New Delhi: Attacking the BJP in Parliament for not acknowledging the contributions of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru in making of the Constitution, Congress on Friday said this attitude reflected the ruling party’s intolerance.
The main opposition party in the Rajya Sabha also accused the BJP of trying to appropriate the icons of India’s freedom struggle without having such a leader of its own and trying to “manufacture a clash” between these famous personalities.
“You can talk about the German Constitution, its dictator … but you feel ashamed to talk about (Jawaharlal) Nehru. …You are not able to recognise the contribution of the first Prime Minister …. This is called intolerance. It flows from the top and percolates down to the streets,” the leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said while participating in a debate on the commitment to the Constitution and B R Ambedkar.
In a hard-hitting speech in the Rajya Sabha in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Azad accused the ruling dispensation of attempting to “manufacture a clash” between the personas of freedom struggle like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel and Nehru on the lines of the “divide and rule” policy.
Azad referred to leader of the house Arun Jaitley’s speech and said it became clear to him that the discussion on Ambedkar and commitment towards the Constitution was actually a “shield to take aim at other targets.”
He said Jaitley had referred to Hitler and not acknowledged Nehru, which made it clear that “nazar kahin thi, nishana kahin tha”.
“Those who don’t have icons who took part in freedom struggle are trying to appropriate others,” he said, adding that Ambedkar, Bose, Nehru, Prasad, Maulana Azad cannot be appropriated and “will always belong to the people of the country”.
Taking a jibe at the RSS and the BJP, he said there were a lot of people belonging to “a parivar” who did not agree with the Constitution and “it is good if they also show their commitment. Der aaye, durust aaye (better late than never)”.
As Azad questioned the procedures adhered to by the government in celebrating the Constitution Day, Jaitley stood up and asked why was there a “grudging feeling” in acknowledging Ambedkar’s contribution.