The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government lacks the “capacity, the vision and the wisdom” to uphold Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Thursday, calling upon people to “pull away” the “hypocrisy” of the BJP-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and “reveal the darkness lurking beneath”.
Speaking at the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) on the 130th birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister, Gandhi hit out at the Centre’s ruling party.
“Even as he was confronted with challenges that would have crippled the very best of us, Nehru chose instead to put his faith in a democratic system which treated all citizens as equal and trusted the collective wisdom of their electoral choices. Rather than compromise on this commitment, he would go on to launch India on a remarkable experiment in democracy,” Gandhi said, adding that Nehru has etched “an eternal mark” in the history of our nation.
She described Nehruvianism as “democratic institution-building, staunch secularism, socialist economics and a non-aligned foreign policy”, and added, “Today, this vision is fundamentally under attack, but it remains at the core of the true India that we must continue to fight for.”
She also added that the present ruling powers “disrespect and fear diversity which means they deny our pluralism, our freedom of choice, which are integral to our fundamental rights”.
“Their language may be modern, but they seek to take India backward, not forward. For after all, they made no sacrifices to shape India’s destiny,” she said.
Others who spoke included Madhavan K Palat, who has worked in research on Nehru, besides former Union minister Karan Singh.