Maulana Azad Heritage Portal launched

The culmination of the 125th birth anniversary of the country’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad on Monday provided a platform to the Congress-led government to use his writings to show that it was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who warmed up to Partition before the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Faced with criticism from Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for allowing Partition, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram read from Maulana Azad’s book India Wins Freedom, to point out that it was only after Sardar Patel became “amenable” to the idea of Partition that the last Viceroy Louis Mountbatten “turned his attention” to Nehru. “Jawaharlal was not at first at all willing and reacted violently against the very idea of Partition but Lord Mountbatten persisted till step by step Jawaharlal’s opposition was worn down.”

Mr. Chidambaram was speaking at a function to release a commemorative coin and a circulation coin to mark Maulana Azad’s birth anniversary. On Sunday, while addressing a function at Kheda in Gujarat, Mr. Modi accused the Congress of changing India’s geography by allowing Partition.

Mr. Modi also held the Congress guilty of promoting only the Nehru-Gandhi legacy; stating the sacrifices of many freedom fighters, including “Lal, Bal, Pal” [Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal], were forgotten in the Congress party’s devotion to one family.

Further, he asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh what his government was doing to promote the legacy of Maulana Azad, who had laid the foundation of modern education in the country.

Long before he posed these questions to the Congress, the Centre had sent out invitations to several functions to commemorate his birth anniversary, including the launch of the Maulana Azad Heritage Portal.

His legacy is the second to be digitised after Mahatma Gandhi’s and is part of a work which is in progress to make the life and works of the founding fathers of India — including Nehru, Sardar Patel and Rabindranath Tagore — online for the net savvy generation.

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