A Bihar government website has landed the Nitish Kumar government in trouble with the website claiming that Indira Gandhi’s rule was worse than that of the British. Understandably, the Congress, which is a constituent of the ruling coalition, is quite angry with this.
On the website, the mention of Indira Gandhi’s “autocratic rule” and “oppression” perpetrated during the Emergency has been made in a part of Bihar’s history.
While criticising Indira’s rule, the write-up also mentioned the contributions of Jay Prakash Narayan – or JP – to modern history and says, “It was he who steadfastly and staunchly opposed the autocratic rule of Indira Gandhi and her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi. Fearing people’s reaction to his (JP’s) opposition, Indira Gandhi had him arrested on the eve of declaring National Emergency beginning June 26, 1975. He was put in the Tihar Jail, located near Delhi, where notorious criminals are jailed.
“Thus, in Free India, this septuagenarian (JP), who had fought for India’s freedom alongside Indira Gandhi’s father, Jawahar Lal Nehru, received a treatment that was worse than what the British had meted out to Gandhiji in Champaran in 1917, for his speaking out against oppression.”
Bihar Congress leader Chandan Yadav said the references to Indira Gandhi were “totally unacceptable” and that his party would raise the issue with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Speaking to India Today Television, Bihar Congress president-cum-education minister Ashok Chowdhary said that though he has not seen the contents of website, he will raise this matter with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. He said that after raising matter with Nitish, corrective action would be taken. He also said that whatever Indira Gandhi did was for the country and that the Congress stands by it.
“We appreciate work done by Indira Gandhi from emergency till today. We will raise matter with Nitish and if Nitish disagrees with our views then we will raise issue with Sonia and Rahul. Since Congress is part of Mahagathbandhan government, the sentiments of the Congress party should be taken care of,” he said.
JDU Spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said, “The intention of the Bihar government is not wrong. Times have changed and conditions have changed. Congress should not dig historic facts now. I am aware that the Congress expects changes in contents of Bihar government and the government will make the necessary changes.”
Meanwhile, a senior official in the Bihar government said it will be got checked.
Barely hours after the controversy broke, the website had changed the write-up and toned it down leaving Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi out. The write-up now limits itself to just Jay Prakash Narayan and reads thus: “JP’s substantial contribution to modern Indian history continued up until his death in 1979. It was he who led a movement that led to massive win of a non-Congress government – The Janata Party – at Delhi, for the first time. With the blessings of JP, Morarji Desai became the fourth Prime Minister of India. JP remained the Conscience of the Janata Party and of post-Gandhi – post-Nehru India. He gave a call to all Indians to work ceaselessly towards eliminating “dictatorship in favour of democracy” and bringing about “freedom from slavery”.”
Source : India Today