BJP’s systematic effort to malign Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and put an end to his legacy seems far away to lose its spirit as the party sounds all set to use the ‘hate-Nehru’ tool again for their election campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Targeting Nehru in every election and passing the hatred culture to further generations seems like a well-rooted propaganda of the saffron party. Since the inauguration of PM Modi-led BJP government, the roadmap for development got very minimal importance by the ruling party than attacking Nehru or the Gandhi family all together. Even after 54 years of his death, the party that stands to control 21 Indian states, have nothing to address the nation with, except blaming former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for every shortcoming in the country.
Hate-mongering against India’s first and longest serving Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who is popularly known as the ‘architect of modern democratic and socialist India’, is being used by BJP as a tool to benefit their agenda. The saffron party forgot all political decorum when its national spokesperson Sambit Patra publicly demeaned former PM Nehru on his 128th birth anniversary and the party showed no effort to put a bridle on him.
Veteran Congress leader Ratnakar Mahajan stated, “Pandit Nehru is a big name in the international politics and affairs and none can malign his legacy. RSS and Sangh Parivar don’t like Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru because they gave proper direction to the Hindus — guided them to reject extremist viewpoints and adopt secularism and liberalism. Nehru ran by the thoughts of Mahatma and set up government and democracy. RSS never wanted the same.”
When the Hardik Patel’s leaked ‘sex CD’ episode was trending, Patra led to a controversy saying that Pandit Nehru and Hardik Patel are identical in reference to the alleged ‘sex-tape’. Not only that, BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya took forward the dirty politics by tweeting a collage of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru sharing affectionate moments with his sister and niece. Though netizens slammed him for his attempt to portray Hardik Patel and Nehru as womanisers, BJP quietude over the issue revealed that the ‘character assassination politics’ is ingrained in the party.
NCP MLA Shashikant Shinde expressed, “There can be differences in political viewpoints but we can’t deny the contribution of our leaders. Pandit Nehru was a big leader who governed our nation after the post-independence Partition.”
“Congress or NCP leaders never made any personal attacks or given hate speeches against BJP leaders. It’s not ethical to defame him for political agendas. Voters are not fools,” he further added.
It touched its all-time low in 2015 when the fake theory of Nehru’s Muslim ancestors was purportedly created by editing the Wikipedia pages of Jawaharlal Nehru claiming Nehru’s grandfather Gangadhar Nehru was born as a Muslim whose real name was Ghiasuddin Ghazi. It was further revealed that the editing was done through a Government of India Internet Protocol (IP) address.
Senior Maharashtra AAP leader Preeti Sharma-Menon said, “BJP government is incompetent to do good governance and they are trying to defame Nehru for political purpose. It is irrelevant in today’s time. By attacking Nehru’s legacy, RSS and BJP are disrespecting our freedom fighters and leaders. It is their deliberate attempt to hide their failures.”
Twisting history is their another notorious campaigning gimmick. In preparation for Gujarat elections last year, PM Modi in his campaign in Kutch attacked Nehru for neglecting the state and asked the crowd if anyone remembers ‘a single good work done by the then PM’. Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma condemned PM’s comments and criticised him for ‘misleading the people of Gujarat by making such false accusations’.
Sharma further warned him saying, “Narendra Modi may not be aware of the facts, even though he has been the Chief Minister of Gujarat for 12 years. Jawaharlal Nehru established Amul in 1949 in Gujarat, IIM Ahmedabad was set up by him and the only National Institute of Design was set up under him in Ahmedabad. The formation of Gandhinagar, the state’s capital, ONGC’s complex at Ankleshwar and development of ports like Kandla and Dahej, besides the setting up of airports were all done under Nehru’s reign as the prime minister.”
It did not end here. In his Lok Sabha speech early this year, PM Modi blamed Congress for ‘dividing the country at the time of Independence for its selfish interests’. “Had Sardar Patel been the first PM of our nation instead of Nehru, a part of Kashmir would not have been under Pakistan’s control,” he said. He also mocked Congress for crediting Nehru for India’s democracy.
When AV spoke to BJP spokesperson Shivray Kulkarni, he said, “BJP has never made any personal attack on Pandit Nehru; but, we definitely have allegations on his policies. He forgot Mahatma’s ideologies soon after becoming the PM. He was fascinated by the western culture and ignored Mahatma’s ‘Gram Swarajya’. Nehru’s ideologies gave birth to the disparity in India. BJP doesn’t support hate posts on social media that attack Nehru.”
While the PM slammed the erstwhile Congress government for only focusing on one ‘Gandhi-family’ and ignoring country’s development, it seems his last few election campaigns and public addresses majorly contain lambasting Nehru and the Gandhi family; whereas, his development agendas and ‘work done so far’ get no reference. 2019 Lok Sabha election result is just a year away; but if Modi-led BJP manages to remain in the power, are they going to take up development as a tool to win the hearts of voters or be thankful to the former prime minister for a successful election campaign?