In a veiled attack on the Nehru-Gandhi family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that to keep “one family” above the rest, efforts were made to forget the contributions leaders such as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Bhim Rao Ambedkar and Subhash Chandra Bose made in the Independence struggle.
“But now our government is changing all that,” he said while addressing an event at the historic Red Fort to mark the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the ‘Azad Hind Sarkar’ by Bose.
Donning the famous Azad Hind Fauj cap, the Prime Minister hoisted the national flag at the Red Fort and unveiled a plaque to mark the anniversary.
The plaque will be placed at barrack number three at the Red Fort where members of the Azad Hind Fauj faced trial. A museum will be also set up in the barrack.
Modi lamented that post Independence, India’s policies were based on the British system as “things were seen through British glasses”.
“Policies, including those related to education had to suffer because of this,” he said.
Modi said had India benefited from the guidance of Patel and Bose, things would have been much better. He said his government is changing that now.
“In an effort to highlight the role of one family, efforts were made to deliberately ignore and forget contributions made by others in the independence struggle, and later in creating a new India,” he said. These leaders included Sardar Patel, Bhim Rao Ambedkar and Subhash Chandra Bose, the Prime Minister added.
He said while Bose focused on the East and Northeast India, the two regions did not get due recognition.
Now, he said, his government is working to make the Northeast the “engine of growth”.
Hailing Bose’s spirit of nationalism, Modi said as a 16-year old, he was aggrieved at the plight of India under the British rule.
“His ideology was nationalism, he lived by nationalism,” the PM said.