Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday alleged that the central government was “self-obsessed” and making attempts to trivialise the sacrifices made by freedom fighters.
She made the statement in a message to the country on the 75th Independence Day. The criticism came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party blamed India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Communist leaders of India for the country’s partition in 1947.
“Friends, we have achieved many things in the past 75 years, but today’s self-obsessed government is bent on trivialising the great sacrifices of our freedom fighters and and the country’s glorious achievements,” Gandhi wrote in her message. “This can never be accepted.”
The Congress will strongly oppose any attempt to put “great national leaders such as [Mohandas Karamchand] Gandhi, Nehru and [Vallabhbhai] Patel in the dock” through misrepresentations of facts, the Congress chief.
She added that India has forged its identity as a country that lives up to pluralist values.
On Sunday, the BJP had released a video blaming the Congress’ top leadership and Communist leaders for allowing Partition to take place. The video stated that the British had partitioned Bengal in 1905, but were forced to reunite the province in 1911 due to widespread nationalist protests.
The voiceover in the video then goes on to say: “The factors that distinguish India in 1947 from Bengal in 1905 are the Congress party [with a close-up shot of Nehru], the Muslim League [showing a photo of Jinnah] and Indian Communists [with a group photo of founding members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)]”
The video also claimed that the Congress’ support to the Khilafat Movement of 1920 convinced Muslim extremists that they could convince the Congress to support even its “unnecessary demands”. This portion of the video showed a photograph of Nehru, although it was Gandhi who played a key role in the Congress’ position at the time.
The video was released as part of a campaign on the Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, as August 14 was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.