Nehru in the Partition of India, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday said the party will strongly oppose misrepresentation of history for “political gains” by putting icons of the Independence movement “on the dock based on lies”.

In her message on the occasion of Independence Day, Gandhi said attempts to “trivialise” the sacrifices of freedom fighters and the “glorious achievements” made by the country over the last 75 years can never be accepted.

“We have achieved a lot over the last 75 years but what can never be accepted is that the current self-absorbed government is hell-bent on trivialising the great sacrifices made by our freedom fighters and the country’s glorious achievements,” Gandhi said in a written message released by the Congress.

She added, “The Indian National Congress strongly opposes misrepresentation of historical facts for political benefits and putting great national leaders like (Mahatma) Gandhi, Nehru, (Sardar) Patel and (Maulana) Azad on the dock based on lies.”

Although the statement did not go into any specifics, it appeared to be aimed at the BJP’s account of the Partition of India released on Sunday in the form of short video clips across the party’s social media handles. The clip, which obliquely questioned Nehru’s role, was titled ‘Where were those people who had the responsibility to fight against divisive forces?’

Even on Sunday, the videos drew a sharp reaction from the Congress with the party’s general secretary (communication) Jairam Ramesh alleging that it was Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar who gave birth to the two-nation theory which Mohammad Ali Jinnah perfected.

“The real intent of the PM to mark August 14 as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day is to use the most traumatic historical events as fodder for his current political battles. Lakhs upon lakhs were displaced and lost their lives. Their sacrifices must not be forgotten or disrespected,” Ramesh tweeted.

Meanwhile, in her statement, Sonia Gandhi, who is recovering from Covid, also celebrated India’s progress in the last 75 years, saying the country has left an indelible mark on the international stage in many areas including science, education, health and information technology through the hard work of its talented people.

“Under the leadership of its visionary leaders, while on one hand, India established an independent, fair and transparent electoral system, it also strengthened democratic and constitutional institutions. Side by side, India also made an identity for itself for always living up to the ideals of plurality of languages, religions and communities,” she added.

At the Congress headquarters, veteran leader and member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) Ambika Soni hoisted the national flag in the presence of Rahul Gandhi, who was flanked by Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma. Later, Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, took out a march from the party headquarters to Gandhi Smriti on Tees January Road as part of its Azadi Gaurav Yatra.

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