Nehru Out Savarkar In: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign by the Karnataka government and a controversial advertisement published as a tribute to freedom fighters has been slammed by the state’s opposition Congress. The ad has removed the picture of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and features Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh founder Vinayak Savarkar, titled Krantikari Savarkar.
Nehru Out Savarkar In
The full-page advertisement was published this morning – August 14 – the day which was designated as “Partition Horror Remembrance Day” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On social media, the BJP and the Congress have clashed over a video in which the ruling party tweeted blaming Nehru and Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah for Partition.
Congress’s Jairam Ramesh alleged that on the issue both the parties had said till morning that “the prime minister’s genuine intention to mark the partition horrific remembrance day on August 14 as fodder for his current political battle is the most painful historical use events”.
The ruling BJP in Karnataka said they decided not to include Nehru’s picture.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Kumar said, “India is divided into India and Pakistan because of Nehru. That’s why his picture in the newspaper was removed.” Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had “struggled for our freedom, hence his picture was included”, he said.
He said, “Jhansi Rani, Gandhi and Savarkar are also there. Nehru was the first prime minister of the country. He fought for our freedom but he divided our country.”
Congress leaders alleged that this was a politically motivated move of the BJP government in the state and demanded the sacking of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
State Congress chief DK Shivakumar said, “It is a shame on Indian democracy and freedom. India is celebrating 75 years of independence. The prime minister should sack Basavaraj Bommai and we are apologizing.”
Congress leaders, including former Union minister Jairam Ramesh and Karnataka’s Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, have slammed the state government for containing Savarkar’s image.
“Nehru will avoid such petty. CM Karnataka desperate to save his job, knows what he has done is an insult to his father SR Bommai and his father’s first political mentor MN Roy – both great Nehru admirers, the latter Have friends too. This is pathetic,” tweeted Jairam Ramesh.
“The BJP government of Karnataka may deliberately remove Nehru, India’s first prime minister, from their Independence Day ad, but they can neither erase nor rewrite history. Modern, socialist, secular and progressive. The maker of India will always be remembered by every Indian as they march ahead.Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Syed Naseer Hussain tweeted.
Siddaramaiah tweeted, “Just when we thought slavery ended with the departure of the British, @CMofKarnataka @BSBommai proved everyone wrong by showing that he is still a slave to @RSSorg.”
“Today’s government advertisement not including #PanditJawaharlalNehru in the list of freedom fighters shows how low a chief minister can go to save his chair,” he said.
This is the latest controversy affecting the campaign being run for the purpose of hoisting the flag in every house in the 75th year of India’s independence.
Earlier, the state and central government had been criticized for distributing substandard national flags and forcing the poor to buy flags in exchange for food rations. There have also been reports of forcibly selling flags in schools.