New Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah today blamed first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru accusing him of having committed a “historic blunder” on Kashmir and criticised the then Congress leadership for the partition.
Referring to the declaration of truce when Pakistan-backed tribal raiders in 1948 were being repulsed in Kashmir, he said if such a decision was not made, the Jammu and Kashmir problem would not have existed today.
“Suddenly, without any reason….the reason is not known even today, truce was declared. Never has any leader of the country made such a historic blunder. If Jawaharlalji had not declared a ceasefire at that time, the Kashmir issue would not have existed,” Mr Shah said speaking at an event in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in New Delhi.
He claimed that this decision was taken to improve “one’s (Nehru’s) personal image,” and lamented that because of this a part of Kashmir is now with Pakistan.
The event was to commemorate Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, where Governor of Tripura Tathagata Roy gave a lecture.
In his lecture, Mr Roy also raised questions over the circumstances leading to Mr Mookerjee’s death in Kashmir in 1953 where he had gone to participate in a protest and raised questions about Pandit Nehru’s handling of the events and the decision not to conduct an inquiry into it.
Mr Shah said that a “large section” believes that Mr Mookerjee’s death was in fact “murder” and if a probe had been conducted, truth could have come out.
Lauding the Jana Sangh founder’s role, Mr Shah said that he had played a key role in raising the concerns of Hindus in Bengal and “If Kolkata is a part of India, and one person has to be given credit for it, it is Syama Prasad Mookerji.”
Mr Shah claimed that if the Congress leadership at the time of independence had not got into a hurry, the division of India could have been prevented.
“When at the time of independence, the entire Congress leadership was anxious to become independent…. all of them were ageing, if it gets delayed was also worrying them. But at that time a young leader thought that a mistake should not happen and Bengal was saved,” Mr Shah said.
Raising questions over the circumstances that led to Mr Mookerjee’s death, Mr Shah said that he was informed that he was allowed to enter Jammu and Kashmir without permit and there he was held in custody by the Kashmir police.
The BJP president claimed that Mr Mookerjee was kept in an inadequately equipped safehouse near Srinagar and then not provided medical facilities as he was admitted to a gynecological ward even though he had a heart ailment.
Mr Shah said that history has not done justice to the “patriot” and “eminent educationist” that Mr Mookerjee was.
The BJP president said that if the history of the country was to be written impartially, then an important place will be provided to Mr Mookerjee.
“It is unfortunate that first the British, and later the Leftists distorted the history of the country,” Mr Shah said.
History has been viewed through the lens of ideology, he said claiming this was one of the reasons, Mr Mookerjee was not conferred his due place in the annals of history.
Mr Shah said it was because of Mr Mookerjee that permits are not needed to enter Kashmir now and the titles Prime Minister and President are not used separately for Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier, Mr Roy who is also a biographer of Mr Mookerjee, narrated his contribution in running an “equitable” government in West Bengal in the pre-independence era and then his protest over special permits to enter Kashmir.
He claimed that Mr Mookerjee was allowed to enter Kashmir where the Jammu and Kashmir police were waiting for him. He also raised questions over the improper manner in which a leader of Mr Mookerjee’s stature was dealt with.
Mr Roy also claimed that when Mr Nehru had visited Jammu and Kashmir, he had not bothered to visit Mr Mookerjee who was languishing in confinement there. He criticised Mr Nehru for deciding not to conduct an inquiry into the death despite a request from Mr Mookerjee’s mother.
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said the lecture was organised on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Mr Syama Prasad’s father Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee.
An exhibition on the Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s life has been organised at NMML which will go on till July 6, he added.