Bharat Mata slogan misused to create a militant idea of India: Manmohan

The former Prime Minister was addressing a gathering at the launch of a book on Jawaharlal Nehru’s works and speeches.

Updated - June 19, 2020 06:26 pm IST

Published - February 22, 2020 08:32 pm IST - New Delhi

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. File

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. File

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said ‘nationalism and Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ were being misused to construct a ‘militant and purely emotional idea’ of India.

Dr. Singh made these remarks while speaking at the launch of a book on Jawaharlal Nehru’s works and speeches.

“It is a book of particular relevance at a time when nationalism and the slogan of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are being misused to construct a militant and purely emotional idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens,” the former Prime Minister said.

The book Who is Bharat Mata  by Purushottam Agrawal and Radha Krishna contains selections from Nehru’s classic works including Glimpses of World History  and The Discovery of India , his speeches and letters among others.

Speaking at the event that formally launched the Kannada version of the book, Dr Singh said India’s recognition as a vibrant democracy along world powers was a lasting contribution by India's first Prime Minister.

“With an inimitable style, and a multi-linguist, Nehru laid the foundation of the universities, academies and cultural institutions of Modern India. But for Nehru's leadership, independent India would not have become what it is today,” Dr. Singh said.

“But unfortunately, a section of people who either do not have the patience to read history or would like to be deliberately guided by their prejudices, try their best to picture Nehru in a false light. But I am sure, history has a capacity to reject fake and false insinuations and put everything in proper perspective,”he added.

The former Prime Minister quoted Pandit Nehru to suggest how India's first Prime Minister had pointed to the danger of leadership getting removed from the common people whom they are supposed to serve.

“Conceit, like fat on the human body, grows imperceptibly, layer upon layer and the person whom it affects is unconscious of the daily accretion. Fortunately, the hard knocks of a mad world tone it down or even squash it completely, and there has been no lack of these hard knocks for us in India. The school of life has been difficult one, and suffering is a hard task master,” Dr Singh quoted Nehru as saying.

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