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New Delhi,Iftikhar Gilani: To combat rising intolerance and communal incidents, the Congress has asked party workers to use 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru to spread message of communal harmony and secularism across the country.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi in a communication to all state unit presidents and general secretaries has highlighted the need to counter attacks by spreading Nehru’s message by organising as many programmes as possible to enlighten the people on how the BJP and fringe elements were rupturing the social fabric of India for political gains.
She has asked party leaders to create a Nehru wave across the country by organising meetings at state, district, block and panchayat levels as a strategy to combat communalism. The party will conclude the nationwide celebrations of 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru by organising a major event at the Indira Gandhi Stadium here on November 14 on the day of his 126th birth anniversary.
Fresh from 2002 Gujarat riots, at a brainstorming session at Shimla in 2003, party had made fight against communalism a major part of its strategy leading to its return to power in 2004. But since then, it changed the track. But sensing that overemphasis on minority related issues was backfiring neither luring Muslims to its fold and also distancing majority community, in 2013 Jaipur brainstorming session the party switched to focus on aspiring middle class and youth of country. But it was too late and was routed at last Lok Sabha elections.
But with rising incidents of intolerance, their buzz at international level, coupled with many intellectuals returning literary awards, the party feels the campaign against communalism will bring it back to centre-stage. Sonia recently told a meeting of party leaders that they should counter these attacks by spreading Nehru’s message of communal harmony and secularism and preserve social fabric of India.
“RSS and BJP are continuously trying to blunt Nehru’s ideology. Attempts are being made to dilute it. Nehruvianism is under constant attack. We must project how Nehru built the modern India and established institutions in the nation,” said Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi summing up the mood of the party leaders’.
Senior Congress leader AK Antony, who heads the celebrations committee has also asked the state party chief about the progammes that they organised in the last one year and asked them to share the details and photographs, which the party will include in a souvenir it plans to bring out at the concluding ceremony on November 14. Dwivedi said the party decided to organise programmes at every level to send out a message of the increased relevance of Nehruvianism in modern times and take Nehru’s liberal and secular views to the young generation to counter the divisive agenda of the communal forces.
Congress spokesman Ajoy Kumar said the country is passing through a phase of growing intolerance since Modi came to power. Condemning the Shiv Sena activists for throwing black ink on right-wing journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni in Mumbai for organising a function for release of the book by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, he said this was a proof of how intolerant people are becoming.